What PM Modi’s call for switching off lights means for the grid

Power grid managers have said they are gearing up for ensuring grid stability after Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a call to citizens all across the country to switch off their lights for nine minutes at 9pm on Sunday, April 5.

“Please switch off the lights of your house — and then either at the door, or in the balcony of your house, please light a candle, a diya, or flash the mobile phone light. That light will show that no one is alone,” the Prime Minister said in a video message on Friday morning.

Modi also emphasised that no one should gather outside or go out on the streets and end up undermining the norm of social distancing.

What’s the concern?

Prime Minister’s call to switch off lights could lead to power fluctuation on the grid, which has already seen an unprecedented dip in demand during the lockdown period since March 25.

A sudden change in grid frequency could lead to a potential power blackout with a dip of 30% in demand for power due to the absence of commercial activity in the wake of the 21-day lockdown across the country.

The Union power ministry’s data for April 2 show that peak demand stood at 125.8 GW amid the lockdown to contain the Covid-19 outbreak or 25% lower than 168.3 GW for the same day last year.

Experts have also warned about the possible adverse impact of millions of households switching off, and then switching on, lights on Sunday night almost simultaneously.

hindustan times
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