Karnataka: Power consumption back to near normal | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: If power consumption is anything to go by, economic activity in Karnataka appears to be ‘near normal’ as power consumption in the state is at its highest since the pandemic-induced nationwide lockdown.
Demand was at 11,398 mega watts (MW) on Wednesday, almost the same level as in February 2020, just prior to the lockdown. But electricity supply companies (Escoms) say there is a gap of 5% to 8% in high tension (HT) consumers (bulk power purchasers) compared to pre-Covid days, suggesting a lag in industrial power consumption.
“But this gap is likely to close in the next couple of months,” said MB Rajesh Gowda, managing director, Bescom.
National data also suggests Karnataka’s lag in power consumption is -3.5% compared to last year and Karnataka Power Corporation Limited Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) believes demand and supply of power strongly suggest the pace of economic revival has picked up in the state.
“However, we are still not seeing that spike in industrial need for power. Demand from that sector continues to be flat,” said V Ponnuraj, managing director, KPCL.
Sources say consumption is higher on the domestic users’ side rather than by industrial units. “This is a trend which will continue over for some months as people are still working from home and companies are operating on shift basis and at 50% staff,” said an energy department official.
However, senior bureaucrats dismissed that theory saying Karnataka has generated extra power and consumption is actually on par to last year’s levels.
“With increased power generation from renewable energy sources, there is certainly going to be a gap in consumption compared to last year. But the fact is consumption is actually on par with what it was pre-Covid,” said Kapil Mohan, principal secretary, energy department.
Energy department officials say there is almost a 60% input on the grid from renewable sources and only 40% is from traditional sources such as thermal and hydel plants. Industries department officials say one reason for the slump in consumption is also because many companies are moving away from the grid.
“Many industries are installing their own captive power generation stations,” said Gunjan Krishna, commissioner, industries department. “They want to reduce their reliance on state power. This will also reflect in the lack of demand.”
Krishna said most industrial sectors have begun showing extremely encouraging signs of revival with aerospace, automobile and machine tools sectors all showing a significant jump in production capacity. “The state is at near normal in industrial production capacity,” Krishna said.
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Sagar Biswas

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