LUCKNOW: The average demand for power in UP almost doubled between 2012-17 and April-September 2022 (Yogi 2.0) with the peak demand touching an all-time high of 26,589 mega watt (MW) on September 9, the state government informed the UP assembly on Wednesday.
In a written submission, energy minister Arvind Kumar Sharma told the House that during 2012-17 – when Samajwadi Party was in power – the average peak demand for power was around 13,598MW. Likewise, the average minimum demand was 5,685MW. This rose to 24,969MW between April-September 2022, a rise of around 83% in comparison to 2012-17. The minimum demand, too, rose to 11,017MW, an increase of around 94%.
Sharma’s response came on a query raised by SP’s Unchahar MLA Manoj Kumar Pandey who asked about the number of hours power was being supplied to the rural areas daily and if the government was resorting to unscheduled rostering during the peak demand. To this, Sharma said that while the state government tried its best to meet the demand, the outages occurred because of inclement weather conditions and dilapidated electricity infrastructure. He said that for better management and maintenance of electricity equipment, the rate of variable damage has been reduced by 0.42% this year. Also, around 1.6 lakh converters were changed between April-September 18, 2022, the minister said.
Sharma said the unprecedented rise in electricity demand was not just due to delayed rains and less than average rainfall but also because of extreme heat that prevailed this summer. The minister said that to meet the historic demand for power, the coal-fired thermal power plants were run at 73.31% Plant Load Factor (PLF) against a PLF of 55.51% a year ago.
The minister also submitted that coal consumption increased by 43.7% as compared to last year. Sharma’s submission vis-a-vis coal is significant in the wake of the Centre’s direction to import coal to meet the demand affected by dip in coal production. The imported coal was estimated to cost much higher than the Indian coal – a situation that forced the state government not to go for coal import. Sharma said the overall power generation increased by 46.27% over the previous year. This was supplemented by procuring electricity from other sources. The minister added that with effect from August 4, the maximum rates of electricity have been revised downwardly.