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Home News Power Sector News Power demand in Delhi soars to all-India high

Power demand in Delhi soars to all-India high

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DelhiThe soaring mercury level has pushed Delhi's power demand to an all-time high. The capital's peak consumption demand at 3.06pm on June 5 touched 6,361MW, the highest ever recorded in any city of India. The last time Delhi set an all-time record was on June 30, 2016 when the electricity demand shot up to 6,261MW.

Discoms have estimated this year's peak power demand to cross 6,500-6,600MW. With rising demand, the chances of power failures also go up. According to experts, the electricity network does not get sufficient time to cool down in the peak summer season, leading to breakdowns and outages. "High demand puts a stress on the network and at times, leads to local faults. Additionally, lack of space to augment the electricity network can impact power supply. This is a concern, especially in unauthorised colonies," said an expert.

On June 5, complaints of power cuts were received from many localities like Amar Colony, Seelampur, Uttam Nagar, Malviya Nagar, Chhatarpur, South Extension, Burari and Majnu Ka Tila. Being a holiday, Sunday recorded a comparatively lower power demand despite parts of the capital saw temperature soaring to 47 degrees Celsius.

Officials from the power department in the Delhi government assured that enough arrangements had been made to meet the rising demand. "Outages, if any, occur due to faults in the distribution system. The problem is acute in unauthorised colonies. We have identified over 900 vulnerable points, where infrastructure is being constantly upgraded. We rectified the problems in more than 400 points by April. We are closely following up with the discoms and innovative solutions like double-decker substation are being adopted in places facing space constraints," said an official.

On May 15, Delhi's peak power demand breached the 6,000MW mark. In April, it was 5,685MW, a whopping 18% rise from last year's figure. Similarly, March too saw the peak power demand going up up to 4,000MW, first time in that month. It was an increase of over 14% from that of March 2016—3,617MW.

These numbers make it clear that Delhi is also the "power capital" of the country. Currently, hovering around 6,000MW, the city's peak demand is almost thrice of Kolkata's (around 2,100 MW), four times than that of Chennai (1,500-1,800MW) and as much as 60% higher than financial capital, Mumbai's demand of 3,700MW. Delhi's power appetite is so huge that it is nearly two and a half times the total demand of seven Northeastern states—around 2,500 MW.

The higher power demand has been attributed to growing population, rising standard of living and exceptionally hot weather. Starting from 2MW in 1905, 27MW in 1947 to over 6,000MW now, the city's electricity appetite has grown exponentially in the past seven decades.

Discoms BSES and Tata Power claim that ample arrangements had been made to source adequate electricity to meet the peak power demand of Delhiites. These arrangements include long-term power purchase agreements and banking arrangements with other states. Still, many parts of the city continue to witness power outages, which are being attributed to local faults.

Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director at Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said the ever-increasing peak demands should not only be seen from the demand-supply perspective. CSE had analysed the two peak demands that happen during day and night, each indicating that most of the energy is being used for mechanical cooling.

"Attention should now be given to moderating the demands. We should move towards new architectural designs, which require less mechanical cooling. Consumption should be linked with pricing to moderate the demand and energy audit of at least large buildings should be made mandatory," she said.

Source- TOI


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