CHENNAI: The state has seen a significant rise in power demand during the early months of this year compared to the corresponding period last year. The average power demand in January and February last year ranged from 15,000 Megawatt (MW) to 16,000 MW. However, this year, there has been a spike of 1,000 MW.
According to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation’s (Tangedco) reports, the power demand reached 16,915 MW, with consumption totaling 368.672 million units on Friday.
A senior Tangedco official told TNIE the power demand surpassed 17,000 MW in the last week of January. “The Southern Regional Power Committee has projected that Tamil Nadu could hit 20,744 MW in April this year. Notably, the highest power demand of 19,347 MW was recorded on April 20, 2023,” he said.
Officials attributed the surge to the annual increase in consumers, which has risen from 324.54 lakh in 2022 to 331.16 lakh in 2023. Besides, the industries’ power consumption is also on the rise. This, in turn, leaves the utility with a greater responsibility to ensure uninterrupted power supply. In addition to that, the domestic consumption has also increased as monsoon season has ended. “These apart, the power demand could be higher than usual this year as the parliamentary election are set to be in May,” the official said.
Tangedco has entered into agreements with Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and other northern states to procure power during the summer months through swapping arrangements. The power will be returned to the states during the wind season. “Additionally, the power utility will procure power from private players to meet the morning and evening peak demands,” he added.
Another official emphasised the importance of renewable energy, particularly solar power, in meeting the rising demand. He highlighted Pradhan Mantri Suryoday Yojana that aims at providing up to 300 units of free electricity monthly through rooftop solarisation to one crore households nationwide.
“In Tamil Nadu, the scheme aims to include 15 lakh consumers. Through solarisation initiatives, the state aims to address the increasing power demand in the coming years effectively,” he ensured.