• Capitals power demand hits new peak for March

    With temperatures soaring, power demand in the city has touched a new high. The peak power demand on March 31 touched 4,139 MW — the highest recorded demand for this month.

    The maximum temperature recorded in the city was 39 degrees Celsius, seven notches above the season’s normal, according to Meteorological Department officials.

    According to data from BSES, one of the power discoms in the city, power demand here crossed the 4,000 MW mark in March. After a record demand of 4,116 MW on March 30, the demand rose to 4,139 MW the next day. From just 259 MW peak demand in 1971, the demand for power has only gone up drastically.

    Gruelling summer

    Power discoms however claimed that they’re prepared for summer months, which according to the Meteorological Department will be gruelling.

    “These arrangements include long-term power purchase agreements [PPAs] and banking arrangements with other States. The BRPL will get around 200 MW of power through banking arrangements and BYPL around 170 MW. In case of unforeseen contingencies due to low generation and outages at power plants, the discoms will purchase short-term power from the exchange,” BSES said.

    Biggest guzzler

    Stating that the domestic sector was the biggest guzzler of electricity in Delhi, experts said providing more power to the city wasn’t a comprehensive solution.

    A report released by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) on Load Generation Balance Report last year highlighted that Delhi consumes more electricity than Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Kerala, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Sikkim and all the North-East States.

    It also uses more power than all other metros put together. Household electricity consumption per capita is about 43 units per month against the national average of 25, they added.

    Vicious circle

    Anumita Roychowdhury, the executive director at the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said high temperatures and dependence on air-conditioners was a vicious circle that Delhiites needed to break. According to CSE analysis, Delhi’s peak power consumption will double by 2021 at this rate.

    Power subsidy

    “High use of ACs is also a contributor to global warming and we depend on these due to growing temperature. This cycle needs to break and that can only be done when the government takes some stringent measures,” Ms. Roychowdhury added.

    She said the Delhi government gives 50% power subsidy to households for monthly consumption of up to 400kWh.

    Delhi’s average consumption is only about 181 kWh and nearly two-fifths of households consume less than 100 kWh per month. The subsidy thus allows comfortable use of a number of appliances like air conditioners and cushions substantial household energy costs.

    “The government must introduce a mandatory energy audit and consumption-based energy billing to improve operational efficiency of all buildings. It must also make it obligatory for all buildings to publicly disclose data on annual energy usage along with the built-up area,” Ms. Roychowdhury added further. Rhys Hoskins Jersey

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