Demand for electricity in India will be lower by 7 to 17% due to covid-19 by 2025, a new report by TERI has found. All 10 of India’s largest power-consuming states will see a demand drop between 5 to 15%, it said.
However, Union Power Minister RK Singh said that he wasn’t worried about the impact of the lockdown, and that he expected demand to pick up. “Despite the lockdown, we have rebounded and will continue to do so. I don’t see electricity demand suffering in the long term. It will grow at a slower pace, but it will be back,” he said, talking at the launch of the report.
The report, titled ‘Bending the Curve: 2025 Forecasts for Electricity Demand by Sector and State in the Light of the COVID Epidemic’, also suggests policymakers, developers, distribution companies, and investors need to be better prepared for the future, if the decline in demand growth persists.
“In particular, the financial health of Discoms and the sustainability of the prevailing cross-subsidy may be even more pressing issues in a mid-term scenario of sustained muted growth in commercial and industrial demand,” said the report.
The study also does not rule out a downward revision in the future. “More severe scenarios, entailing a downward revision in demand of greater than 15% relative to trend, cannot be excluded, and are potentially becoming likelier,” the report concluded.