Longer periods of monsoon, coupled with the effect of higher generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar energy have led to lower electricity generation from thermal power plants in June. Overall electricity generation in the month has risen by a meagre 2.2% to 107.8 billion units (BU). This also fuels the fear of a low-demand growth in the sector. Since electricity cannot be stored, power generation is the most robust estimate for power demand. Overall electricity generation in the first quarter of FY18 increased by 5.3% to 333.4 BU. Electricity generation from renewable sources increased by 26% in June from the same month last year.
Renewable energy plants, owing to their ‘must-run’ status, are not asked to back down to stabilise the grid during the period of lower power demand. To save on fuel costs, thermal projects are asked to back down first in such cases. Electricity generation from thermal power plants slipped by 1.6% to 80.3 BU in June. The average plant load factor (PLF) of thermal plants was 57.5%, which is 3.2 percentage points lower than last year. PLF levels at state and private power plants were at 52.4% and 52.1% respectively. Read More…
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