India's annual electricity use down first time in 35 years
The annual electricity use in India fell for the first time in at least 35 years during the financial year ending March 2021, a government data analysis by Reuters shows. The significant change was primarily due to unprecedented national and state-level lockdowns imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Here are more details on this.
Power generation in India fell 0.2% during the fiscal year 2020-21 compared with the previous year, an analysis of the data from federal grid operator POSOCO showed. Electricity production declined for six straight months ending in August. However, the demand for electricity has picked up since, with the generation growing 23.3% in March from a year before, the seventh consecutive monthly rise.
Electricity demand has been steadily increasing this year due to an increase in industrial activity across the country. The hiked demand could also be due to higher temperatures being recorded in March in North India, which may have led to greater use of air conditioning. India had entered a nationwide lockdown last March as coronavirus cases rose to approximately 500.
On a related note, India had in 2018 announced that all its villages had access to electricity. The feat was achieved in April that year after a remote village in Manipur reportedly became the last to be connected to the grid. India is the world's third-largest producer and consumer of power. However, improper distribution has remained one of its biggest challenges.
"28th April 2018 will be remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India. Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever!" Prime Minister Narendra Modi had tweeted in April 2018.