CHENNAI: India's electricity generation was 2.9% lower in the last fifteen days of April than the first half of the month, government data showed, as curbs on movement to restrict the spread of the coronavirus stifled demand for power.
Power supplied to Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat - India's richest and most industrial states which together account for nearly a third of the total electricity consumption - fell by over 2.1% during the second half of April, the data showed.
Electricity supply to Karnataka - home to India's tech hub Bengaluru - fell over 15% in the second half of April, an analysis of load despatch data from federal grid operator POSOCO showed, as the state imposed a total shutdown on April 26.
Industries and offices account
for half the country's annual electricity consumption. Power generation in India generally starts rising from April and peaks in May due to a higher air-conditioning load.
Senior government officials have cited the recovery in demand for power in late 2020 as a sign the economy was beginning to recover from its worst slump in decades.
Power supply to the city state of Delhi - among the worst affected by the pandemic - fell over 10% during the second half of April, while the southern state of Telangana saw the steepest drop of over 23%. India's total power supply fell 3.3%.
India's fresh infections soared to a new global record of over 400,000 on Saturday, and industry officials are concerned the rampant second wave of COVID-19 will dent economic growth.
Power generation for the month of April rose marginally compared to March, but was up 40.1% year-over-year as India was under a complete lockdown during the same period last year.
(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; editing by Christina Fincher)