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Heatwaves push India’s power demand to record high; Delhi hits 7,717 MW

India’s ongoing severe heatwave has pushed power demand to a seasonal high of 234 gigawatts (GW) on Tuesday, exceeding the government’s projected range of 225-235 GW for May. The demand is anticipated to rise further in June, reaching between 235-240 GW.

Delhi, experiencing extreme heat, recorded an unprecedented peak power demand of 7,717 megawatts (MW) at 3:33 pm on Tuesday, the highest in its history. This marked the fourth consecutive day that Delhi’s demand surpassed 7,000 MW, breaking the previous May record of 7,070 MW set on May 19, 2022. The highest temperature in Delhi was 47.4 degrees Celsius, reported in Najafgarh.

Heatwave conditions are expected to persist over northwest India, north Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat for the next five days. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecasted above-normal temperatures across most of the country, except some parts of Northwest, Northeast, Central, and Peninsular India.

In response, the government has taken steps to ensure uninterrupted power supply during the summer, including operationalizing gas-based power plants. Meetings have been held to coordinate advance planning and prevent power shortages in any state. The peak energy demand in India has risen by 12.7% from 215,888 MW in 2022-23 to 243,271 MW in 2023-24. The energy requirement grew by 7.5%, and the energy availability increased by 7.8%, reducing the energy shortfall from 0.5% to 0.2%.

Total electricity generation in India increased by 7.1% from 1,621 billion units in 2022-23 to 1,736 billion units in 2023-24, reflecting the country’s efforts to meet the heightened demand during the heatwave.

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