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Impact of COVID-19 on the Power Sector

Updated: Apr 25, 2022

“We cannot re-write the chapters of history already past, but we can learn from them, evolve and adapt."

The COVID-19 pandemic represents not just a global health crisis, but may stipulate the beginning of a new era of economic activity, the potential consequences of a lifestyle that we cannot fully interpret and a scenario which we aren’t adaptable to, yet. It has played havoc with people’s lives around the world. The economic, social and cultural disruption caused by the pandemic has proved to be devastating. Millions of people are on a verge of falling into extreme deprivation, enterprises and businesses are facing an existential threat, food systems have been crushing and workers are suffering from malnutrition and poor health.

Moreover, the lockdown measures to streamline COVID-19 around the world have led to a significant drop in energy consumption including electricity, gas and oil eventually leading to a certain amount of economic contraction.

Impact of COVID-19 on Power Sector in India

During the complete lockdown, people were confined indoors. This has had a daunting impact on the power sector. It caused a substantial drop in the electricity consumption and peak power demand in all the regions of India, due to closing down of industries and commercial establishments.

  • The Regions where the demand dropped the most were the Western Region and the Northern Region.

  • The peak demand dropped 36% in Western Region, 31% in the Northern Region, 24% in the Southern Region 15% in the Eastern Region and 8.5% in the North-Eastern Region.

  • The effect of drop in industrial and commercial load due to COVID-19 in the Eastern Region was not in consonance with the comparatively high percentage share of industrial and commercial demand in that Region. It could be that the industries in Eastern Region did not observe the lockdown very strictly, possibly due to livelihood issues.

  • In order to meet the reduced demand, and reduced exports to Bangladesh and Nepal and increased import from Bhutan, the generation that was reduced most in India was the coal-based generation.

Strategic Planning for The New Normal

With the onset of this rampant pandemic came wide-ranging challenges. Especially, for companies in all parts of the energy, utilities and resources sectors, the pandemic has taken a toll on their economic development. Therefore, it has become pivotal to combine effective scenario-planning with an examination of affects of different developments in the short, medium and long term.

Following measures must be incorporated within commercial establishments in order to protect themselves from future repercussions of the pandemic

  • Prepare for further volatility and risk- Companies will therefore need to build a high degree of flexibility and continued resiliency into their short- and medium-term strategizing.

  • Focus on security of supply- As the crisis unfolded, companies had to maneuver quickly to secure supply chains and manage component inventory. In production sectors, a strong sentiment in favour of more localized and shorter supply chains is anticipated.

  • Plan for a new sense of vulnerability- Across the board, companies will want to examine their approach to risk with a fresh eye and consider what measures are needed to derisk their business models. For a start, companies should use their pandemic experience to inform wide-ranging reviews of crisis management strategies.

  • Accelerate new ways of working, automation and digitalization- Greater investments in these areas will equip companies to maintain better business continuity in their supply chains, operations and customer management, reducing the load on their workforces.

  • Consider the implications of behaviour change- companies will need to rethink their approach to business travel and workforce mobility with consequent impacts on demand for transportation fuel.

"We long to return to normal, but normal led to this. To avert the future pandemics we know are coming, we MUST grapple with all the ways normal failed us. We have to build something better.

About Us: Enerlly is an organization rooted in industrial automation that deploys Internet-of-Things (IoT) based controllers and online platforms to create sustainable eco-conscious brands through real-time energy monitoring, energy data analytics, and consultancy Energy Auditors.

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