According to a recent report by ICRA Research, the demand for power in India remained negative in April 2023, with a decline of 0.9% compared to the same period last year. This comes after a moderation in demand growth in March 2023, which saw a decline of 2.2% YoY due to unseasonal rains.
The negative growth in April 2023 is attributed to the delayed onset of summer, intermittent rainfall in some parts of the country, and an unfavorable base. However, the demand growth for the full year FY2023 remained robust at 9.5%, driven by a severe heatwave, improved economic activity, and favorable base effect. ICRA estimates that the demand growth for FY2024 will be in the range of 5.5-6.0%.
The report also stated that average tariffs in the day-ahead market (DAM) of the Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) increased slightly to Rs. 5.6 per unit in April 2023, compared to Rs. 5.4 per unit in March 2023. This increase is due to higher average daily demand in April 2023 compared to the previous month. Additionally, the report noted that the coal stock level remained largely unchanged between March and April 2023 at 12.8 days, though it is better compared to a year ago. The government had earlier issued directives to domestic coal-based power plants to import and blend coal to the extent of 6% of their requirement to meet the anticipated demand growth during the summer.