Electricity demand slumps drastically
Kathmandu, March 25
Following the government’s announcement of nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic, the demand for electricity has dropped significantly.
As per Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), since the government announced the lockdown, the demand for electricity had dropped to 945 megawatts at 7:00 pm on Tuesday. Prior to the lockdown, the peak demand for electricity across the country was estimated at around 1,200 megawatts.
According to the NEA, the demand for electricity normally peaks between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
While the demand fell further to 483 MW on Tuesday night, it had slumped to 446 MW today morning. However, the demand increased during the day today to stand at 628 MW.
The demand for electricity has dropped due to closure of factories, hotels, shopping complexes and offices that consume more electricity.
As per NEA, the demand for electricity in the Kathmandu valley — the major consumer — has also dropped.
Against the maximum demand of 350 MW of electricity in the valley before the lockdown, the peak demand was limited to 290 MW on Tuesday. Power demand in the valley on Tuesday morning stood at 103 MW and 117 MW at night. However, the demand went up to 182 MW around noon today.
“As most of the offices and services are closed and only essential service providers are operating, mostly only households are consuming electricity at present,” said Kul Man Ghising, managing director of NEA, explaining the drop in demand.
He further urged consumers to switch to electric appliances for cooking and other purposes.
With the decrease in demand, the quantum of electricity being imported from India has also been slashed and the Kulekhani hydropower has been shut down.
According to Ghising, only about 150 MW of electricity is being imported from the Dhalkebar-Muzaffarpur cross-border transmission line at present, and only 50 MW will be imported by Thursday evening.
“We are preparing to shut down our power plants owing to reduced demand at night and will suggest the independent power producers to follow suit, if the situation persists,” Ghising added.