Weekly Power Sector Round up: 22nd February 2020

DISCOMs’ outstanding due rise 50% to Rs. 88,177cr in December 2019

According to information obtained from the PRAAPTI portal, dues owed by DISCOMs to power producers increased nearly 50% to Rs. 88,177cr in December 2019 as compared to Rs. 59,015cr in December 2018.

The overdue amount, that is amount that hasn’t been cleared after the 60 days grace period is up, rose to Rs. 78,174cr as compared to Rs. 44,464cr same time last year.

Inability of the DISCOMs to clear the dues is a major concern for the sector. In order to provide some relief to power producers, the centre enforced a payment security mechanism from August 2019 which required DISCOMs to open letters of credit to get power supply.

Power demand up 7.5% in first half of February 2020

Electricity demand grew 7.5% in the first 18 days of February with early onset of summer in the Southern and Western regions of the country.

Thermal Power projects which were operating at 58% capacity were offered some relief with the increased demand as they can now operate at higher capacities.

Demand grew 3.7% in January after five straight months of decline.

MNRE to provide relief for Solar power projects delayed due to the Coronavirus outbreak

The Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) will give extra time for the commissioning of projects delayed due to supply line issues arising from the deadly Coronavirus outbreak in China.

The Ministry of Finance clarified that the Coronavirus will be covered under the force majeure clause (FMC). The MNRE will issue a separate notification that would exempt developers from inviting any penalties for delays.

Renewable energy projects, especially solar, have been badly impacted due to the coronavirus outbreak in China as the supply lines have stalled. China accounts for a majority share of module supply.