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India Raises Its Long-Term Power Demand Forecast

India has raised by 5% its previous projection for peak electricity demand in the financial year 2031-2032, due to surging demand last year that outpaced the government’s forecasts, sources with knowledge of the latest forecast told Bloomberg on Monday.  

In the FY 2031-2032, between April 2031 and March 2032, India expects to have electricity demand surge to 384 gigawatts (GW), which is 5% higher than a previous government estimate from 2023.

To compare, India’s peak power demand hit 243 GW last year, which surpassed estimates of 229 GW peak electricity demand from the power ministry.   

As India’s power demand is soaring, the government is now raising the forecasts of consumption in the coming decade.

India’s electricity demand rose by 7% in 2023, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its Electricity 2024 report earlier this year.

The country will see growth of above 6% on average annually until 2026, supported by strong economic activity and expanding ownership of air conditioners, according to the Paris-based agency.

“Over the next three years, India will add electricity demand roughly equivalent to the current consumption of the United Kingdom. While renewables are set to meet almost half of this demand growth, one-third is expected to come from rising coal-fired generation,” the IEA noted.

To meet soaring power demand, India announced at the end of last year it would increase the size of its thermal power fleet by adding another 88 GW of new power capacity by early 2032—63% more than the plan that India published just months ago. And most of the new capacity will be coal-fired power, with gas-fired electricity generation unavailable to India due to the high cost of natural gas.  

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India expects to add a large chunk of coal-fired power capacity in 2024, which will be the largest yearly rise in its coal fleet in at least six years.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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