Increased demand in agriculture coupled with a rise in temperature has pushed up electricity consumption across Gujarat. The power demand in the state touched a record high of 17,652 MW at around 2pm on Wednesday. The demand had been 17,500 MW on Tuesday as well, said sources.
Industry experts attribute the spike in demand from agriculture sector to daily temperature rising to 36 degrees in the wake of inadequate rainfall. The demand is even higher than the summer months. Sources also revealed that the state usually witnesses the highest demand in September-October period.
“Previously, the highest demand was recorded at 17,097 MW last year. Gujarat government has increased power supply to agriculture sector from 8 hours to 10 hours a day. Additional water supply from Narmada canals has also been released to meet water shortage in order to save crops,” said KK Bajaj, a city-based energy and regulatory expert.
“Although Gujarat government is receiving contracted power supply from private players, it still has to purchase power from outside the state due to low power supply from wind and solar energy sources,” Bajaj added.
Recently, the state’s energy minister Saurabh Patel had said that electricity consumption in agriculture sector has crossed the ‘10 crore units a day’ mark, which normally remains between 6 to 7 crore units during September-October.
Among all the Indian states, Gujarat has provided the highest amount of power to agriculture sector.
Considering the representations made by farming community and farmers’ associations, Gujarat government has started providing electricity for 10 hours a day from the month of August. Over the past six years, the state government has each year provided around 1 lakh agriculture power connections.
“With the festive season of Navratri and Diwali in the coming months, electricity demand is likely to 18,000 MWs in Gujarat,” Bajaj added.