July 1, 2020 / 10:43 AM / a month ago

India electricity output shows signs of recovery in June

CHENNAI, July 1 (Reuters) - India’s electricity generation recovered slightly in June, provisional government data showed, driven by increased power consumption in industrial western states.

June power generation fell 9.9%, a Reuters analysis of daily load despatch data from federal grid operator POSOCO showed, compared with a 14.3% decline in May.

In the second half of June, electricity generation declined 5.3%, compared with a 14.5% slide during the first fifteen days of the month.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been citing electricity consumption to show there are “greenshoots” in the Indian economy.

India’s unemployment rate more than halved in June compared with May, data from a private research firm showed Wednesday, as economic activities resumed after government eased pandemic lockdown restrictions.

Indian state-refiners’ gasoline and gasoil sales rose in June compared with May, continuing with a gradual recovery. Manufacturing activity contracted at a much shallower pace in June, suggesting the worst may be over for the economy, at least for now.

The recovery in power demand in the second half of June was largely led by higher consumption by industrial regions such as western states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, and Delhi in the north. These regions are among the most affected by the coronavirus.

Power generation from coal - India’s primary source of electricity - continued to fall in June. Coal’s contribution to overall electricity generation in June fell to 61.6%, compared with 64.2% in May.

India’s hydro power supply grew at coal’s expense - rising 24.3%, compared with 3.6% growth in May, while gas-fired power output was over 20.5%, the data showed.

Overall, renewable energy generation fell 3.8%, mainly due to a 14.7% decline in wind-powered electricity production. Solar-powered electricity output growth more than halved to 5.6% in June, compared with 12.7% in May. (Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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