Analysing the impact of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the Indian electricity sector

Subhadip Bhattacharya, Rangan Banerjee, Ariel Liebman, Roger Dargaville

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5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to understand the responsiveness of the power sector during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic beginning from March 25, 2020 and analyses its impact on the demand, operation and supply of electricity in the Indian power system. The role of the C&I load share in reducing the electricity demand of the different states in India has been examined using multi-sectoral regression analysis. The impact of the pan India lights-off event on the short-term operational flexibility response of the power system has also been analysed using high-temporal resolution data. The results indicate that there has been a reduction of nearly 70 TWh of electricity demand during the lockdown period, an 11 % reduction compared to 2019. The top three states recording the highest reduction were Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu at 11 TWh, 10.6 TWh and 8.4 TWh, respectively. Regression analysis revealed that out of the total drop in load demand — 73 % is owed to the industrial sector, while the remaining 27 % is to the commercial sector. This demand drop also impacted the upstream electricity supply mix where 96 % of the reduction in supply was borne by the coal generating units, recording its lowest national plant load factor at 35 % with a 16 % reduction in overall CO2 emission compared to the same period in 2019. In conclusion, a case study of Maharashtra has been used to analyse the impact of this reduction in electricity demand on the supply mix, hourly load profile and cost of supply under the different lockdown phases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108097
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Electricity demand
  • India power sector
  • Lockdown
  • Power system flexibility

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