More demand for energy could be an indication of a rise in economic activity, says Energy Secretary

Energy Secretary N. Srikant on Wednesday said that the power utilities in Andhra Pradesh had improved its performance in supply of quality and reliable power to all sectors. “Because of this, the average electricity consumption in the State has surpassed the national average,” he said, explaining that A.P.’s power consumption grew by 20.5 % in August this year, which is higher than the national average of 18.6 %.

Speaking after paying tributes to eminent engineer and Bharat Ratna awardee Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya to mark the latter’s 161th birth anniversary, Mr. Srikant recalled that the ‘Father of Indian Engineering’ was known for his contribution towards harnessing water resources, and building and consolidation of dams across the country.

Emphasising the need to emulate his principles for sustainability of the power sector, he said the increase in demand for energy could be an indication of a rise in economic activity in the State when compared to last year. “This could be a good sign for the development,” he said.

In the first fortnight of May, he said, the average energy consumption in the State was 15.37 %, against a growth of 19 % in the national average. “However, in August, our consumption surpassed the national average,” he said.

Cost-effective

In the last two and half years, the utilities have implemented cost-effective measures in power purchases, improved the infrastructure by erecting power lines, transformers and substations, which in turn helped in reduction of interruptions in power supply, he said.

Mr. Srikant said the power purchase arrears and operating costs, which stood at ₹12,500 crore at the time of State bifurcation in 2014, reached ₹32,000 crore on April 1, 2019. Serious efforts were made to bail out the crisis-ridden power sector and considering the severe financial crisis faced by the DISCOMs, the State government came to their rescue by releasing ₹28,166 crore to power companies between 2019 and 2021. “The government focus has always been on consumer-centric policies,” he said.

Mr. Srikant said that all-out efforts were being made to strengthen the power sector and achieve operational and economic stability.

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