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Power consumption peaks as severe heat prevails in Kerala

By, Kochi
May 01, 2024 07:20 AM IST

The power consumption in Kerala hit a record high of 113.14 million units on Monday (April 29) as the state continued to reel under extreme heat conditions

The power consumption in Kerala hit a record high of 113.14 million units on Monday (April 29) as the state continued to reel under extreme heat conditions.

This is the fourth recoded instance this month that the consumption of electricity in the state has crossed the 110 million-unit mark. (HT Archive)
This is the fourth recoded instance this month that the consumption of electricity in the state has crossed the 110 million-unit mark. (HT Archive)

This is the fourth recoded instance this month that the consumption of electricity in the state has crossed the 110 million-unit mark. The record for the highest peak-hour demand of power was also set on Monday – 5,646 megawatts, compared to the previous record of 5,024 megawatts in April last year.

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The consumption has crossed all barriers in the wake of above-than-normal temperatures in most of the 14 districts, high humidity levels and high usage of appliances like air-conditioners and charging of electric vehicles during peak hours.

For the past few days, in several areas of the state, there have been reports of power cuts lasting from minutes to several hours, prompting residents to launch protests against the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB). These power cuts, said officials, tend to take place due to overloading of transformers and substations during peak hours. Around 700 transformers in the state have been damaged due to such overloads.

State power minister K Krishnankutty said, “On April 29, the consumption was 113.14 million units when it ideally should be under 100 MU. We have spent around 5,717 MW of power already. We have not declared any load-shedding so far. There is a meeting scheduled on May 2 with officials of the KSEB where we will discuss the present situation and take appropriate steps.”

People aware of the matter said the KSEB is likely to ask the state government to impose a power cut, especially during the peak hours, to release the pressure on its feeders.

The power minister urged the public to exercise restraint in the usage of air-conditioners to prevent overloading.

“The sale of ACs has gone up almost six times this season. People run four ACs in a house at a time instead of one. If people control their usage, we will not have such problems,” Krishnankutty said.

Palakkad records second-highest ever temperature in Kerala: IMD

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its bulletin on Tuesday warned that heatwave like conditions will exist in four districts – Palakkad, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Alappuzha – till May 2.

While Palakkad which recorded 41.3 degrees Celsius, the highest in the state this year, has been issued “orange” alert, the other three districts have been issued yellow alerts.

A heatwave is declared by the IMD in an area when the temperature exceeds 40 degrees celsius along with a departure equal to or above 4.5 degrees from the normal. This summer, a heatwave was declared in Palakkad district from April 26 to 29 and in Thrissur district on April 29.

IMD Thiruvananthapuram director VK Mini said that the El Nino phenomenon was responsible for the extreme heat conditions in the state.

“El Nino (the warming of surface waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean) is currently in moderate phase. The extreme heat is due to this phenomenon. We expect El Nino to weaken by the end of the season. When the Southwest Monsoon begins, La Nina will set in,” the IMD official said.

The IMD official said that in April this year, the daily maximum temperatures on most of the days was “above the normal” and therefore contributing to the high humidity being experienced by the people. “The departure above normal used to be quite less in previous years,” she said.

Temperature records have been broken in districts like Alappuzha and Kottayam this year, she added.

Earlier in April, the IMD said that the seasonal rainfall in India will be on the higher side of above normal and pegged it at 106% of the long-period average.

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