Access, grid reliability to drive electricity demand

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Low off-take by distribution companies may be suppressing electricity demand. In the long run, however, India is forecast to see one of the fastest rates of electricity demand growth in the world.

A Bloomberg New Energy Finance report on the future of global power markets estimates electricity demand to rise 3.5 times between 2016 and 2040.

The demand is expected to be driven by rising population and improving access to energy. Interestingly, the report forecasts the commercial and industrial consumers, who are increasingly adopting captive sources of power, to move to grid-based power due to improvement in supply reliability.

“As reliability improves, many customers are expected to increase their dependency on grid supplied power,” the report adds.

Oil posts longest run of weekly losses since 2015

Oil posted the longest run of weekly losses since August 2015 as Opec member Libya restored production and the surplus in the US shows little sign of abating.

While futures rose 0.6% in New York, they’re down 2.4% for the week, a fourth straight decline. US inventories fell less than forecast last week, keeping supplies more than 100 million barrels above the five-year average, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.

Libya, exempt from the Opec-led deal to cut supply, will boost output to 1 million barrels a day by July end, the country’s National Oil Co. said. Bloomberg

US economy running cooler than forecast

The Bloomberg US Economic Surprise Index, which measures whether incoming economic data beat or miss expectations of surveyed economists, fell below zero on Thursday for the first time this year to the lowest point since just after last November’s election.

Economists, though, still project a pick-up in second-quarter growth. Since the election, businesses and consumers have evinced confidence that the new administration would bolster the economy with less regulation, lower taxes and spending on infrastructure.

While there has been some reduction in rules, Congress has yet to act on major programmes to cut taxes or spend on airports or highways.

Among the reports released this month, data on employment, auto purchases, durable goods orders, consumer prices and retail sales are all below economists’ expectations.

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