Just after the Indian government issued the first lockdown rule to cope with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in March 2020, the energy consumption in India plummeted dramatically. However, as the lockdown relaxed, energy consumption started to recover. In this study, we investigated how COVID-19 cases affected Indian energy consumption during the COVID-19 crisis by testing if the lockdown release had a positive impact on energy consumption and if richer regions were quicker to recover their energy consumption to the level before the lockdown. Using the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) model, the study reveals that a long-run relationship holds between the COVID-19 cases and energy consumption and that the COVID-19 cases have a positive effect on Indian energy consumption. This result indicates that as lockdown relaxed, energy consumption started to recover. However, such a positive impact was not apparent in the Eastern and North-Eastern regions, which are the poorest regions among the five regions investigated in the study. This implies that poorer regions need special aid and policy to recover their economy from the damage suffered from the COVID-19 crisis.
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