What is the News?
According to a report prepared by EMBER, an independent British energy think-tank in collaboration with Bangalore-based Climate Risk Horizons, India does not require additional new coal capacity to meet expected demand growth by the financial year 2030.
Key Findings of the report
India does not require additional new coal capacity to meet expected demand growth by Financial Year(FY) 2030: Even if India’s power demand grows 5% annually(as per projections made by the Central Electricity Authority), demand for coal-fired generation in FY 2030 will be lower than in FY 2020 as long as India achieves its non-coal generation targets.
India can meet its peak demand in FY 2030 without building the “zombie” coal plants: The country’s peak power demand would reach 301 GW by FY 2030. India’s planned solar capacity can cover much of it. Therefore, adding new coal plants will lead to “zombie” units.
Note: Zombie units refer to the ones which will exist, but not be operational.
India can free up Rs.2.5 lakh crore in capital expenditure by not investing in “zombie” coal projects. However, once incurred, these wasted investments will lock DISCOMs (power distribution companies) and consumers into expensive contracts and impact India’s Renewable Energy goals by adding to the system’s overcapacity
Moreover, India can make annual savings of Rs. 43,219 cr by investing in renewables and storage, instead of “zombie” coal projects.
Source: This post is based on the article “No new coal plants needed to meet 2030 demand” published in the Indian Express on 10th September 2021.