Govt. plans to add up to 60 GW coal-based capacity

While 27 GW of the new capacity is already under construction, the government has decided to develop an additional 55 to 60 GW.

Coal

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India plans to raise its coal-powered generation capacity. The Union Power Minister Raj Kumar Singh at a review meeting with stakeholders in the power sector, highlighted the government’s plan noting that although 27 GW of the new capacity is currently under construction, the government plans to develop an additional 55 to 60 GW.

The participants in the meeting included representatives from the power ministry, state governments, Central Electricity Authority, NTPC, REC, PFC, BHEL and other public sector enterprises. During the meeting, the Minister shared the government’s decision to add about 80 GW of thermal power capacity by 2031-32. 

Based on the projections of the National Electricity Plan for 2022-32, the required coal and lignite-based installed capacity will be 283 GW by 2031-2032 as against the present installed capacity of 214 GW.

The Minister explained that since nuclear capacity cannot be added at a rapid pace, there is a need to add coal-based thermal capacity to meet energy needs.

He said, “Power demand of the country has increased at an unprecedented rate due to rapid growth of the economy. India needs 24×7 availability of power, and we are not going to compromise on the availability of power. This power cannot be achieved by renewable energy sources alone.”

He further added, “Given the power needs, the industry will keep getting orders for thermal capacity addition for the next 5-7 years. Thermal energy was written off a few years ago, which was premature. Thermal cannot be written off until energy storage becomes viable.”

India’s power generation depends largely on its coal reserves, the fourth-largest in the world.  The coal-based power in the country accounts for over half of the country’s current capacity of 425.406 GW.

According to Singh, the business environment in the power sector is excellent.

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