India’s coal power may have already peaked, if it seizes the opportunity
Author: Aditya Lolla
India’s coal-fired generation fell by 5% in 2020, declining further since its historical peak in 2018; there is now an opportunity to ensure it doesn’t bounce back as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The impact of India’s nationwide COVID-19 lockdown on its electricity demand in 2020 may prove to be a watershed moment in India’s coal-to-clean electricity transition story. Indeed, it brought coal, India’s largest source of electricity, under scrutiny as it took 100% of the brunt of the fall in electricity demand in the last year.
In this report, historical electricity generation data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) of India is analysed to understand how power generation in 2020 was different from previous years. Indian government forecasts from Optimal Generation Capacity Mix for 2029-30 (OGCM) report and 13th National Electricity Plan (NEP13) were studied to understand the Indian government’s projections for coal, wind and solar generation up to 2030 and how coal-fired generation forecasts may be impacted due to demand shock from COVID-19. This report also considers how India’s coal capacity could change in the next decade amid falling Plant Load Factor and decreasing financial viability of new plants.
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