India to expand coal fleet

India to expand coal fleet
16/06/2017 , by , in ALLIED

Amid stagnant growth for coal-based power in India, a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said India would significantly expand its coal fleet over the next five years, adding over 40 Gw of new coal plants.

However, 2030 onwards, solar would begin to sideline coal in India, with the pace of PV additions more than doubling from the 2020s to the 2030s, said the New Energy Outlook-2017 by BNEF.

“We actually see India’s installed coal power capacity rising from 189GW in 2016 to 254GW in 2040, even after accounting for retirements of old and inefficient plants. Close to 42GW can be commissioned during 2017-22, said Ashish Sethia, Head of Research – Asia Pacific, BNEF.

He, however, added that there is a huge pipeline of 129GW of announced, pre-permitted and some permitted projects which are under significant threat of being shelved.

“However, post-2030, another 64GW coal capacity is estimated to be added to meet the growing power demand in the country.  We estimate that India’s electricity consumption per capita will increase by 2.8 times between 2016 and 2040. But even in 2040, India’s number will be less than one-fifth of per capita consumption in the US and one third of China,” said Sethia.Various state governments have recently cancelled thermal power projects to the tune of 13 GW. At the same time, 28 GW of thermal power projects are up for distress sale and another 60 GW are feared to be stressed as the power demand remains weak.

Various state governments have recently cancelled thermal power projects to the tune of 13 GW. At the same time, 28 GW of thermal power projects are up for distress sale and another 60 GW are feared to be stressed as the power demand remains weak.

The peak coal in Asia is yet to come with BNEF predicting it to come around 2024. By the mid-2020s, cheap wind and PV begin to undercut new coal on a levelised basis throughout the region, trimming average installations to just 9GW a year. Coal, however, remains the bedrock of the region’s power supply, providing 34 per cent of electricity in 2040 – a larger share than any other fuel,” the report said.

The BNEF report has cited that China and India present a $4 trillion opportunity in the energy market. “These countries account for 28 per cent and 15 per cent of all investment in power generation to 2040. Asia Pacific sees almost as much investment as the rest of the world combined, at $4.8 trillion. Of this, just under a third goes to wind, a third to solar, 18 per cent to nuclear and 10 per cent to coal and gas,” said the New Energy Outlook.

Contrasting India against China, the report said the latter would “go big on renewable”, with wind and solar capacity increasing eight-fold to 2040. Nevertheless, China remains the world’s largest coal consumer and emitter, with that fuel still accounting for 30 per cent of the generation mix in 2040, it said.

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