India aims to cut power output from 81 coal plants
NEW DELHI: India plans to reduce power generation from 81 thermal coal-fired plants over the next four years, as part of its efforts to switch to clean energy sources and cut carbon emissions, according to a letter seen by S&P Global Commodity Insights. The letter, dated May 26, and sent to energy departments of the state and Central government, noted that according to current regulations, thermal power plants need to operate at a minimum of 55 per cent but reduction of generation from such plants is possible to a minimum of 40 per cent.
The Union power ministry has selected those power plants that charge higher tariffs to reduce the price of power delivered to the consumer, S&P Global Commodity Insights said. With this, there would be a reduction in power generation by 58 billion kwh from the 81 utilities, the letter said, adding it will save 34.7 million tonnes of coal and cut carbon emissions by 60.2 million tonnes.
Moreover, an equivalent of around 30,000 MW of renewable energy will be required for this transition. That said, it would help India inch closer to its goal of achieving 500 GW of non-fossil fuel-based power by 2030.
Analysts have, however, called this target ambitious and believe that India will have to take much bolder steps to meet its clean energy goals. Moreover, S&P Global in early June reported that for the first time since 2015, state-owned coal producer Coal India will procure coal on behalf of power stations operated by the Central and state governments. India imported 17.4 million tonne thermal coal in January and February, according to S&P Global data. The country imported 161.4 million tonne in 2021, lower than 172.8 million tonnes in 2020, it said.