India seeks to cut reliance on coal power generation

  • Market: Coal
  • 07/10/20

India aims to sharply lower its dependence on coal in its electricity generation mix, as part of a broader plan to raise power output from cleaner sources and cut emissions.

Non-fossil fuel sources will account for as much as 60pc of our generation capacity by 2030, power minister Raj Kumar Singh said yesterday. Non-thermal sources, such as nuclear, hydropower and renewables, currently make up 38.5pc of installed capacity, he said.

Delhi made an international commitment five years ago that as much as 40pc of its overall generation capacity would be based on cleaner energy sources by 2030, a goal which the country is set to achieve as early as this year. This would give policymakers more bandwidth to keep a lid on the growth of the coal-fired fleet in the country.

The growth in India's renewable energy capacity is expected to outpace the expansion of its coal-power stations in the coming decade, in line with plans to cut its dependence on the thermal fuel. The government intends to add capacity from renewable energy sources, especially solar. Even state-controlled utility NTPC has laid out ambitious plans for growth of its green energy portfolio.

The country aims to raise its renewable energy capacity to 450GW by 2030, the minister said. This is higher than the 435GW estimated earlier this year by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), which is part of India's power ministry. India is already working in the shorter term to expand its total renewable energy capacity to 175GW by 2022. It currently stands at around 89GW, accounting for 24pc of installed capacity. This compares with 205.95GW of coal-based capacity, which is around 55pc of the country's current generation capability.

The push for renewables also includes setting up local manufacturing lines for solar panels, modules and other equipment. The government will support the local manufacturing industry by providing incentives, Singh said. Companies setting up hubs for local manufacturing of advanced technology would be given additional benefits. At the same time, imports of renewable energy equipment would be discouraged through tax and other administrative measures.

The growth in renewable energy will be supported by a steady rise in the country's power demand, the minister said. This would also support the growth of the domestic manufacturing industry.

Retiring coal-based plants will be replaced by renewable energy capacity. The CEA has identified 34 coal-based power stations with a combined capacity of 5.14GW that can be retired, according to its latest assessment. The minister said about 29 plants would be retired.

A total of 164 coal-based units with a combined capacity of 14.12GW have been made redundant in the last 18 years, Singh told parliament last month.

Electricity generation

The plans come as coal continues to be a vital part of India's electricity mix, accounting for about 75pc of actual generation. The country's total generation, including coal-fired output, rose from a year ago after declining for six straight months.

India's coal-fired generation rose by 6.82TWh from a year earlier to 78.91TWh in September, according to provisional data from the CEA.

The rise was supported by a gradual recovery in industrial activity that had been hamstrung by the country's Covid-19 lockdown, which was partially lifted in June. The last month's year-on-year increase in generation was also partly attributed to the low base of comparison with September 2019, when heavy rainfall lifted hydropower generation.


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Banks’ 2023 fossil fuel funding rises to $705bn: Study

Banks’ 2023 fossil fuel funding rises to $705bn: Study

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India’s NTPC tests 20pc torrefied biomass co-firing


13/05/24
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13/05/24

India’s NTPC tests 20pc torrefied biomass co-firing

Singapore, 13 May (Argus) — India's state-owned generator NTPC has demonstrated 20pc torrefied biomass-coal co-firing at a 110MW unit at its Tanda power plant in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The test was part of NTPC's efforts to expand biomass co-firing across its coal-fired fleet as it aims to lower emissions. Each percentage point of biomass co-firing has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by approximately the same percentage, while also helping in mitigating air pollution caused by direct burning of agricultural waste in farmlands, NTPC said. The generator currently conducts 7-10pc non-torrefied biomass co-firing at NTPC's Dadri power plant, near Delhi. Torrefied biomass was found suitable for higher co-firing percentages without significant system modifications, NTPC said. The torrefied biomass was produced by heating biomass in the absence of oxygen to exhibit characteristics akin to high-quality coal. The gross calorific value and cost of torrefied biomass pellets were currently equivalent to imported coal, it added. Costs could be reduced with the maturity of technology and market in the long run, NTPC said. India's push to cut coal reliance NTPC's efforts are part of India's broader goal of cutting emissions as the country aims to trim reliance on coal in the coming years and attain net zero by 2070. Delhi had initially asked Indian utilities to adopt co-firing of at least 5pc biomass pellets by October 2022. But only a fraction of utilities followed the directives, which eventually prompted the federal power ministry to review the biomass co-firing policy. The ministry amended the policy in June last year and delayed the start date of co-firing, asking all coal-based thermal power plants with bowl mills to use a minimum 5pc blend of biomass pellets made primarily from agricultural residue, with effect from the start of India's 2024-25 fiscal year on 1 April. The threshold would increase to 7pc from the start of 2025-26, the ministry said. Plants with ball and race mills should co-fire the same percentages of torrefied biomass pellets made from agricultural residue during the same time frame, it said. India has surplus biomass supplies of about 230mn t/yr, largely from agricultural residue, the power ministry previously said. NTPC tenders NTPC has awarded biomass supply contracts totalling about 5.2mn t for 20 power plants operated by NTPC, and a joint venture plant. Out of which, it has so far co-fired 316,657t of biomass pellets at 13 NTPC power plants and at the joint venture plant. The generator is setting up biomass pellet plants at various locations to ensure a steady supply of pellets for co-firing. It has set up a 22 t/d non torrefied pellet plant at Lehra Mohabbat, Bhatinda in Punjab state. It is building a 100 t/d torrefied and 100 t/d non-torrefied pellet plant at joint ventureAravali Power's Jhajjar plant. It is also building a 50 t/d non-torrefied pellet plant at the Dadri plant. By Saurabh Chaturvedi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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13/05/24
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Japan’s J-Power steps up coal-fired power phase-out


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10/05/24

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New Zealand’s Genesis Energy to resume coal imports


08/05/24
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08/05/24

New Zealand’s Genesis Energy to resume coal imports

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