One of the lubricants that facilitates the engine of economic growth and prosperity is the capacity to generate power through both non-renewable and renewable means.
Thus, in a heartening development, India is all set to surpass Japan as the country with the second largest power capacity in Asia, according to BMI Research, a London-based consultancy firm. In fact, India is likely to even overtake the US, which is the second largest producer in the world, by 2020.
Driven by a rapid acceleration in coal generation, the recent study by BMI Research states India will possess a power capacity of a whopping 363.32 gigawatts in 2018.
In its story assessing the BMI Research results, Bloomberg reports that India’s capacity will increase by another 69 percent “through 2027 and coal will remain the mainstay, making up about 75 percent of the mix”.
Nearly 85% of electricity in India, is generated via coal right now with an installed capacity of 300 GW. However, experts contend that this is likely to change rapidly because the price of solar and wind energy are dropping precipitously. In fact, solar energy is now cheaper than coal.
“India’s power sector will remain dominated by coal over the coming decade despite significant growth in cleaner sources—notably nuclear, non-hydro renewables and natural gas,” an analysis by BMI research said last year, according to the Financial Express.
In the draft National Electricity Plan released by the Centre in December 2016, non-fossil fuel-based energy sources will make up a shade over 56% of India’s installed power capacity by 2027.
“Between April 2017 and March 2018, the country added around 11,788 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy capacity. That’s more than double of the 5,400 MW of capacity addition in the thermal and hydro power sectors during the same period,” says this recent Quartz report.
If India does manage to fulfil its objectives of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 (as per its commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate agreement), the country will have no or little requirement to burnish its own coal-driven power capacity.
“Despite the prevalence of coal-fired power generation, we expect significant growth in the alternative, cleaner power sources over the next ten years—albeit from a lower base—notably in the natural gas, nuclear and non-hydropower renewables sectors,” notes the BMI research.
“This is in line with government efforts to reduce pollution across the country and international pressure to boost environmental policy,” it added.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)