Coal may account for half of Indiaâ€™s power generation in 2030 despite a boom in solar and wind energy projects, according to analysis by the countryâ€™s power-planning body.
The nationâ€™s Central Electricity Authority, highlights that the nation has a large existing fleet of coal plants and that thereâ€™s a mismatch between peak periods of demand and output from renewables. That will leave a big role for the most-polluting fuel in the nationâ€™s future electricity mix.
The CEAâ€™s analysis shows that India may be able to exceed one of its 2015 Paris Agreement commitments - reaching 40% of installed capacity from non-fossil fuel sources. But the report also sees annual carbon emissions from the power sector rising about 12% from levels expected in 2022 to 1.154 billion tons. The report didnâ€™t include an assessment of what that means for another key India goal - cutting emissions intensity of gross domestic product by as much as 35% from 2005 levels.
The report, which is an attempt to model the lowest-cost capacity mix to meet expected future demand, identifies the intermittent nature of renewables as a limiting factor for its use and advocates adopting grid-scale battery storage.
Non-fossil fuel power sources, led by solar and wind, are seen generating 48% of gross generation, more than double what it was at the end of last year, while accounting for 65% of installed capacity, according to the report.India had 80 gigawatts of renewable capacity at the end of May and has set a goal to install 175 gigawatts by 2022.
â€œThe recent cost trends of renewable energy generation sources have given them the footing to compete with conventional sources of electricity generation,â€ according to the report.
India is projected to overtake the U.S. as the worldâ€™s second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide from the power sector before 2030, as the nationâ€™s electricity demand skyrockets, the International Energy Agency said in its World Energy Outlook last year.
While coalâ€™s share in capacity is likely to drop to one-third, it will account for 50% of electricity generated. It was about 72% of generation at the end of March, according to separate CEA data.
Referred from economic times