With Maharashtra’s state budget stretched thin by the Covid-19 pandemic, new analysis suggests that state’s electricity generation sector has the potential to save up to Rs16,000 crore over five years and Rs75,000 crore over the next decade.
This suggestion came up in the latest report ‘Maharashtra’s Energy Transition – A ₹75,000 crore opportunity’ released by research group Climate Risk Horizons. According to it, the state government can save thousands of crores through three measures — the quick retirement of 4,020 megawatt of old coal power plants owned by Mahagenco by 2022, halting on-going construction of the new Bhusawal unit 6 that is surplus to requirements and the longer term replacement of expensive coal power contracts with cheaper renewable energy by 2030.
Analysts tracking air pollution in the state have highlighted that Mahagenco has made little progress on installing flue-gas desulphurizer (FGD) for its older plants, of which several are in the pollution hotspots of Nagpur and Chandrapur.
Stating that the cost of electricity from these units is far more expensive than today’s competitive tariffs for renewable energy, Ashish Fernandes, lead analyst at Climate Risk Horizons and author of the report said