OPINION PIECE

Need to double thermal capacity to maintain base load energy requirement, says Ex-AEC chairman

At a time when most coal-fired power plants are under stress and the focus is on boosting renewable power, former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Anil Kakodkar on Tuesday said there is a need to double thermal capacity to maintain baseload energy requirement.

Along with thermal, there is a need to increase the nuclear energy capacity by 30-folds for energy security, Kakodkar said in an online lecture organised by Nehru Science Centre to commemorate the anniversary of the 1998 Pokhran Atomic Test and the National Technology Day.

“While we have to take initiatives towards decarbonisation, at the same time to meet the demand for electricity, we will have to have nearly 50 per cent of electricity through renewable resources and 50 per cent through baseload plants like thermal, nuclear and hydro projects,” he said.

A baseload power plant is a power station that usually provides a continuous supply of electricity throughout the year with some minimum power generation requirement.

Kakodkar further said that out of the nearly 230 GW of coal plants, some have to be taken off-grid as they have crossed their life-span and therefore there is a need to double the capacity of coal-fired plants.

Nearly 45 GW of coal-fired plants are currently under stress, with more than one lakh crore of debt stuck in these plants.

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