The proposed new coal-based power plants totalling 27 GW could “jeopardise” India’s target of 450GW renewable energy by 2030, says a report by Ember and Climate Risk Horizons. As per the report, 27 GW of pre-permit and permitted new coal power plant proposals in India are now “superfluous to its electricity requirements”.
“These coal project proposals could jeopardise the achievement of India’s widely-praised RE target of 450 GW by 2030,” it said.
It said these surplus “zombie” plants – assets that would be neither dead nor alive – would require Rs 247,421 crore (USD 33 billion) of investment, and yet are projected to lie idle or operate at uneconomic capacity factors due to surplus generation capacity in the system.
“As India recovers from the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, how the country uses scarce public resources will be absolutely crucial. By avoiding these unnecessary ‘zombie’ coal plants, India can not only save lakhs of crores of rupees, but also lower power costs and reiterate its commitment to the success of its clean energy transition goals,” Aditya Lolla, Ember’s senior analyst, said.
The analysis by energy experts at Ember and Climate Risk Horizons demonstrates that India doesn’t require new coal capacity beyond the 33 GW of new coal plants already being built, to meet demand growth by FY2030.