Maharashtra can save up to Rs 16,000 crore in the next five years by shutting down old coal-fired power plants, along with other measures, an environmental advocacy group said on Thursday. The savings can go up to Rs 75,000 crore over a decade if the state follows a set of recommendations, the report by Climate Risk Horizons said pushing for more reliance on renewable sources of power and calling them cheaper as well.
The report said that over 4,000 megawatts (MW) of coal plant capacity owned by the Maharashtra State Power Generation Company can be retired by 2022.
It added that older coal plants are less efficient and more polluting, and will need to meet the 2015 air and water emission norms notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change by 2024 at the latest.
Instead of retrofitting, retiring Bhusawal Unit 3, Chandrapur Units 3-7, Khaparkheda Units 1-4, Koradi Unit 6 and 7, Nashik Units 3-5 will save about Rs 2,000 crore in avoided costs, its lead analyst Ashish Fernandes said.
He added that replacing the scheduled generation from these old units with cheaper renewable electricity will save another Rs 1,600 crore annually.
“The power surplus situation in the state and country, as well as the advent of cheaper renewable energy, allows the state government a significant room to retire these end-of-life assets and generate savings which will benefit the discom and consumers,” he added.