India to Add 28 GW of Coal-Fired Power Capacity by 2032

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India to Add 28 GW of Coal-Fired Power Capacity by 2032

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The Indian government revealed in the draft National Electricity Plan that the country will need another 28 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power capacity by FY32 in addition to the 25 GW already under construction, as reported by Economic Times on September 12. The need for additional coal-based capacity arises from an increase in anticipated power demand in India. The draft document estimated that India’s peak electricity demand and electrical energy requirement would hit 272 GW in FY27 and 363 GW in FY32, which are higher than the previous estimation of 256 GW for FY27 and 320 GW for FY32 by the government three years ago.

The National Electricity Plan overturned the opinions of a 2021 internal study by India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA), which suggested that the country is unlikely to build new coal-based capacities over the next decade, and energy storage projects would be the new pillar of power supply. The policy change came after a historic heat wave swept through India and caused nationwide power crunches this March. In response, India’s environmental ministry in May gave coal mines permission to increase production by up to 50% without seeking new permits. Meanwhile, boosting base load capacity, even with coal power, is deemed an inevitable choice to support India’s goal of ramping up renewable energy installation, given the intermittency of renewable power generation. In August, India vowed in its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to achieve 50% cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.