New Delhi: Current installed capacity and the capacity under construction would be able to meet India’s power demand till about 2026 and no new investments are likely to be made in coal-based power generation till that time, said a report released by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) on Monday.
The report also estimates that beyond 2023-24, new power generation capacity could be all renewables, based on cost competitiveness of renewables as well as the ability of the grid to absorb large amounts of renewable energy together with battery-based balancing power.
The report titled, ‘Transitions in the Indian Energy Sector - Macro Level Analysis of Demand and Supply Side Options’ was released by Piyush Goyal, minister for power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines, at a conference organised by TERI. TERI is a Delhi-based think tank working on environment and energy issues.
“Universal access to electricity is one of the primary aims of the government, and meeting demand is a major facet of this initiative. We see India becoming the energy capital of the world. We are looking at several initiatives towards making solar energy price competitive to coal,” said Goyal, while speaking at the conference.
The report also said that between 2014 and 2024, India has a 10-year window and during this if the price of solar and battery reaches the Rs5/unit mark, all new capacity additions would be in renewables.
TERI director general Ajay Mathur, who was present on the occasion, said “the target to achieve the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) commitments presents tremendous opportunity to put India at the forefront of economies transitioning towards low carbon growth”.
“This includes improving electricity access, clean technology development, manufacturing, and job creation. Our report shows that the cost of renewable electricity and its storage is on a steady decline and could stabilise at around Rs5 per KWh. This would enable India to move decisively towards renewables for future generation. What this means is that India has a 10-year window where no new investments are likely to be done in coal, gas, or nuclear energy generation,” Mathur said.
“The decarbonisation of power generation is also an opportunity to move other carbon-based sectors like transport to electricity, thus multiplying the benefits of clean energy generation,” he added.
India has an ambitious target of 175,000 MW of renewable power by 2022 including 100,000 MW of solar power.