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An NTPC plant in Dadri. The firm plans to become a 130-GW power producer by 2032. (Mint)
An NTPC plant in Dadri. The firm plans to become a 130-GW power producer by 2032. (Mint)

NTPC pivots from thermal to green

India’s largest power generation utility is running one of the biggest global fleet of coal power projects, plans a 1 trillion capex during 2019-2024

New Delhi: State-run NTPC Ltd will not set up greenfield coal-fuelled power projects as part of its pivot towards green energy, said the company’s chairman and managing director, Gurdeep Singh.

NTPC, India’s largest power generation utility which runs one of the biggest coal power project fleets in the world, plans to make total capital expenditure of 1 trillion between 2019 and 2024 to become a 130-gigawatts (GW) power producer by 2032.

“Your company has changed its focus and is pursuing renewable capacity addition aggressively. We have taken the decision not to acquire any further land for greenfield thermal projects in the near future and the focus will be on reducing the carbon footprint," Singh said at the 44th annual general meeting of the public sector unit.

“This, however, does not mean that we won’t be setting up any coal-based capacity. We have projects across the country where we can do brownfield expansion," said a company executive, requesting anonymity.

NTPC has around 4GW of renewable capacity, mostly solar, and plans to add at least 5GW solar capacity in two years. It will acquire at least 1GW of operational solar projects as part of its strategy to have a 32GW clean energy portfolio. “By 2032, we aim to add 32GW of renewables, both by organic and inorganic route, and aim to become the largest renewable energy company in India," Singh said.

India has been trying to rejig its energy mix in favour of green energy sources and has become one of the top renewable energy producers globally, with a plan to achieve 175GW by 2022 and 500GW by 2030 as part of its climate commitments.

“Discussions are in progress with the state governments of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh for allocation of land parcels for setting up of renewable projects. These would be developed under the Ultra Mega Renewable Energy Power Parks (UMREPP) scheme of the government of India," Singh said.

Mint reported on 11 September 2019 about the Centre’s strategy to leverage state-run companies to build massive clean energy parks at a cost of $2 billion each, with built-in incentives to ensure states and operators are invested in the success of the parks.

The proposed UMREPP of 2GW each will help developers achieve economies of scale and further bring down solar and wind power tariffs. These green energy parks are to be set up under the existing Solar Park scheme, which provides the building blocks, land and grid connectivity.

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