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Despite its push into wind and solar electricity generation, India is set to remain heavily reliant on coal power at least until 2030, Bloomberg has reported, citing the country’s Central Electric Authority.
“Availability of affordable and reliable electricity is a key factor in sustainable growth of the country,” the chairman of the agency said in a report that forecasts coal generation will account for some 54% of India’s total electricity output in 2030. Currently, coal accounts for three-quarters of the total generation
This means that India would need to build a lot of new coal generation capacity—to the tune of 46 GW of new power plants.
Yet plans for wind and solar are also ambitious. The Central Electric Authority forecasts these would increase threefold to over 500 GW by 2030 and come to account for some 64% of India’s generation capacity.
Meanwhile, there are already close to 27 GW in new coal generation capacity under construction, and another 19.1 GW need to be built on top of that for India to cover its energy needs, according to the report.
This, in turn, means that India’s carbon dioxide emissions will continue rising at least until 2030, adding 11% by the end of the current decade.
On the international stage, India, together with China, is pushing for more individual flexibility among countries in their approach to the energy transition, including through the continued use of coal.
According to a Reuters report citing Indian government officials, New Delhi is set to introduce the idea of “multiple energy pathways” at the next G20 meeting as a means of enabling countries to choose their own way of getting to net zero. The idea is conceived of as a replacement for a focus on deadlines, which is the currently dominant approach.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.