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India Plans To Expand Coal Power Fleet by 2030 Amid Rising Demand

Union Power Minister RK Singh said that India needs access to cost effective energy storage solutions to meet its growing energy demand through renewable energy

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India is planning to expand its coal power fleet by about a quarter through the end of the decade to meet its growing demand as energy storage still remains costly.

"Expansion will be done by adding around 56 gigawatts of coal power capacity unless there is considerable fall in the cost of storing electricity," said Power and Renewable Energy Minister Raj Kumar Singh in an interview in the capital on Thursday.

India has planned to introduce major investments in renewable energy however, providing well-grounded power to boost economic growth has to be prioritised, he added.

The plan emphasises on how energy security concerns are competing with climate targets as other countries set out their energy transition paths. Europe is witnessing a revival in coal after Russian gas supplies were shut as consequence of Ukraine’s invasion. 

India, which witnessed a surge in power demand this summer due to record rise in temperature is also holding up shutting of older coal plants and shooting up mining output.

Singh said, “My bottom line is I will not compromise with my growth.” 

Further he added that to meet any shortfalls in domestic supply, India will not hesitate to import coal. “Power needs to remain available,” the Minister said.

As announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, the ministry is working hard to achieve 500 gigawatts of clean power capacity by 2030 as the country looks forward to reach net zero by 2070, said Singh.

In total, India is planning to almost double its power generation capacity from all sources to 820 gigawatts by 2030, he added.

India need access to cost effective energy storage solutions for round the clock clean power, Singh said. He further added that the ministry will progressively look for investments combining wind and solar power with storage.

Blaming the developed world for not investing much in storage technology and other decarbonisation solutions he said that China controlling majority of the world’s lithium supplies is a serious concern.

Mentioning China’s hold over the critical battery metal, Singh said “It worries us.”

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coal production power and energy ministry of power