India may need up to 28GW of additional coal-based power generation capacity by 2032: CEA

“It is seen that apart from under construction coal-based capacity of 25GW, the additional coal-based capacity required till 2031-32 may vary from 17 GW to around 28 GW,” CEA said in a draft national electricity plan

September 12, 2022 05:19 pm | Updated September 13, 2022 11:21 am IST - New Delhi

Smoke rises from the stacks of a coal-burning thermal power plant in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh. File

Smoke rises from the stacks of a coal-burning thermal power plant in Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh. File | Photo Credit: Getty Images

India may need additional up to 28GW of coal-fired power generation capacity by 2032 apart from the 25GW thermal projects that are under construction, said a report by advisory body Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

“It is seen that apart from under construction coal-based capacity of 25GW, the additional coal-based capacity required till 2031-32 may vary from 17 GW to around 28 GW,” CEA said in a draft national electricity plan.

The CEA has put up the ‘Draft National Electricity Plan (Vol-I Generation)‘ for feedback of stakeholders on September 8, 2022.

As per the Electricity Act, 2003, CEA has to prepare the National Electricity Plan once in five years. The Act stipulates that CEA, while preparing the National Electricity Plan (NEP), shall publish the draft and invite suggestions and objections thereon from licensees, generating companies and the public. The inputs on the draft can be given latest by December 5, 2022.

It is also seen that the BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) requirement in 2031-32 is varying from 51GW to 84GW, stated the document.

It also said that in the event of delay in achievement of hydro-based plants, which are in concurred/under construction stage, there is additional requirement of coal of around 4 GW in capacity mix in 2026-27.

In the event of non-availability of the base load nuclear capacity, the (study) model opts for cheaper coal candidates available to provide base load support, it explained.

When the peak demand and energy requirement increases, both the coal-based capacity and storage requirement — PSS (Pumped Storage Schemes) and BESS — increases along with marginal increase in hydro-based capacity, it found.

The projected all-India peak electricity demand and electrical energy requirement is 272 GW and 1,874 BU (billion units) for the year 2026-27 and 363 GW and 2,538 BU for the year 2031-32 respectively, as per the preliminary estimates of demand projections, it stated.

The average PLF (Plant Load Factor) or capacity utilisation of the total installed coal capacity of 239.3 GW was found to be about 55% in 2026-27. The average PLF of the total installed coal capacity of 248.9 GW was found to be about 62% in 2031-32.

The capacity addition of 2,28,541 MW comprising of 40,632 MW of conventional capacity addition (coal-33,262 MW, nuclear-7,000 MW, gas-370 MW) and 1,87,909 MW of renewable-based capacity addition (large hydro-10,951 MW, solar-1,32,080, wind-40,500 MW, biomass-2,318 MW, PSP-2,060 MW) is required during 2022-27 to meet the peak electricity demand and energy requirement for the year 2026-27, it stated.

Based on generation planning studies carried out for the period of 2022-27, the likely installed capacity for the year 2026-27 is 6,22,899 MW, comprising of 2,78,382 MW of conventional capacity addition (coal-2,39,333 MW, gas–25,269 MW, nuclear-13,780 MW) and 3,44,517 MW of renewable-based capacity addition (large hydro-52,929 MW, solar-1,86,076 MW, wind-80,858 MW, small hydro-4,848 MW, biomass-13,000 MW, PSP-6,806 MW), it stated.

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