Clean coal capacity is expected to increase by approximately 103 Gigawatts (GW) between 2016 and 2025, as the country seeks to meet its electricity demand.
Coal is India’s primary source of energy for it accounts for more than half of the country’s energy needs. It will remain predominate to the country’s energy mix with the power sector making for the majority of coal consumption.
In 2014, coal was the leading source of power generation with 160 GW, accounting for 59% of installed capacity and this is expected to almost double by 2025, according to GlobalData.
While India’s clean coal installations are in the nascent stages, many recent ultra-mega power projects have adopted supercritical (SC) technology, while future SC and ultra-supercritical installations will drive capacity additions over the forecast period.
India’s increasing population and industrialization, improved standard of living and robust economic growth are all pushing up its demand for electricity, said Sowmyavadhana Srinivasan, GlobalData’s senior analyst covering power.
“Between 2013 and 2014, India experienced a deficit of 4.5% in terms of the electricity supply available to fulfill peak demand.
“The country is not fully electrified and is subject to a large number of power cuts and power reliability uncertainties. In order to resolve this, India urgently requires many new installations, with coal a significant contributor,” he said.
However, the growth in India’s clean coal market could be limited by fluctuations in the international coal market and the domestic government’s increased emphasis on the use of cleaner fuels for power generation.
India has a policy that most mega power plants have to secure coal imports internationally, said Srinivasan, and this means that if there is a shift in the international coal community, it will affect the coal power plants in India, which adds to the risks involved with setting them up.
“Furthermore, under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), India aims to generate 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. As a consequence, alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power, may impact the adoption of clean coal technologies,” he said.
According to the U.S Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2014 the Indians had approximately 5.7 billion barrels of proven oil and 47 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.
Over the years, domestic production has not kept pace with demand, thus the country heavily relies on crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. It is the fourth largest energy consumer in the world after China, the United States and Russia.
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