India’s power demand to grow exponentially, met largely by coal, in the coming decade, and by renewables thereafter
- Oct 26, 2021 9:16 am GMT
India's power demand is expected to increase by 8 – 8.5 % over last fiscal (FY 2020 – 21) supported by (a) lower consumption base last year, (b) marked improvement in economic activity, and (c) below average monsoons in key agri states leading to higher demand from the agriculture segment during the cultivating season of June – Aug 2021.
As of 20210, the country’s power sector is still heavily dependent on coal, with 72 thermal power plants providing nearly 70% of India’s power demand – nearly 1200 Terawatt hour (TWh) of the total consumption of nearly 1600 TWh produced in the country
Wind and Solar currently provide just 16% and 8% respectively of the total demand. However this is slated to change in the coming years as the country ramps up its efforts to increase renewable generation capacity - 𝘎𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘢 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘤. 100 𝘎𝘞 𝘵𝘰 450 𝘎𝘞 𝘣𝘺 2030.
As per the recently released, World Energy Outlook 2021, IEA forecasts that’s India's power demand is slated to nearly treble to 5000 TWh by 2050, let primarily by renewable sources of energy.
Based on IEA’s conservative case (STEPS: Stated Policy Scenario), where future trends are plotted on the basis of ‘current’ policy statements and declarations made by concerned Government and their respective regulatory and/ or stator governing bodies, wind and solar are expected to provide more than 60% of India's total electricity needs by 2050 (see chart)
𝐖𝐢𝐧𝐝: from a modest base of 68 TWh of supply in 2020, wind generation will more than three fold jump to 200 TWh by 2030, and see another massive increase to 916 TWh by 2050.
𝐒𝐨𝐥𝐚𝐫 𝐏𝐕: based on current government policies and the surge in solar power investments across the country, solar generation is expected to grow a massive 32 times from its currently base of 65 TWh in 2020, to nearly 2100 TWh of supply by 2050. Thus making solar the dominant electricity supply source with a nearly 42% share in the country’s power mix
𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐥: coal is likely to remain a key player as the country slowly transitions to cleaner forms of energy, whilst maintaining a balance to supply its energy hungry and growing populace.
In the short term (till 2030), thermal power is expected to still supply 55% of India's electricity needs but this is seen to fall drastically by 2050 when thermal power would generate just 950 TWh of the total 5000 TWh consumed in the country.
However, at 19% coal will still remain an important power generating source – above wind (18%) and natural gas (3%). It seems it is hard for India to kick its coal addition!
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