On 22 November 2023, the Union power ministry announced its projection for the country’s power capacity needs. As per the estimate by the end of the financial year 2032, India would require a coal and lignite-based installed capacity of 283 gigawatts (GW), up from the current capacity of 214 GW. This information was shared by Union Power Minister RK Singh during a discussion with industry stakeholders, including officials from various government bodies like the Ministry, state governments, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), NTPC, REC, PFC, and BHEL.

The primary focus of the discussion was the government’s target to add 80 GW of coal-based power generation capacity. India’s power demand had already reached 241 GW earlier in the year, surpassing the existing capacity of 214 GW. To meet this growing energy demand, the minister emphasized that renewable energy sources alone wouldn’t suffice. Since expanding nuclear capacity is not feasible at a rapid pace, the government intends to augment its coal-based thermal capacity.

The minister assured that the government would initiate work on at least 55-60 GW of thermal capacity, with plans to expand the pipeline further as demand continues to rise. The ultimate goal is to add approximately 80 GW of thermal power capacity by the end of the financial year 2032.

Furthermore, the minister urged states to maintain and operate their existing power capacities. States with thermal capacity were instructed to ensure its availability and to carry out any necessary renovations, modernization, or life extension work for thermal power plants in a timely manner.

As of November 2023, according to data from Projects Today, there were approximately 73 coal-based power projects at various stages of implementation. These projects, when completed, would add around 65,000 megawatts (MW) of power generation capacity. Additionally, there were 210 coal-fired power projects in the initial planning stages, with a combined capacity of 215 GW.

Photo source: unsplash.com

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