New Delhi, March 22: In a step towards a cleaner environment, the number of coal-based fired power plants under development has seen a steep decline, especially in India and Chi, a report said on Thursday.
The report, however, warns that despite a global coal phase-out trend in new coal plants, emissions from operatiol plants will still keep the 2015 Paris climate agreement goals at bay.
The landmark Paris climate agreement aims at reducing global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius.
In India, the economic pressure and retreat from coal fincing by private capital are hailed as reasons that about 16 GW of India’s operating coal plants currently lack a power purchase agreement, the report said.
“At 17 sites, the coal plant construction in India is frozen primarily due to a lack of fincing,” said the report “Boom and Bust 2018: Tracking The Global Coal Plant Pipeline”, released on Thursday by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and CoalSwarm.
Currently, India has an installed power capacity of 334.44 GW, of which 214.91 GW is from coal, 62.8 GW from renewable (solar, wind and small hydro), 44 GW from major hydro projects and 25 GW from gas-based power plants. However, the power generation is much less than the installed capacity.
In 2017, India’s peak power demand was 167 GW.
According to the report, as on January 2018, India has about 87.73 GW of coal-fired power plants under planning and about 43.62 GW under construction. Of this, about 82.35 GW has been stalled.
Referring to the report, senior Greenpeace India campaigner Sunil Dahiya advocates the replacement of expensive and polluting coal-fired power plants in India with cheaper renewable energy.
“It’s now widely accepted that the new coal power plants are not fincially competitive with new renewables in India. Our alysis shows that significant cost savings can accrue to the country and cash-strapped discoms through a planned phase-out of the most expensive coal power plants already in operation and their replacement with cheaper renewable energy,” said Dahiya.
In 2017, only seven countries initiated new coal power construction at more than one location, of which India is one.
“From a climate and health perspective, the trend towards a declining coal power fleet is encouraging, but not happening fast enough,” said Ted ce, Director of CoalSwarm. (IANS)