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Driving India’s energy security and decarbonisation

  • Published
    23rd Jan, 2024

Context

In the coming Decade India has to make its power sector cleaner while also making sure the country grows economically and stays secure in terms of energy.

Transitioning India's Power Sector

  • Global Commitment at COP-28: India's growth as the fastest-growing economy hinges on COP-28's decision to phase down unabated coal. The critical decade emphasizes India's decarbonization challenge amid economic development and energy security priorities.
  • India's Climate Action: India, the seventh most-vulnerable country, takes climate action—76% reduction in fossil fuel subsidies, tripling renewable capacity by 2030. Despite ambitions, coal sustains over 100 GW power load.
  • Strategic Steps for Sustainable Growth: Managing thermal plant outages, forecasting demand, and regulating plant availability can meet demand without heavy investments in new coal assets. Enhancing existing coal plants' flexibility allows smoother integration of renewable energy, reducing minimum power load and improving ramp rate capabilities.

Enhancing Flexibility and Storage Services

  • Better Management of Peak Demand: Improved thermal plant availability and utilization during peak demand mitigate the need for new thermal assets. Regulations should encourage plant availability during peaks, allowing idle plants to participate in the market.
  • Flexibility of Existing Coal Fleet: Central Electricity Authority proposes retrofitting 92% of coal capacity for grid emissions reduction and efficient renewable energy integration. Flexible services, adequately compensated—regulatory mechanisms devised for retrofitting costs and operational adjustments.
  • Compensation for Storage Services: Standalone battery energy storage systems must be compensated for supporting the grid during renewable energy downtime.

Indigenization and Domestic Value Addition

  • Economic Contributions of Coal Economy: Coal economy vital for domestic value addition, job creation, and supporting India's 'atmanirbhar' goals. Coal production contributes significantly to revenue—INR 1.5 lakh crore vs. INR 7,000 crore from solar module manufacturing.
  • Indigenization in Clean Energy: PLI scheme commitment of INR 19,000 crore to solar manufacturing boosts indigenization efforts.
  • Addressing Supply Chain and R&D: Focusing on indigenization addresses global supply chain disruptions and enhances job creation in the clean energy sector.Prioritizing research and development in battery technology essential for advancing renewable energy deployment.
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