The energy landscape in India is changing so rapidly and swiftly that even the researchers in this sector are having a hard time keeping up with all the changes.
The country’s coal sector prospects drop continuously along with the prices of renewable energy, which are falling. Whenever some sort of research paper has to be released, something or the other happens that changes the scenario completely.
For instance, in July, 2016, a non-profit organization named CoalSwarm conducted a survey in which the organization surveyed proposed coal plants in India and they found that about 370 of them are in pipeline and that would amount to a power of about 243 Gigawatt capacity.
This survey was released a year after the projection of International Energy Agency that India is going to be responsible for about half of the capacity of coal-fired power added on a global stand until the year 2040. Based on this survey, a research paper was released recently in the American Union of Geophysics journal Earth’s Future stating that India won’t be able to meet their commitments that were made under the agreement in Paris if all the coal plants were built.
But during the time this survey was conducted and by the time the paper was written, the government of India concluded that they won’t be requiring any new coal-powered plants for at least 10 years. The planned coal capacity of about 50 Gigawatts has been either left inactive or shelved and instead of that a renewable energy share of 275 Gigawatts has been targeted by the country for 2027.
Christine Shearer, a senior researcher at CoalSwarm said regarding the study that when they worked on this in June, she thought that these new coal plants would lock out all the renewable energies. But as they are now getting so cheap and they are increasing currently, she has changed her thinking. She now thinks that they won’t end up being stranded. She feels that it is really amazing how things change so quickly.
About 4.5 percent of global gas emissions of greenhouse gases are emitted by India. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, as part of the agreement in Paris, vowed that by the year 2030, about 40% of the electricity of the country would be generated by sources of non-fossil background. This goal includes a renewable energy capacity of 175 Gigawatt by the year 2022.
CoalSwarm researchers, in their research paper, noted that the climate goals of India, which include the reduction of all the emissions by about 35% of the levels that were noted in 2005 by the end of this decade, are going to be far from reality if the coal power projects are completed. They also said that many of the plants, which were proposed, are unnecessary and not required.