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India Coal No More? Country to Stop Building New Coal Plants in 2022

Dec 19, 2016 07:50 AM EST
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India Coal No More? Country to Stop Building New Coal Plants in 2022
India has big plans for its green energy thrust in the next few years with a surprising twist in legislation. The country is set to halt building new coal power plants beginning 2022,
(Photo : Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

India has big plans for its green energy thrust in the next few years with a surprising twist in legislation. The country is set to halt building new coal power plants beginning 2022, given that India has no need for extra coal power stations until at least 2027.

This announcement was included in the latest draft National Electricity Plan. According to the plan, released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for public consultation, there's no room for extra generation capacity beyond the 50GW coal fleet under construction.

This plan covers two five-year periods from 2017 and 2022. The first allows the completion of plants under construction, the other is that the CEA is planning for zero new thermal power generation before 2027.

The report also plans to add 100GW of solar and wind power as they would power more than double India's clean energy capacity.

According to Climate Change News, this puts India on course that far exceeds its pledges to the Paris Agreement. This was affirmed by Siddharth Singh from the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi.

The government initially promised to get 40 percent of its electricity from non-fossil sources (both renewable and nuclear) by 2030, with finance and technology sharing from wealthier countries.

This proposal would mean the non-fossil share would increase to 53 percent as early as 2027, a whopping increase from 31 percent today, without even relying on international aid.

Meanwhile, energy minister Piyush Goyal said last Wednesday that 11 GW of more efficient coal generation would be brought online to replace older, high-polluting plants within the next five years.

This would shut down all plants older than 25 years old that are under state-owned NTPC, which is also the country's largest utility, that operates about a quarter of the coal plants in the country.

According to Climate Change News, Greenpeace also added that there's roughly 178 GW of additional thermal coal power in various stages of planning in India, but there's no room for most of that to progress until at least 2027. 

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