Govt has no plans to phase out old coal-based power plants: RK Singh


New Delhi: The government has not formulated any plan to phase out old coal-based thermal power plants in the country, power and new and renewable energy minister R K Singh said.

He added that the Central Electricity Authority had in January 2023 suggested no retirement or re-purposing of coal-based power stations will be done before 2030, considering the expected energy demand scenario and availability of capacity in future.

In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, the minister said, “Thermal Power Plants were also advised implementation of Renovations & Modernisation (R&M) and Life Extension (LE) of their units for running up to 2030 and beyond or operating in two shift mode to facilitate Solar and Wind energy integration into the grid, wherever feasible.”

Power generation is a delicensed activity as per Section 7 of the Electricity Act, 2003 and phasing out/retirement of units is decided by power generating companies based on their own techno-economic and environmental reasons.

The minister further informed that in order to achieve higher efficiencies and to reduce carbon footprint, a large number of thermal power plants operating in the country have already adopted super-critical/ultra super-critical technologies.

As on date, 94 coal-based thermal units of total capacity of 65,150 MW are operating with super-critical/ultra super-critical technologies.

In a written reply to another question in Rajya Sabha on 8 August, the minister said electricity generated from coal-based power plants saw a substantial growth of 10% between 2021-22 and 2022-23.

He said in the financial year 2021-22, the total electricity generation from coal-based plants amounted to 1,041 billion units. Subsequently, in the following financial year 2022-23, the generation surged to 1,145 billion units.

Singh outlined the strategic actions taken by the government to curb reliance on coal-based power sources and to promote the integration of renewable energy:

The power ministry has introduced renewable purchase obligations (RPO) and energy storage obligation (ESO) orders, outlining a trajectory for renewable obligations and energy storage targets until 2029-30.Electricity generated from coal-based power plants saw a substantial growth of 10% between 2021-22 and 2022-23

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Updated: 10 Aug 2023, 05:38 PM IST

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