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Tata Power 'leading India's flight from coal to renewables'

Private sector giant to stop adding new coal plants and look to renewables for 70% of new additions, says IEEFA

India’s shift from coal is “moving faster than anyone had predicted” led by sector giant Tata Power’s planned charge to renewables, according to a new report.

Tata Power – India’s largest privately-held electricity business – has indicated it will cease building new coal-fired generation capacity and instead look to solar, wind and hydropower for 70% of capacity additions through to 2025, said the study from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

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The research organisation said Tata Power’s plan – which would see it hit 11.3GW of non-fossil capacity by 2025 – “represents a significant departure from the accepted wisdom of just a few years ago that a major expansion of coal-fired power would be required to serve India’s growing electricity demand”.

Tim Buckley, IEEFA’s director of energy finance studies and co-author of the report, said: “The shift away from new coal-fired power is moving faster than anyone had predicted.

“The current Indian fiscal year has seen net coal-fired power additions come close to ceasing altogether.”

According to the IEEFA, Tata’s Mundra coal-fired facility – one of the biggest power plants in India – is “recording consistent, significant losses that are dragging down the company’s overall financial performance”, whereas the company’s renewables operations were profitable last year.

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