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).
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.