The World Coal Association (WCA) has said that there is an increase in India’s energy needs and, coal is expected to remain the most cost- effective option to meet the growing electricity demand in the country.
A report said that the government has suggested for the 13th five-year plan which will call for the development of 100% supercritical coal plants, and cost difference which could impact developer’s choices.
“There is as much as 40% price difference between the capital costs of an ultra-supercritical and a subcritical coal plant. Analysis show that if all coal plants built from 2020 onwards were ultra-supercritical, total capital expenditure would reach $500 billion by 2040, compared to around $387 billion if all coal plant built from 2020 onwards were subcritical,” it said.
The report focuses on the challenges of meeting India’s growing energy needs, future energy demand, CO2 abatement costs and the role that can be played by high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal technologies.
It said a $1 billion expenditure in ultra-supercritical coal in India could abate more CO2 than the same expenditure in European renewable. Coal is expected to remain the most cost-effective way to abate CO2 in India, accounting for declines in the capital cost of renewables and increased gas availability, it added.
WCA chief executive Benjamin Sporton said: “India has 300 million people who don t have access to electricity. As with many developing economies, India needs all sources of energy available to meet its growing energy needs using the best possible technology.
“With the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicting that coal will continue to make the largest contribution to electricity generation in India through to 2040 it is essential that we promote the best available technologies to ensure coal is used as cleanly as possible.” India is currently the world s third largest energy consumer; this position will be consolidated over coming years driven by economic development, urbanisation, improved electricity access and an expanding manufacturing base, it said.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast that by 2040 India s energy consumption will be more than OECD Europe combined, and rapidly approaching that of the United States.
WCA analysis shows that replacing subcritical capacity currently in the development pipeline with supercritical or ultra-supercritical technology would translate into significant reductions in CO2 emissions for India over the life of the power plants.