Increasing demand in India is driving growth in the country’s coal-fired power production. Matthew Chye and Carman Chew report for Reuters:
India’s power generation grew at the fastest pace in over three decades in the just-ended fiscal year, a Reuters analysis of government data showed, fuelling a sharp surge in emissions as output from both coal-fired and renewable plants hit records.
Intense summer heatwaves, a colder-than-usual winter in northern India and an economic recovery led to a jump in electricity demand, forcing India to crank up output from coal plants and solar farms as it scrambled to avoid power cuts.
Power generation rose 11.5% to 1,591.11 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), or units, in the fiscal year ended March 2023, an analysis of daily load data from regulator Grid-India showed, the sharpest increase since year ended March 1990.
Output from plants running on fossil fuels rose 11.2%, the quickest growth in over three decades, thanks to a 12.4% surge in electricity production from coal, the analysis showed, offsetting a 28.7% decline in generation from cleaner gas-fired plants as a global spike in LNG prices deterred usage.
In the new fiscal year that began April 1, Indian power plants are expected to burn about 8% more coal.
The rapid acceleration in India’s coal-fired output to address a spike in power demand underscores challenges faced by the world’s third largest greenhouse gas-emitter in weaning its economy off carbon, as it attempts to ensure energy security to around 1.4 billion Indians.
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