Coal Power Station
At the end of the 12th five year plan, coal based power generation contributed over 134 GW i.e. 56% of India’s capacity and 66% of electricity generation. India’s low per-capita electricity consumption of around 900 kWh (1/3rd of world’s average) and low levels of electricity access (32% of the population without electricity access) demands significant addition in electricity supply. In the last decade, coal based power generation capacity was doubled and substantial capacity addition is planned.
Coal based power generation is discouraged due to increasing fuel prices, import dependence, pressure to reduce carbon emissions, reducing prices of renewable energy etc. Installed capacity grows slowly to a high of 270 GW in 2032, corresponding to the least coal scenario of the Integrated Energy Policy, and will reduce thereafter to 253 GW by 2047. PLF of power plants remains 73% up to 2032 and improves to 74% thereafter.
Level 2 projections are in line with Planning Commission’s projections for next decade with a reduced growth rate thereafter. Installed capacity will grow rapidly to 297 GW in 2027, and then grow slowly to 379 GW in 2047 due to increasing coal prices, increasing import dependence and increasing pressures to reduce emissions. PLF is assumed to improve to 75% for next two decades and to 76% thereafter.
Level 3 assumes a coal LEVEL 1 -fired capacity addition slightly lower than what is assumed for the 8% GDP growth scenario in the interim report of the Expert Group on Low Carbon Strategies for Inclusive Growth. The growth rate of capacity addition is assumed to reduce subsequently. In this scenario, installed capacity will grow to 379 GW by 2032, and then slow down to reach 464 GW by 2047. Current PLF will improve to 77% for next two decades and to 78% for further 15 years.
Level 4 assumes a coal-fired capacity addition slightly lower than what is assumed for the 9% GDP growth scenario in the interim report of the Expert Group on Low Carbon Strategies for Inclusive Growth. The growth rate of capacity addition is assumed to reduce subsequently. Installed capacity will grow to 591 GW in the next 35 years due to improved domestic coal supply, softening of imported coal prices and availability of more carbon space to countries like India. Current PLF will improve to 79% for next two decades and to 80% for the further 15 years.
EFFICIENCY OF COAL POWER STATIONS
India’s existing coal based thermal power plants (TPPs) are currently based on inefficient subcritical technology, though efforts are now being made to adopt new efficient technologies like super-critical, ultra super-critical technology etc. Super critical technology is likely to be adopted at a significant scale (38%) during the 12th Plan (2012-17). Post 2017, it is proposed that no subcritical TPPs would be allowed. However the development and deployment of these efficient technologies is sluggish due to Indian coal having high ash content and low calorific value.
New technology development/deployment will be slow. Subcritical capacity addition will stop only after 2022, ultra supercritical technology will be introduced only in 2027 and IGCC is introduced in 2037. The share of IGCC in the coal-fired capacity addition during 2042-47 would be only 30%, and its share of the total capacity in 2047 would be only 18.6 GW at level 2 capacity addition, amounting to just about 6%, while 64% of the capacity would be super-critical. Total demand for Indian grade coal in 2047 in this scenario is high at 1390 million tons.
New technology development/deployment will be slightly faster than scenario A. Subcritical plant addition will stop after 2017 as per current Government plans (Ministry of Power, 2012). Ultra supercritical technology will be commercialized after 2017 and IGCC after 2027. IGCC will contribute 50% of the capacity addition in the 18th five year plan (2042–47). The share of IGCC in the coal-fired capacity in 2047 would be 10%, and super-critical technology would have a share of 55%. Total demand for Indian grade coal in 2047 in this scenario is 1194 million tons.
New technology development/deployment will be encouraged and hence its adoption would be faster. Sub-critical capacity addition will stop after 2017, ultrasupercritical technology will be commercialized in 2022 and IGCC in 2027. IGCC’s share of the capacity addition in the 18th five year plan (2042–47) would be 65%. In 2047, the share of IGCC in the coal-fired capacity would have increased to 20% and super-critical technology would have reduced to 43%. Total demand for Indian grade coal in 2047 in this scenario is 1165 million tons.
New technology development/deployment will be aggressively promoted and hence adopted very fast. Subcritical capacity addition will stop after 2017. 20% of new capacity addition in the 14th five year plan from 2022 would be ultra-supercritical technology and 20% of new capacity addition in the 15th five year plan from 2027 would be IGCC. Of the capacity addition in the 18th five year plan ending in 2047, 80% would be IGCC, resulting in its share in the total installed capacity in 2047 being 26%. Total demand for Indian grade coal in 2047 in this scenario falls to 1142 million tons.
This analysis examines the penetration levels of efficient technology in TPPs. Based on the above, the user of this tool can estimate the quantity of coal required to meet the desired level of power supply. The factors/levers are ease of accessing technology, policy drivers, power markets and availability of high grade coal.