SOURCE: Reuters

DATE: July 31, 2019

SNIP: India’s coal-fired power generation capacity is expected to rise by 22.4% in three years, the federal power ministry’s chief engineer said on Wednesday, potentially neutralising its efforts to cut emissions by boosting adoption of renewable energy.

India, the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, saw its annual coal demand rise 9.1% to nearly 1 billion tonnes in the year ended March 2019. Coal demand from utilities accounted for over three-quarters of total consumption.

The International Energy Agency expects India to become the second largest coal consumer behind China early next decade.

Electricity demand in the country rose 36% in the seven years to April 2019 while coal-fired generation capacity during the period grew by 74% to 194.44 GW, according to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

An increase in coal-fired power generation capacity would be bad news for India’s cities, 14 of which feature in the World Health Organization’s 20 most polluted in the world.

Most of the capacity addition is likely to come from utilities owned by the state and federal governments, government officials said.