India’s clean coal capacity is forecast to grow by approximately 103 GW in the next decade as the country seeks to meet its surging electricity demand, according to new research.

A new report from consulting firm GlobalData states that while India’s clean coal installations are “in the nascent stages, many recent ultra-mega power projects have adopted supercritical technology, while future supercritical and ultra-supercritical installations will drive capacity additions” between now and 2015.

GlobalData’s senior power analyst Sowmyavadhana Srinivasan said India’s electricity demand was being drIndia clean coaliven by its increasing population and industrialization, improved standard of living, and strong economic growth.

Srinivasan added: “Between 2013 and 2014, India experienced a deficit of 4.5 per cent in terms of the electricity supply available to fulfil peak demand.

“The country is not fully electrified and is subject to a large number of power cuts and power reliability uncertainties. In order to resolve this, India urgently requires many new installations, with coal a significant contributor.”

According to GlobalData, coal was the leading source of power generation in India last year, with 160 GW, accounting for 59 per cent of installed capacity, and this is expected to almost double by 2025.

However, Srinivasan warns that growth in India’s clean coal market could be limited by fluctuations in the international coal market and the domestic government’s increased emphasis on the use of cleaner fuels for power generation.

The analyst explained: “India has a policy that most mega power plants have to secure coal imports internationally. This means that if there is a shift in the international coal community, it will affect the coal power plants in India, which adds to the risks involved with setting them up.

“Furthermore, under the National Action Plan on Climate Change, India aims to generate 15 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. As a consequence, alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power, may impact the adoption of clean coal technologies.” 

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