Research carried out by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi has forecast that India may be in a position to end coal-fired power on the subcontinent by mid-century.

The Financial Times reports that India will not need to build another coal power plant after 2025 if renewables continue to fall in cost at their current rate. It means the country may be able to cut significantly its carbon levels, far beyond what was agreed at the Paris climate talks last year.

The report states it means a reduction in the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 600 milion tonnes, or 10 per cent, after 2030.

India is currently the world’s fastest growing polluter so success there will be a huge boost for global climate targets.
India's Narendra Modi
About 60 per cent of India’s electricity is currently fuelled by coal. The country is planning to build an extra 65 GW of coal-fired capacity in the next few years, equivalent to 20 large nuclear power plants.

According to Teri’s research, coal-fired power plants under construction will be built, but no more will be needed after 2025, provided two things happen.

First, the cost of both renewables and battery storage need to keep falling at their current trajectories. If they come down to half their current price by 2025,  they will undercut coal.

Second, the government needs to put in place policies to make it viable to run a system mainly off renewables. For example, ministers will have to allow companies running the electricity grid to buy power in an instant.