India's annual coal power output falls for first time in a decade

By Sudarshan Varadhan BAMBOLIM, Goa, India (Reuters) - India's annual electricity generation from coal-fired utilities fell in 2019 for the first time in a decade, government data showed, amid a broader economic slowdown and increased use of renewable energy. India is the second largest consumer, importer and producer of coal behind China.

Reuters February 18, 2020 00:06:55 IST
India's annual coal power output falls for first time in a decade

Indias annual coal power output falls for first time in a decade

By Sudarshan Varadhan

BAMBOLIM, Goa, India (Reuters) - India's annual electricity generation from coal-fired utilities fell in 2019 for the first time in a decade, government data showed, amid a broader economic slowdown and increased use of renewable energy.

India is the second largest consumer, importer and producer of coal behind China. The world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter consumed nearly 1 billion tonnes of the fuel in 2018/19, with utilities accounting for over three-quarters of the total demand.

While greater adoption of renewable energy contributed to lower output from coal-fired utilities, weak economic growth added to a slowdown in overall demand for electricity, economists say.

Analysts and power sector executives say the fall in annual coal-fired generation was a blip and largely due to a broader economic slowdown.

"It is very much an aberration now, but it's a portent to what is inevitably going to happen in 5-10 years," Tim Buckley, director of Energy Finance Studies, at the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, in Australia, told Reuters on the sidelines of Coaltrans India conference.

Electricity generation from coal-fired utilities fell about 2.5% to 965.53 billion units in 2019, an analysis of fuel-wise electricity generation data by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) showed.

Seeking to expedite clean energy as some coal-fired power plants face closure, Asia's third-largest economy has set a target to raise renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022.

Solar energy output rose by over a quarter while wind energy generation rose 5%, the data showed. The contribution of solar and wind energy to India's overall energy generation rose to 8.8%, more than double their share of 3.6% in 2015.

Graphic: India's annual electricity generation. Click https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/2188/2156/India's%20annual%20electricity%20generation.jpg

India's electricity requirement grew at the slowest pace in six years in 2019, according to government data.

Power sector executives say while electricity demand could recover in coming months, it is not expected to grow consistently at mid-single digits.

"Slower growth in power demand, lower cost of renewable energy and the state of electricity distribution companies will drive an organic transition to solar and wind energy," an industry executive told Reuters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to increase adoption of green energy sources to fight climate change and increase the share of renewable energy to 40% of installed capacity by 2030, from 23.3% now.

Graphic: Contribution to total electricity generation based on source fuel https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/13/2190/2158/Contribution%20to%20total%20electricity%20generation.jpg

India's renewable capacity rose 16% to 85.9 GW in 2019, while coal-fired capacity rose 3.9% to 198.5 GW.

Electricity generation from gas-based power plants fell for the first time in five years to 47.98 billion units in 2019, down 4.5% from 50.26 billion units the previous year, CEA data showed.

Output from power plants using polluting fuels such as lignite and diesel also fell, while electricity generated by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind rose.

Generation from non-conventional sources such as biomass and bagasse fell during the year, while nuclear energy generation rose 6.3% to 43.57 billion units.

(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Additional reporting and graphics by Gaurav Dogra; Editing by Mike Harrison)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Amazon union vote enters final stretch in watershed moment for U.S. labour
Business

Amazon union vote enters final stretch in watershed moment for U.S. labour

By Mike Spector and Jeffrey Dastin (Reuters) - The National Labor Relations Board has begun reviewing ballots from Amazon.com Inc's workers in Alabama, who have voted on whether to form a union, with momentum for future labour organizing at America's second-largest private employer hanging in the balance. Agents from the labour board began sifting through ballots sent to more than 5,800 workers at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama-based warehouse at 10 a.m

Spotify buys Locker Room app's maker Betty Labs in live audio push
News & Analysis

Spotify buys Locker Room app's maker Betty Labs in live audio push

By Elizabeth Culliford NEW YORK (Reuters) - Spotify Inc said on Tuesday it has purchased Betty Labs, the company behind sports-focused social audio app Locker Room, to accelerate its move into live audio. New voice-based platforms, including invite-only social app Clubhouse, have seen rapid growth in recent months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oil falls as Suez Canal opens, dollar rallies; eyes on OPEC+ meeting
Business

Oil falls as Suez Canal opens, dollar rallies; eyes on OPEC+ meeting

By Devika Krishna Kumar NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices slid on Tuesday as the Suez Canal reopened to traffic and the dollar rallied, while focus turned to an OPEC+ meeting this week, where analysts expect an extension to supply curbs to offset dim demand prospects. Brent crude fell $1.20, or 1.9%, at $63.78 a barrel by 1:12 p.m.