India’s electricity sector is facing two major challenges - low electricity demand and massive overcapacity. On one hand, renewable energy installations are on the rise in the country but it is often curtailed. While 100 GW of solar and wind power have already been installed, 50 GW is under installation and 27 GW is under tendering. On the other hand, India is not cutting down its coal-based power generation but their viability remains under cloud as new efficiency standards kick in.
Can India optimize its power sector such that renewables thrive, and efficient coal power plants get preference as India reduces its carbon and environmental footprint? In this episode, we spoke to Dr. R Srikanth, Professor & Dean, School of Natural Sciences and Engineering at the National Institute of Advanced Studies who proposes that India can shut down its old inefficient coal power plants to achieve these optimization goals. This proposal emerged from a large study Dr. Srikanth and his colleagues undertook focusing on the transition plan for thermal power plants in India.
0:00 - Podcast intro
1:19 - Intro of guest
2:49 - Srikanth’s professional journey from corporate to academia
12:16 - New report by Srikanth & his team at NIAS on retirement of old coal power plants
26:02 - Rationals and methodology used in the study
43:16 - Does India need to build more coal power plants?
57:37 - Who benefits from running old & inefficient coal power plants and who loses when they shut down?
01:03:43 - Can India decide on reducing the use of coal and plan for a phase out?
01:16:02 - Podcast outro
Follow TIEH podcast on Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube.