New Market for Solar – II

Continuing from my previously written article:

where we discussed the intention of State-owned monopoly miner Coal India to reduce supplies to captive power plants.

The coal trend in India does talk about the pressure on Coal India to meet obligations/supply of coal across India’s coal starved mega power plants. So it looks like captive power plants are

According to a recent update in Economic Times, the lack of coal-linkage to Captive Power Plants (CPPs) seems to be hurting” the industries and so the economy.

According to Mr.Sharma, Chairman of Indian Captive Power Producers Association (ICPPA), 382 CPP applications for 40,000 MW-capacity are pending with Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Power and Central Electricity Authority hampering investment and growth.

The history goes like this; post -globalisation, CPPs fuelled country’s growth story and the government too persuaded industries for huge investment in CPPs and treated them equitably with Independent Power Plants (IPPs) and Utilities. However, post 2004, CPPs were pushed to the wall by discrimination in coal allotment. This resulted lesser coal supply to CPPs; leaving them to operate at very low capacity or remain idle. This is suffocating for industries as 60 per cent of their power requirement is met by CPPs,

CPPs account for about 51,000 MW, captive power sector and forms 18 per cent of India’s total installed capacity.

Now if we reduce this power generation by say 15-20% due to decrease in coal supply; then we are wiping off nearly 7650 MW- 10200 MW of power generation capacity in the country. This power for the industries will then need to come either from the grid [further pressurizing the grid infrastructure in India] or from diesel backup or from other captive sources [biomass, solar, etc].

While the government looks into this matter; the industry will also know that the coal supply will be tight with the global trends and the fight by countries to secure power. This creates need to look beyond coal to supply power for every day needs.

In such a case; maybe outsourcing power generation to solar or biomass experts can be a better way of managing power supply for the factory’s operations.

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