India won’t need any new power plants for the next three years as it is flush with generation capacity, according to a government assessment.
But, ironically, more than a third of the country’s population still lives without power.
The country can manage for the next three years with existing plants that are currently under-utilised, and those that are under construction and upcoming renewable energy projects, assessment made by the power ministry for reviewing the National Electricity Policy shows.
The policy, originally issued in 2005 as a roadmap to the Electricity Act of 2003, is being altered in the backdrop of changes in the power sector.
“Demand for electricity is not likely to rise substantially in the next three years and hence India is expected to be power sufficient without any addition.
This clearly signals that any thermal power plant that is yet to begin construction should back off,” a power ministry official said.
India has power plants with capacity to generate 300 GW. These are operating at 64% capacity because of inability of state distribution utilities to purchase electricity and sluggish economic growth.
About a tenth of the total capacity is stranded due to lack of power purchase agreements while another 50 GW is under various stages of construction.