Executive Summary

The world today is witnessing several kinds of technological disruptions in different sectors. One of the likely disruption can be replacement of thermal based generation with RE generation being complimented with energy storage technology. This has been possible with the downward trend of cost of solar panels and newer technology options like battery energy storage systems.

In fact, the reduction in cost projections is very aggressive for battery energy storage technology so as to render them financially viable. In this context, planning for optimal generation capacity mix gains tremendous importance so as the future generation capacity mix will be cost effective as well as environmental friendly. To achieve the mix, a horizon of 10-12 years is sufficient to gear up the systems and policies in the right direction. The study year 2029-30 has been considered keeping this in perspective.

Optimal generation capacity mix is a study primarily aimed at finding out the least cost optimal generation capacity mix, which may be required to meet the peak electricity demand and electrical energy requirement of the year 2029-30 as per 19th Electric Power Survey. The study minimizes the total system cost of generation including the cost of anticipated future investments while fulfilling all the technical constraints.

The base year of the study has been considered as 2021-22. The installed capacity projected in the National Electricity Plan (NEP) has been taken as input to find out the requirement of future generation capacity mix to be built up till 2029-30. The technical and financial parameters of different generation technologies have been considered as per National Electricity Plan.

The short term studies to assess the economic hourly generation dispatch and adequacy of the capacity mix obtained from long term generation planning studies for critical days of the year 2029-30 have also been carried out. All the technical/operational characteristics of each individual generating unit have been adhered to arrive at the adequacy of the generation capacity mix at least production cost.

Due to the technical/operational constraints, the generation from RE sources may not be fully absorbed in the system. The study has also been carried out to assess the RE absorption by reducing presently stipulated technical minimum load of coal based plants.

Sensitivity analysis for contingency scenarios is also carried out by reducing available energy from RE sources and hydro power plants to test the system resilience. Impact on CO2 emissions due to part load efficiency loss of coal based power plants has also been studied.The study is based on the assumption of a single demand node for the country and does not consider transmission lines in optimization.


2. Objective of the Study

To find out the optimal generation capacity mix to meet the projected peak electricity demand and electrical energy requirement in the year 2029-30 considering possible/feasible technology options, intermittency associated with Renewable energy sources and constraints if any, etc.

Optimum generation mix study is an optimization problem for generation expansion planning, in which the objective function is to minimize:

  1. The costs associated with operation of the existing and committed (planned and under construction) generating stations.
  2. The capital cost and operating cost of new generating stations required for meeting peak electricity demand and electrical energy requirement while satisfying different constraints in the system such as:
    •  Fuel availability constraints.
    •  Technical operational constraints viz. minimum technical load of

      thermal units, ramp rates, startup and shut down time etc.

    •  Financial implications arising out of startup cost, fuel

      transportation cost etc.

    •  Intermittency associated with renewable energy generation.

      Technologies/Fuel options available for power generation considered in the study are:

  •  Conventional Sources – Coal and Lignite, Hydro including Pumped Storage, Nuclear, Natural gas.
  •  New & Renewable Energy Sources- Solar, Wind, Biomass, Small Hydro, etc.
  •  New Technologies – Grid scale battery energy storage systems.

About Ritesh Pothan

Ritesh Pothan, is an accomplished speaker and visionary in the Solar Energy space in India. Ritesh is from an Engineering Background with a Master’s Degree in Technology and had spent more than a decade as the Infrastructure Head for a public limited company with the last 9 years dedicated to Solar and Renewable Energy. He also runs the 2 largest India focused renewable energy groups on LinkedIn - Solar - India and Renewables - India
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