Since demand for energy in India is set to double over next decade caused by the rapid growth of its economy and population, its complete rejection of coal dependence in the near future seems far too big of a challenge.
Nearly 75 percent of power in India is still generated from coal. While coal-fired power generation is still growing, ambitious clean energy policies and falling solar costs could soon stop this trend.
Historically, India’s energy has been based on coal, primarily for generating electricity. But now renewables have become so much cheaper, about 30 or 40% cheaper than coal, that going forward a large part of the demand is going to be met through renewable energy sources.
According to World Economic Forum data, India is producing the cheapest solar power. The costs of building large-scale solar installations in India fell by 27% in 2018, year-on-year, thanks to a combination of low-priced panel imports from China, abundant land, and cheap labor.
Between 2010 and 2018, setup costs in India fell by 80%, the most precipitous decline of any country.
According to the International Energy Agency forecast, India is expecting doubled demand for energy by 2040, which leaves a lot of need for coal as the main energy source, even with an increase in renewables.
Reference- IEA website, World Bank website, Oilprice website, MNRE website