According to reports, India intends to halt the construction of new coal-fired power plants, in addition to those currently in the pipeline, by eliminating a critical language from the final draft of its National Electricity Policy (NEP), in a major step towards combating climate change.
If approved by the cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, China will be the only major economy open to new requests for considerable additional coal-fired capacity. This draft is India’s first attempt to revise its electricity policy since it was implemented in 2005, also suggests deferring the decommissioning of ageing coal-fired power facilities until energy storage for renewable power becomes commercially feasible.
As most developing countries reduce capacity to achieve climate commitments, India and China account for around 80% of all active coal projects. According to E3G, an independent climate think tank, just 20 nations have more than one coal project scheduled by January 2023.
China and India have been advocating for nations to be able to set their own strategy for reducing emissions. India, which has the most projected coal power capacity behind China, has consistently declined to specify a date for coal phase-out, citing low per-capita emissions, growing renewable energy capacity, and desire for cheap fuel sources.
If adopted, the new regulation would have no effect on the 28.2 GW of coal-fired power plants now under construction.
Reference- Reuters, Economic Times, Business Today, Business Standard, Money Control