MoP plans to replace 58,000 MU of thermal power with 30 GW of renewables

The Ministry of Power has set an aim of replacing significant thermal power capacity with renewables by 2025-26, with a target of 500 GW of non-fossil fuel-based capacity by 2030. According to the notification, by the financial year 2025–26, approximately 58,000 million units (MUs) of thermal power provided by public, state, and private sector generating stations can be replaced by 30,000 MW of renewable energy. The renewable energy required to replace thermal energy will be estimated using a capacity utilisation factor of 22 per cent. By 2026, the ministry plans to replace coal with renewable energy at 81 thermal power plants in the central, state, and private sectors.

All central public sector undertakings (CPSUs), states, and power generation utilities should take appropriate action to meet the trajectory as per the target, that is, 20 per cent in the financial year 2023-24, 35 per cent in the financial year 2024-25, and 45 per cent in the financial year 2025-26. The ministry has stated that replacing thermal power will save a significant amount of coal annually and reduce carbon emissions. The substitution of thermal power with renewable power will alleviate the concerns over coal availability and enable the country to meet the demands of its consumers. The programme’s implementation is estimated to conserve 34.7 million MT of coal and reduce carbon emissions by 60.2 million MT.

Despite the fact that station-specific targets have been established, the notification states that a thermal power station can substitute a larger amount of renewable power than the target. The targets set for producing stations are the bare minimum that can be achieved. Renewable energy can also be bundled at hydropower generating stations. Generating stations that have installed or procured a higher capacity of power for replacement but have not been scheduled are free to sell it in the exchanges. The ministry stated that they will urge power plants to increase their goals for replacing thermal power with renewable power in their other plants.