, India
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Approval spree: India green lights 3.9GW coal projects in first 5 months of 2023

Around 7.6 GW were given terms of reference, a vital part in development approval.

India went on a “coal approval spree” in the first five months of the year with close to 11.5 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power projects under various approval stages progressing during the period.

In a statement, the Global Energy Monitor (GEM) and the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) noted that during the period India permitted 3.9 GW of coal projects and 7.6 GW of coal projects have received terms of reference which is a step in securing permits.

“India’s coal approval spree in 2023 marks a change in India’s energy transition pattern. Last year, India did not approve any new coal power plants for the grid, which was in line with the global trend of moving away from the dirty, expensive, and outdated energy,” said Flora Champenois, Research Analyst at GEM.

ALSO READ: How India could accelerate clean energy deployment

Despite the rise in the number of projects in development, this is an 85% decline from 250 GW in 2014.

Currently, the country is developing 65.3 GW of coal power capacity. Under the National Electricity Plan’s five-year projection, over 8GW of non-captive coal-fired power plant capacity in active construction and 34.9 GW under pre-construction are unnecessary.

Meanwhile, the 10-year coal projection said that there is no need for any new projects to enter the pre-construction pipeline, GEM and CREA said.

The organisations added that India could accelerate its energy transition at the G20 leader’s summit in Delhi in September.

“The country has the opportunity to set the right example and push for a strong coal-to-clean outcome at the G20 leaders’ summit in Delhi in September,” said Champenois.

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