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Report on Optimal Generation Mix 2030 Version 2.0

Context:

Recently, The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has released an updated report titled Report on Optimal Generation Mix 2030 Version 2.0.

  • The report is an updated version of the 2020 report titled Report on Optimal Generation Capacity Mix for 2029-30

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy (Minerals and Energy resources)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key  highlights
  2. Challenges in Adopting Renewable Energy
  3. About Central Electricity Authority

Key  highlights:

The report highlights the changes expected in India’s energy mix, with a decline in coal’s share and a rise in renewable energy (RE) sources.

  • Decline in Coal’s Share: Coal’s share in the power mix is projected to decline from 73% in 2022-23 to 55% in 2030.
  • Increase in Solar Energy: Solar energy is expected to play a significant role in the power mix, with projections indicating a quadrupling of solar capacity from 109 GW to 392 GW by 2030
  • Contribution of Other RE Sources: Projections for large hydropower and wind energy remain modest in the future power mix. Renewable sources are expected to account for 31% of the power mix in 2030, compared to the current 12%.
    • Wind generation, on the other hand, is projected to decrease to 9% in the updated version (from 12% in the previous report).
  • Role of Natural Gas: Despite aspirations to increase the share of natural gas, its contribution to power generation remains small
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Power sector emissions are projected to rise by 11%, reaching 1.114 Gt CO2 in 2030, accounting for 10% of global power sector emissions
  • Climate Commitments: CEA’s projections indicate that India is likely to over-achieve on its pledge to the Paris Agreement, with 62% of installed power capacity from non-fossil sources by 2030. The share will be 64% if nuclear power is considered.

Challenges in Adopting Renewable Energy:

  • Intermittency and variability of renewable energy sources due to weather conditions make it difficult to match energy supply with demand and maintain grid stability.
  • Integrating large-scale renewable energy into existing power grids can be complex, requiring upgrading of grid infrastructure and balancing mechanisms.
  • Scaling up renewable energy installations requires significant land and resource availability, which can be challenging to identify suitable locations, acquire land, and address environmental concerns.
  • Coal currently dominates the power sector in India, accounting for about 70% of electricity generation and providing significant direct and indirect employment.
  • Transitioning away from coal can lead to job losses in the coal sector, and ensuring a smooth transition for affected communities is essential.

About Central Electricity Authority

  • The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) was established in 1951 under the Electricity Supply Act 1948.
  • The Act has been superseded by the Electricity Act 2003.
Functions:
  • CEA advises the government of India on policy matters related to the development of electricity systems in the country.
  • CEA formulates plans for the development of the electricity sector.
  • CEA prepares the national electricity plan and tariff policy.
  • CEA advises the central government on matters relating to the national electricity policy, rural electrification, hydropower development, etc.
  • CEA specifies technical standards for construction, operation, and maintenance of electrical plants and electric lines.
  • CEA specifies grid standards and safety requirements for operation and maintenance of transmission lines.
  • CEA collects and records data on electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and utilization.
  • CEA promotes research and development in the field of electricity.
  • CEA monitors the implementation of power projects and schemes.
  • CEA coordinates with state governments, state electricity boards, regional power committees, etc. on electricity matters.

-Source: Down To Earth


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