Renewable Energy

Thermal power to stay till round-the-clock renewable energy is available: R K Singh

Riddhi Mukherjee

Notable because

In September 2023, India touched the highest-ever single-day electricity consumption of 5,224 MU. The nation’s growing power demand highlights the importance of round-the-clock (RTC) power supply from RE resources. Thermal capacity, both individually and bundled with RE, can solve the problem of intermittency in RE power by providing RTC supply. The call to add ~80 GW of thermal power by 2031–32 can be viewed in this context.

What to look out for in the months ahead

The per unit cost of RE RTC with storage is significantly high. With viability gap funding support, announced in September 2023, the levelised cost of storage for battery energy storage (BESS) could go down to INR 5.50–6.60/kWh, further lowering the cost of RE RTC. To ensure RTC supply beyond adding more thermal capacity, what other steps would be taken by the government to make BESS cost-competitive?