India’s thermal capacity addition in FY21 likely to see biggest-ever decline

  • In the month of December 2020, a total of 270 MW was added in the thermal power sector against the scheduled 2,630 MW

  • According to the CEA, the total capacity addition in the thermal power sector stood at 6,765 MW at the end of FY2019-20

New Delhi: The Covid-19 crisis seems to have derailed India’s thermal power capacity addition plan for FY2020-21 as the country looks set to witness the biggest-ever decline year-on-year and miss the target by a huge margin. Data sourced from the Ministry of Power showed that against a target of 10,591.15 MW for FY2020-21, India has added just 1,376.15 MW of thermal power capacity between April and December 2020. According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the total capacity addition in the thermal power sector stood at 6,765 MW at the end of FY2019-20. 

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Thermal power capacities commissioned in FY2020-21

In the month of December 2020, a total of 270 MW was added in the thermal power sector against the scheduled 2,630 MW. In stark contrast, 1,300 MW of thermal power capacity was added in December 2019. In July 2020, 800 MW of thermal power capacity was added as opposed to 1,320 MW in July 2019. June 2020 saw 270 MW of coal-based power generation capacity being added against 45 MW in June 2019. And 36.15 MW of thermal power was added in May 2020. 

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The backdrop

Thermal power capacity addition in India has been on the decline since FY2016-17. The difference between the targeted capacity addition and actual capacity has been growing steadily as India pivots away from coal-based energy. However, the decline in FY2020-21 is likely to be the biggest decline so far and the figure is likely to miss the target by the biggest margin as the capacity addition stands at just 13 percent of the overall target with three quarters underway. 

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