The Indian government will not consider any proposals for new coal plants for the next five years and focus on growing its renewables sector, according to an updated national electricity plan released Wednesday evening. From a report: The temporary pause in the growth of the dirty fuel was hailed by energy experts as a positive step for a country that is currently reliant on coal for around 75% of its electricity. Updated every five years, the plan serves as a guideline for India’s priorities in its electricity sector.
India is the world’s third highest emitter and most populous country. It plans to reach net zero emissions by 2070, which would mean significantly slashing coal use and ramping up renewable energy. In a draft of the plan released in September, the Central Electricity Authority, which is in charge of planning for India’s electricity needs, projected that nearly 8,000 megawatts of new coal capacity was required by 2027. But Wednesday’s strategy proposes the build out of more than 8,600 megawatts of battery energy storage systems instead. Battery storage is crucial for round-the-clock use of renewable energy.