Coal’s share in India’s electricity generation rose to the highest level in at least 9 quarters during the first three months of 2021.
The share of renewable energy rose in 2020 when overall power demand was reduced by lockdowns to limit the pandemic. This year, seasonal factors have limited output of renewables, which are weather dependent, helping coal’s share to rebound. The share of coal and lignite rose to 78.9% for the quarter ended March 31, from 75.9% a year earlier, a Reuters analysis of daily load despatch data from regulator POSOCO showed.
Coal’s contribution to India’s annual electricity generation fell for the second straight year in 2020, the data shows,marking a departure from decades of growth in coal-fired power.
A consistent rise in the share of renewables culminated incoal’s share in electricity generation falling below 60% for thefirst time in decades on Aug. 12.
Just over five months later, coal’s contribution to dailypower output rose to more than 80% for the first time in atleast 750 days on Jan. 20, a feat that was repeated nine moretimes to March 31, the data showed.
Recovery in coal-fired generation coincided with India’soverall electricity demand returning to growth: the country’spower demand and share of coal-fired power rose for sevenstraight months starting September, POSOCO data showed.
India’s annual electricity demand fell for the first time inat least 35 years in the fiscal year to March, with electricityconsumption declining for six straight months endingAugust.