India is one of the world leaders in renewable energy. By 2030, the country plans to have 50% of its power-generating capacity from non-fossil fuel sources. As the country pushes to achieve this ambitious goal, it must also ensure grid stability.
As solar and wind power are variable and depend on weather conditions, they can create supply-demand imbalances. For handling such imbalances, the grid needs a fast-responding backup power resource to even out the short and sudden variability in renewable energy generation of less than four hours. Incumbent thermal generators meet longer and more predictable variability of renewables.
Unlike many developed countries with net-zero commitments by 2050 or earlier, where coal generation has to stop outright, this backup strategy allows a gradual phasing out of India’s relatively new coal fleet, in line with India’s goal of achieving net zero by 2070.