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India expects to add as much as 15.4 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity this year, the most in nearly a decade.

India, the world’s second-largest coal consumer, looks to boost baseload capacity amid surging power demand and continues to bet big on coal to provide most of the increased electricity supply.

Despite booming renewable capacity additions, India continues to rely on coal to meet most of its power demand as authorities also look to avoid blackouts in cases of severe heat waves.

The heat waves and India’s economic growth well above the global average are driving power demand and peak demand higher every year.

Amid a heatwave and reduced hydropower generation, India boosted its coal consumption to a record high in the first quarter of this year, which also drove up emissions from the power sector to an all-time high.

More coal-fired units were fired up at the start of the year in the country, amid a prolonged heat wave with above-normal temperatures which pushed electricity consumption higher.

Utilities in India have also tried to limit the possibility of power outages ahead of the general election which was held between the middle of April and early June.

India raised the share of coal in its power generation in April as sharply lower hydropower output has threatened blackouts as summer approaches.

Last week, India’s Minister of Coal and Mines, G. Kishan Reddy, said that the country plans to increase its domestic coal production and reduce imports.

In the 2023-2024 fiscal year ending March 2024, India’s total coal production rose by 11.65% to 997.25 million tons, according to data from the Ministry of Coal. So far into the 2024/2025 fiscal year, Indian coal production increased by 8.82% in April and May 2024 compared to the same period of 2023/2024, the data showed.