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NTPC to develop 2 new nuclear power plants as India aims to shift to clean energy

Vivek Mishra
Vivek MishraAug 25, 2022 | 10:52

NTPC to develop 2 new nuclear power plants as India aims to shift to clean energy

India currently generates only 3 per cent of its electricity using nuclear energy.

Just weeks after announcing its entry into the nuclear power sector, India's largest power producer National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC) is looking to develop another huge nuclear project.

A venture between NTPC and  Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) is in advanced talks with the government to develop two 700-megawatt reactors in Madhya Pradesh, Bloomberg reported quoting sources.

Earlier this month, NTPC had made its debut in the sector after the PSU announced that it is going to develop the two reactors at Gorakhpur in Haryana.

India is currently building six gigawatts of nuclear capacity, the most after China, which has nearly three times that volume under construction, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Push for clean energy: India had promised to cut its emissions to net zero by 2070 at the COP26 summit in 2021. PM Narendra Modi made the pledge in Glasgow as India set a net zero target for the first time. In order to do that, India is aiming to more than triple its nuclear fleet over the next decade.

Overdependence on coal: The country currently generates about 70% of its electricity using coal and just 3% from nuclear. This overdependence of coal has led to severe air pollution and increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The coal shortage results in power blackouts during the summers and the process of transporting it is also very time consuming and costly.

Nuclear exile: India was under a nuclear exile after it secretly conducted a series of nuclear tests. But, in 2008, India had an agreement with the US that allowed it to access foreign technology and raw materials to develop nuclear plants to generate power. But resistance to nuclear liability law and anti-nuclear concerns following the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan have thwarted expansion plans, reported Bloomberg.

India's energy consumption: The 2019 edition of BP's Energy Outlook projected India's energy consumption rising by 156% between 2017 and 2040. It predicts that the country's energy mix will evolve slowly to 2040, with fossil fuels accounting for 79% of demand in 2040, down from 92% in 2017, reported World Nuclear Association. Between 2017 and 2040, primary energy consumption from fossil fuels is expected to increase by 120%.

NTPC's push for renewable energy: NTPC announced in its 18th Analysts & Investors meet that the company is foraying into nuclear power while maintaining its thrust on the renewable sector, reported Saur Energy International Magazine. Last month NTPC and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd had signed an agreement for the formation of a joint venture company for meeting the power requirements of upcoming projects of Indian Oil refineries, reported the Mint.

Last updated: August 25, 2022 | 11:20
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