The Union government’s approval last month for the construction of 10 nuclear power units with a cumulative capacity of 7,000 MW has reaffirmed India’s commitment to helping meet its energy needs through this environmentally safe resource. Significantly, the Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWR) would be made indigenously. The decision is likely to result in manufacturing orders of close to Rs 70,000 crore for the domestic industry, and generate more than 33,400 jobs. These nuclear plants are unlikely to suffer the fate of the numerous coal-based plants which are operating at low utilisation levels due to excess generation capacity.
According to Kameswara Rao, partner at PwC, the proposed 7,000-MW capacity addition would get absorbed easily. “Nuclear power projects entail long development and a construction time-frame of 7 to 15 years. Even at a modest growth of 4% in peak demand, India will need over 70 GW of new capacity over this period,” he says. Additionally, the new plants would help reshape the country’s base-load energy mix to meet the Paris commitments. “As renewable energy is intermittent and limited by resource availability, we need nuclear and large hydro projects to reduce the carbon intensity in our base-load power generation,” Rao adds. At a plant load factor (PLF) of 80%, the additional 7,000 MW would generate about 50,000 million units, which is 4% of our current power generation. The country’s present nuclear PLF stands at 67% on account of restrictions on the fuel cycle imposed by global cartels. Read More…
Credit By : The Financial Express
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