Former Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who on Tuesday assumed the charge of Union Power Minister, held deliberations with senior officials on enhancing storage and transmission capacities, which is critical for ensuring grid stability as share of solar and wind power increases in the total energy mix.

After assuming the charge of Power Minister, Khattar met with senior officials from all the departments and discussed the future course of action. The 100-day plan was also discussed, sources said.

“The discussions focused on increasing the country’s transmission network. Adding energy storage systems (ESS) capacity, both battery and pumped storage, was also discussed. This is crucial as the share of renewable energy is increasing in the grid and needs to be managed to ensure grid stability,” said one of the sources.

According to a February 2024 report by CareEdge Ratings, India requires around 12 gigawatts (GW) of storage capacity, with an assumption of 4 hours of storage per GW for FY24, which is expected to grow to around 70 GW by FY30.

Another source said the Ministry also deliberated on adding more generation capacity, particularly thermal, to balance the grid and meet the demand for round-the-clock (RTC) power.

In order to meet India’s electricity demand by FY32, the government aims to add more coal-fired capacity. It is envisaged that to meet the base load requirement in 2032, the required coal and lignite based installed capacity is 283 GW against the present installed capacity of 214 GW.

The government has proposed to set up an additional minimum 80 GW coal-based capacity by FY32. At present, around 26.38 GW of thermal capacity is under construction, 11.96 GW has been bid out and 19.05 GW is under clearance.

The estimated capital cost for setting up of new coal-based thermal capacity as considered in the National Electricity Plan is ₹8.34 crore per megawatt (MW), at 2021-22 price level. Thermal capacity addition is expected to entail an expenditure of minimum ₹6.67-lakh crore by FY32.

Khattar replaces RK Singh, who lost the Lok Sabha election from Arrah in Bihar. Under Singh, a career bureaucrat, the Ministry was instrumental in transforming the power sector by adding capacities, both thermal and renewables, enhancing transmission networks and bringing down financial losses in the sector.