Flexibilisation of Existing Thermal Power Plants

Flexibilisation of existing thermal power plants to adapt to increasing shares of power from fluctuating renewable energy sources is one of the priority topics of Subgroup I on 'Enhancement of Power Plants'.

Chairs and Stakeholders

  • Chairperson India: 
    Shri Piyush Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power (MoP)
  • Chairperson Germany: 
    Dr. Andreas Nicolin, Deputy Director General, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
  • Stakeholders: 
    Technology providers, project developers, research institutes and industry associations
    e.g. VGB, STEAG Energy Services India, SIEMENS 
  • Government organisations: 
    e.g. NTPC, CEA




The following two relevant energy issues of priority are the result of the strategic review process: 

1.    Flexibilisation of coal fired power Plants
2.    B2B best practice exchange on technologies for emission control

The road map for the mentioned two priority issues is as follows:

1.     Flexibilisation of coal fired power Plants

Short Information: In the electricity mix, coal capacity is relatively coming down but total coal capacity will be still growing to support the growth of India’s economy and its society. Considering the resource availability of gas generation and hydro potential, Grid balancing appears to be difficult without substantial coal based generation. Therefore, in India coal based generation shall complement the gap and continue to be the major source of reliable power for safe and stable operation of grid until India can count on proper storage solutions. Effective operation of modern coal plants can take care of grid imbalance to a large extent which in turn gives reliability, sustainability and affordability. For a flexible operation of existing base load stations the following preparations have to be made: Modification of components/retrofits, modified chemical regime as well as changes in operational practices. New market options include day time differentiated tariffs and demand side management in line with renewable energy generation. Market based business models where cycling costs will be compensated have to be identified. All these are areas in which India and Germany would like to share experiences.

Proposed planned activities ahead: 
A task force was established with its first meeting at 20 May 2016 in New Delhi. Director Operations from NTPC Limited, Mr. Prakash Tiwari is the chairman of this task force. EEC takes the responsibility of member secretary. VGB and EEC are the main implementing partners of this task force.
1.    Technical Study: Pre-Assessment-Compilation of measures, Reference plant assessment, Study on flexibility potential. Results: 
a) Flexibility Compass + Toolbox 
b) Flexibility Reference Book
2.    Capacity Building: 
a) Flexibility Workshop for dissemination
b) Training concepts on flexibility
c) Long term secondment for flexibility expert
3.    Framework: 
a) Compile today’s framework conditions in India
b) Study on an optimized regulatory framework for India; Phase 1: 2016 Phase 2: 2017+

Implementation Partners: NTPC, EEC, VGB

2.    B2B best practice exchange on technologies for emission control

Short Information: India has made the following commitment at COP 21 in Paris to reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 % by 2030 from 2005 level. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has issued new environmental norms in December 2015 dealing with suspended particulate matter (SPM), SOx, NOx and Mercury. Additionally norms for specific water consumption by thermal power stations have been notified. It is estimated that a huge market of around 12 billion EUR is opening up through these new emission standards coming up. India and its power sector is showing strong commitment to meet the new norms but support from the German side is requested to overcome major challenges presented.

Proposed planned activities ahead: 
With Germany known to be an international leader in this field, it was proposed to establish a special task force on this issue to promote best practice exchange on business to business level and specify concrete activities through EEC. EEC Workshops shall be held in Kolkata, Raipur and Hyderabad.

Implementation Partners: NTPC/EEC/Private Sector

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