Greenpeace India Urges Power Minister to Correct Course of Energy Investments

Piyush Goyal’s Predicament: Power a renewable future or perpetuate past errors

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Press release - October 5, 2016
New Delhi| October 5, 2016| Greenpeace India lauds Power Minister Piyush Goyal for questioning the excessive past investments in coal, and for highlighting the ‘irrational investments in adding generating capacity’ under the previous government.

The Power Minister’s comments are particularly welcome as he now has decisions of his own to make, regarding current investment in the sector. [1] As Greenpeace India’s analysis [2], released on September 30, has shown, India is already well over capacity in coal power, with 94% of the 65 GW currently under construction destined to lie idle, laying waste to a massive Rs 3 lakh crore of investment. These investments in new coal plants are equally irrational, as the analysis shows there is no need to build additional coal power capacity till 2022, and probably beyond, especially as renewable options become increasingly available and affordable.

“As the Minister has pointed out, yes the Planning Commission and the previous UPA government drove the country into this situation, ignoring repeated warnings from think tanks and encouraged investment  in new coal power plants” said Jai Krishna R, Greenpeace India Researcher, “Now, however, with his own hands on the wheel Minister Goyal has the responsibility, and the opportunity afforded by the Paris Agreement, to drastically change direction. We hope he will take an assertive stand, apply the brakes on coal expansion, and steer the country towards a more responsible, renewable future. We simply cannot afford to close our eyes and keep barrelling down this current path, as though the coal catastrophe is somehow inevitable.”

The record thus far is not encouraging: since May 2014, when the NDA took charge, nearly 45 GW of new coal plants have either received Environmental Clearance or Terms of Reference to start the EC process. “Even if a fraction of these plants being built will worsen the coal glut India is facing. Add to this the 1.5 bn tonne target for coal mining by 2020, despite a coal surplus. The question is, why is the government continuing to encourage costly, polluting and unnecessary coal power despite the overcapacity in the sector, and the great promise made in renewables?” Jai Krishna asked, “Instead, the current government must come up with innovative mechanisms to transfer these capital investments to meet India’s commitment to 175 GW renewable energy by 2022.”


  1. Mr Piyush Goyal’s statement:

  1. Link to overcapacity brief:

For further information:

Anindita Datta Choudhury,
Senior Media Officer,
Greenpeace India
+91 9871515804