The Future of India's Coal-Fired Power Generation Capacity

Journal of Cleaner Production, Forthcoming

27 Pages Posted: 8 May 2019

See all articles by Joonseok Yang

Joonseok Yang

Sungkyunkwan University; University of California, Irvine

Johannes Urpelainen

Johns Hopkins SAIS

Date Written: April 11, 2019


Given the size and growth prospects of the Indian economy, the Indian power sector plays a key role in the global effort to mitigate climate change. Here we use the January 2017 edition of the Coal Tracker database to understand the future prospects for Indian coal. Using improved lower and upper bounds for potential construction and capacity factors, we find that lifetime emissions over the next five decades from Indian coal-fired power generation could range from 18 to 39 gigatons. The single most important way to reduce these emissions is to reduce the average lifespan of plants, as neither falling capacity factors nor lower construction rates bring India's power sector in line with the goal of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius. Our estimations show that reducing the lifespan of plants from 40 to 30 years alone can decrease cumulative CO2 emissions by approximately 12 gigatons, which is equivalent to saving 5.8% of the global carbon budget for the two degrees Celsius target.

Keywords: India; Fossil Fuels; Coal; Climate Change; Power Sector; Low-Carbon Development

Suggested Citation

Yang, Joonseok and Urpelainen, Johannes, The Future of India's Coal-Fired Power Generation Capacity (April 11, 2019). Journal of Cleaner Production, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Joonseok Yang

Sungkyunkwan University ( email )

53 Myeongnyun-dong 3-ga Jongno-ju
Seoul, 110-745
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Social Science Plaza A 4124, University of Califor
Irvine, CA 92617
United States
3478820109 (Phone)

Johannes Urpelainen (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins SAIS ( email )

1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1984
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics