NTPC which is India’s largest power generation utility with more than 48 GW of capacity is now looking to get into Electric Vehicle and Electric Vehicle charging market.
The Indian government has put in place a very ambitious plan to turn every car in the country from fossil fuel based into electric vehicles. This will result in a huge savings in oil(NYSEARCA:USO) imports as well as help the country reduce carbon emissions. The government has also come out with intermediate targets under two policies – National Electric Mobility Mission Plan (NEMMP) 2020 and Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (FAME) to put 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on the road. This is a very ambitious plan given that less than 2000 electric vehicles are sold in India every year.
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Electric Vehicles will not only help up soak up the power supply from NTPC’s power plants but will also help in balancing the grid, serving as a large distributed source of energy storage. With increasing amounts of renewable power getting delivered into the grid, balancing and energy storage are becoming critical requirements. Electric Vehicles can help in this front as they also can be charged during those times when the power demand is low. This will help smooth out the power load curve and reduce the money required to be spent on upgrading the grid.
India is facing the unique situation for the first time in its history where the power supply is more than demand. The country always suffered from chronic power deficits as generation never kept up with the growth in demand. However, the new NDA government has cleared a lot of hurdles in power generation sector and given a huge impetus to the renewable energy(NYSEARCA:XLE) industry. This has resulted in robust incremental supply growth in the power industry leading to a situation where power supply is more than power demand in most parts of the country. There is also a massive pipeline of coal(NYSEARCA:KOL) based thermal power plants that will come up in the country over the next few years, which will further add to the power glut. Demand on the other hand, has not grown due to the slow industrial growth as well as energy efficiency. Surplus power is also due to the inefficient and loss laden distribution utilities which cannot buy power and sell it at prices below costs. This has resulted in many coal power plants running at PLF as low as 50%. There are also many thermal power plants which are sitting idle without a PPA in place to sell their power.