India will use more coal for generating electricity this year than it has in almost a decade, to cope with surging electricity demand, Bloomberg reported.

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The country expects to add 15.4 gigawatts in the financial year 2024-25, the most in nine years, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

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The heatwaves of increasing severity are pushing pushing electricity consumption to fresh records every year, Bloomberg wrote.

Coal still generates about three-quarters of India’s electricity, and the government sees it remaining the mainstay fuel for at least another decade, according to the report.

While India managed to add more than 100 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity over the past decade (outpacing thermal power growth), insufficient energy storage is holding this option back, the report read.

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This is because battery storage is still not affordable in India’s competitive power market. Pumped hydro projects, an alternative storage technology are still at a nascent stage. Other low-carbon options, such as large dams and nuclear plants are also moving at a slow pace, according to the report.

India said last year that it plans to add close to 90 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity by 2032, lifting a forecast from just months before by more than half.

The country has 28.5 gigawatts of coal power currently being built and more than 50 gigawatts that are planned to be awarded for construction over the next three years, according to the people.

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