Policy actions needed to promote gas-based power generation: GE experts


Policy actions like right indexation of variation in fuel pricing and bringing gas under the GST regime are required to enhance gas-based power generation in India, GE experts suggested in a webinar.

The experts, during the webinar on ‘Why Gas Power for India? Grid firming for round-the- clock power’, opined that in India gas power can complement renewables (RE) to offer decarbonization of the power sector in the near-term, and also open pathways to near-zero carbon emissions in the long-term.

They are of the view that gas supply and its pricing are critical factors in determining the competitiveness of gas-based power projects.

To make a case for India, right indexation of variation in fuel pricing and other components in the tariff computation would help gas-based power projects to offer an improved cost of electricity, increase gas-based power off-take and in turn drive natural gas consumption to contribute to the Government of India’s vision of gas share in the energy mix of 15 per cent vs. 6 per cent currently, the GE experts said in the webinar.

Additionally, they suggested that getting natural gas under the GST (Goods and Services Tax) basket can further improve the fuel economics for power generation and reduce the cascading taxation.

“These policy actions can enhance the role play of natural gas in the power generation equation, thereby making electricity more affordable, reliable and sustainable.” said Deepesh Nanda CEO, GE Gas Power South Asia.

“From a tariff economics perspective, gas-based power can provide an efficient and cost-effective avenue for baseload generation capacity.

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“As per GE estimates, a RE + Gas Power Hybrid modelled for 300 MW RTC (round the clock) solution with GE’s gas turbine technology can provide high plant annual average availability reaching 85 per cent as per the revised RTC tender amendment and renewable generation of more than 51 percent at a competitive cost of power generation even with RLNG,” he added.

“For India, a mix of generation sources can be the most effective way to provide system reliability and secure supply of electricity,” Nanda said adding the future grid will need more dispatchable synchronous generation as spinning reserve to provide load-following and frequency response services.

“As a solution, gas-fired power plants can provide affordable baseload power in developing, high-growth regions like India. As part of the grid-firming mechanism, gas power can also promote transitioning to economic and complementary cyclic or peaking power, thus accommodating future renewables growth.”

Grid firming is the addition of other energy resources to balance the intermittency of renewable resources in order to provide a reliable and stable power within the desired dispatchable duration.

The speakers at the webinar – Jason MacDowell, Senior Director, Technology, Strategy and Policy, GE Energy Consulting; Arun Unni, Senior Engagement Manager, GE Energy Consulting; Ihab Chaaban, Global Commercial Development Director, GE Gas Power; and Deepesh Nanda, CEO, GE Gas Power South Asia, illustrated the techno-economic attributes and efficacy of using a Gas Thermal Hybrid system having renewable energy bundled with gas power generation, for round-the-clock application.

To talk about near-zero carbon emissions in the future, there are multiple approaches available for low-carbon or carbon-free fuels, including the use of hydrogen for power generation.

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In India, GE Gas Power has a significant installed base of over 260 utility and industrial gas turbines across both Government and private sector power plants.





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