April 20, 2024
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ELECTRICITY RENEWABLE ENERGY

India to Open Nuclear Energy Sector to Private Investment

In a significant move towards bolstering its nuclear energy sector, India is set to invite private firms to invest approximately $26 billion.
This initiative aims to enhance electricity production from non-carbon-emitting sources, aligning with India’s ambitious goal of increasing non-fossil fuel-based electricity generation to 50% by 2030.

For the first time, New Delhi will facilitate private investment in nuclear power, which currently contributes less than 2% of the nation’s total electricity output. The government is engaging with prominent private firms, including Reliance Industries, Tata Power, Adani Power, and Vedanta Ltd, to invest around $5.30 billion each.

These investments will support the construction of new nuclear power generation capacity, targeting an additional 11,000 megawatts by 2040.

According to Reuters, private companies will be responsible for financing the construction of nuclear plants, land acquisition, and infrastructure development under the proposed funding plan, while the rights to operate and manage the stations will remain with the state-run Nuclear Power Corp of India Ltd (NPCIL).

The funding plan aims to accelerate nuclear capacity expansion while leveraging private sector expertise and resources.
“This hybrid model of nuclear power project development is an innovative solution to accelerate the nuclear capacity,” said Charudatta Palekar, an independent power sector consultant who formerly worked for PwC.

Despite India’s existing nuclear power capacity and commitments for further expansion, challenges such as fuel supply procurement and stringent nuclear compensation laws have hindered progress.

However, recent developments, including agreements with the United States for nuclear fuel supplies, signal a renewed focus on advancing India’s nuclear energy ambitions.

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