Publications

Coal Plant Repurposing for Ageing Coal Fleets in Developing Countries

Developing countries with sizeable coal capacities, such as South Africa, Chile, and India, are exploring retirement of coal plants by repurposing them for productive uses including renewable energy generation, storage and ancillary services. However, a framework to establish the economic rationale for repurposing does not currently exist.

This report presents a detailed cost-benefit framework for examining the value proposition of repurposing for three applications – solar energy generation, battery energy storage, and synchronous condenser (that produces fast reactive power essential for maintaining system security)– and applies it to a representative 1,000 Mega Watt coal plant in India. With the important caveat that this complex issue requires wider consideration of a range of economic and sociopolitical issues, including impacts on the workforce and local communities, the report’s findings reveal a strong economic rationale for repurposing.

First, the present value of repurposing benefits outweighs corresponding decommissioning costs – while the direct (mainly demolition and environmental compliance), indirect (contingency costs associated with any unusual environmental issues that may arise), and total decommissioning costs are $58 million, $46 million, and $104 million, respectively, the corresponding gross benefits from repurposing are up to $123 million, $468 million, and $591 million, respectively.

Second, decommissioning costs are about 50% for coal plants in India (i.e., at $58 million) vis-à-vis plants in the United States (i.e., at $117 million).

Finally, the report provides a methodology for selecting plants for repurposing, based on vintage, energy charges, and qualitative factors.

Citation

Shrimali, Gireesh; Jindal, Abhinav. 2021.

Coal Plant Repurposing for Ageing Coal Fleets in Developing Countries : Technical Report (English). Energy Sector Management Assistance Program Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/144181629878602689/Coal-Plant-Repurposing-for-Ageing-Coal-Fleets-in-Developing-Countries-Technical-Report 

Users also downloaded
The report looks at offshore wind development as a potential source of renewable energy in emerging markets.
September 30, 2021
As part of the Cooling Facility, an Environmental and Social Sustainability Framework (ESSF) has been developed.  The ESSF describes standards, processes and tools that are considered as the basis of…
August 27, 2021
The report looks at the role of batteries in supporting sub-Saharan Africa’s energy access goals.
August 19, 2021
This document offers guidelines for the preparation of feasibility studies for geothermal power projects in accordance with best industry practices.
July 22, 2021