On Sept 15, the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy reported that its data on available thermal power capacity this decade was way-off. The agency had underestimated the total capacity scheduled to shut down by 2030, and overcounted the new capacity planned to come online.
The errors amount to 16.52 GW of thermal capacity that won’t be available by 2030, which is equivalent to 16 nuclear reactors. What’s more, the admission was made a week before state auctions for power capacity in 2026.
The extent of the error, and its timing, raised questions. Was this announcement intended to influence markets and policies, or purely a human error? Industry observers say the miscalculation won’t have an immediate impact on markets, but will push METI and ANRE to take bold action to rectify the massive capacity gap. This could be done by slowing the decommissioning of aging thermal capacity, a process made easier by a recent regulatory change.
Another option is that METI could speed up the rollout of its co-firing agenda, pushing more coal and gas-fired plants to also burn hydrogen or ammonia. Both options, however, have drawbacks.