Dispelling myths: coal cannot be cycled to manage the variability of renewables

India has bold goals for renewables that raise several considerations for future grid planning and operations. The inherent attributes of renewable electricity generation i.e. stochasticity, variability and geographic concentration are perceived as a challenge given the dominance of coal in India’s electricity mix. More so when the grid is operated today far from optimally, with frequency drifts, load shedding, no provisions for reserve margins and an ancillary mechanism that is still in its infancy. The fact that India has a dominant coal fleet actually helps more than is visualised by the policymakers and grid operators. The objective of this paper is to trigger thoughts around the policy, market, and regulatory structures that enable flexible behaviour from (operators of) power plants for effective integration of all types of resources with the grid.