Coal to remain prime energy source in India for near future: Coal minister 

Coal minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday said that being an affordable source of energy with substantial reserves, coal is going to stay as a major source of energy in the foreseeable future.

Published: 17th March 2022 08:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2022 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

Coal mine, Coal miners, Mine workers, Labourers, Electricity, Mine fields

Image used for representational purposes. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Coal minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday said that being an affordable source of energy with substantial reserves, coal is going to stay as a major source of energy in the foreseeable future. The minister, in a written reply to Lok Sabha said the country will require base load capacity of coal-based generation for stability and also for energy security.  

 “As per the Inventory for Coal and Lignite as on 1 April 2021, the total assessed geological coal resource is 352 billion tonnes. Coal will remain a prime energy source for the near future as it is available in abundance,” said the minister.

India has committed to becoming a net-zero nation by 2070. Also, at the COP 26 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would increase the installed capacity of renewables to 500GW by 2030. However, the target seems unachievable right now, given India’s dependency on coal. Coal accounts for 55% of the country’s energy needs. 

As per Economic Survey, the demand for coal is expected to remain in the range of 1.3-1.5 billion tonnes by 2030. The current per capita commercial primary energy consumption in India is about 350 kgoe/year. Thus, coal is not only the primary source of energy in the country but is also used as an intermediary by many industries such as steel, sponge iron, cement, paper, brick-kilns etc.   Hence, there has been an overall increase in the demand of coal over the years.

 “While India has committed to clean energy; the pace of transition to cleaner energy sources in India is to be viewed in the light of national circumstances, and principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, the transfer of climate finance and low-cost climate technologies,” said Joshi.  Talking about the Glasgow Climate Pact, the minister said it does not mandate the phase-down of coal power and is not setting any timelines for the phase-down. The pact, the minister said, only calls upon parties to accelerate efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power in line with national circumstances.  



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