Coal Minister – The New Indian Express


Express press service

NEW DELHI: Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Wednesday that being an affordable energy source with substantial reserves, coal will remain a major energy source for the foreseeable future. The minister, in a written response to Lok Sabha, said the country will need baseload capacity of coal-based generation for stability and also for energy security.

“According to the coal and lignite inventory as of April 1, 2021, the total assessed coal geological resource is 352 billion tonnes. Coal will remain a primary energy source for the foreseeable future as it is available in abundance,” the minister said.

India has pledged to become a net zero nation by 2070. Additionally, during the COP 26 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India will increase installed renewable energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030. However, the goal seems unachievable at the moment, given India’s dependence on coal. Coal accounts for 55% of the country’s energy needs.

According to the economic study, the demand for coal is expected to remain in the range of 1.3 to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2030. The current per capita commercial primary energy consumption in India is around 350 kgoe/ year. Thus, coal is not only the main source of energy in the country, but is also used as an intermediate by many industries such as steel, sponge iron, cement, paper, brick kilns, etc demand for coal over the years.

“While India has embarked on clean energy; the pace of transition to cleaner energy sources in India should be considered in light of national circumstances and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, transfer of climate finance and low-cost climate technologies” , Joshi said. Speaking of the Glasgow Climate Pact, the Minister said it did not mandate the phase-down of coal power and set no timetable for the phase-down. The pact, the minister said, only calls on the parties to accelerate efforts towards phasing out unrelenting coal power based on national circumstances.


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