Seeking nirvana from carbon emissions through renewable energy
Coal secretary Anil Swarup says his heart is in renewable energy but his official capacity demands of him to pursue diligently the fossil fuel production target of 1.5 billion tonnes (bt) by 2020, including 1 bt by Coal India. The two-pronged objective is to progressively reduce dependence on coal imports, which prove expensive for domestic users and ensure uninterrupted production of electricity.
Thermal power plants across the country now have an average coal inventory of 21 days requirements. Electricitygeneration in the country is largely coal-based. At 2014 December-end, of the total installed power generation capacity of 255,682 Mw, the share of coal-based capacity was as much as 154,171 Mw. The compulsion for India to put reliance on coal-fired electricity is understandable.
First, it is endowed with the world’s fifth largest coal reserves of around 300 bt. Second, thermal power, which also includes gas- and diesel-based electricity, is at this point crucial to the government chasing a double-digit gross domestic product growth.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is acutely aware the present overwhelming share of thermal plants in the country’s electricity generation is not enhancing its green credentials and he is keen to put renewable energy system growth on fast track. For long, conventional wisdom has linked environment-damaging energy-related emissions to industrial and transportation growth