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Only After 2050 We Will Foresee A Decline In Growth Of Coal-based Power: Susheel Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Coal

As counties move towards shifting their energy mix, India is making strong leap forward in renewable and clean energy fuels

While there will be a marginal dip in growth in the next two decades, only after 2050 we will foresee a decline in growth of coal-based power, according to Susheel Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Coal.

As counties move towards shifting their energy mix, India is making strong leap forward in renewable and clean energy fuels. The secretary elaborated on the challenges of meeting India’s growing energy demand and coal playing a significant role in the same for the next few decades.

“Our total energy supply currently is heavily dependent on coal and lignite. While I am confident that India will be able to meet its renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022, given our requirement for base load and psychology of people and challenges of storage and transmission of renewable power, coal and coal-based power will continue to grow at the same pace and will remain our energy mainstay till 2030,” said Kumar on the sidelines of International Energy Agency’s conference.

He further added, “While there will be the marginal dip in growth in the next two decades, only after 2050 do we foresee a decline in growth of coal-based power.”

According to the ‘Coal Market Report 2017’ launched by IEA, coal-fired power generation in India is likely to increase at nearly 4% per year through 2022, in the back of growing fleet of coal power plants and robust power demand.

Coal has been under pressure in many regions of the world for its contribution to greenhouse gases and has been on a declining curve. However, this trend has seen a reverse this year in coal’s three largest markets- China, India and India, with stronger consumption records.

But, whereas this growth is expected to be temporary in China and United States, that is not the case for India.

“Despite progress in energy efficiency improvements and the deployment of renewables, increasing energy needs for its economic growth and development will push India to expand coal use,” said the report.

The think tank has also reduced its forecast for thermal coal imports to India compared with last year’s report in response to government measures to reduce dependence on imports.

“A number of policies to cut imports have been implemented, which we expect to have an impact despite the lower quality of domestic Indian coal,” according to IEA, who also bet on the performance of Coal India to reduce import dependence.

However, import of coking coal is projected to increase over 5% per year through 2022, as per the report.

According to the report, in India, apart from power, the industrial sector is expected to remain the hub for thermal coal demand thanks to robust economic growth. Demand for coking coal is also projected to increase on account of rising steel consumption in industries such as shipbuilding, defence and vehicle manufacturing as well as housing and railways.


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