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Energy experts fear India’s turn to ‘dirty coal’ commercially unviable



They are saying mixed with the worldwide pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia warfare, which has elevated coal costs internationally, it must be a demise knell for coal.

The time to ramp up wind and photo voltaic is now in order that India is ready to take care of a warming world.

Heatwaves are sweeping throughout India, with March recording the most well liked in 122 years, leading to excessive power demand touching 207GW in April-end, the worst disaster in over six years. Demand is much exceeding provide leading to energy outages by state DISCOMs.

With imported coal costs at an all-time excessive, DISCOMs are cautious of shopping for costly energy.

The specialists instructed IANS on Sunday that it’s counter-intuitive that the federal government is definitely trying to public sale new mines, re-open previous mines and previous thermal energy vegetation, which is not going to solely create stranded belongings however exacerbate local weather change.

Relatively it must be higher power planning, and diversifying the power combine conserving in thoughts emissions, world disruptions and the inflationary nature of fossil fuels.

Energy Ministry officers say the put in capability of electrical grid is near 340 GW. Seventy per cent of that is coal powered. There is not sufficient provide is what’s being mentioned. The fact is there is not ample planning resulting from which coal transport is delayed and energy mills cannot transmit energy in time.

No extra coal mines are wanted in actuality though Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi final week proposed to promote 20 deserted mines with extractable reserves at 380 million tonne, with an intention to extract 30-40 million tonne.

The rationale for opting the dirtiest fossil gasoline is that India, world’s third largest power client with electrical energy demand rising by 4.7 per cent every year, goes to be robust to place new cash into renewable power.

However specialists consider that is precisely what must be completed with the pathway that the coal sector is dealing with investor challenges on funding, challenges on logistics and planning, in addition to volatility in costs.

“Frequent local weather extremes and energy shocks solely point out how a lot local weather motion and power transition wants are intertwined and affected by not simply home occasions but additionally regional and worldwide tremors,” World Wind Power Council (GWEC) India Coverage Director Martand Shardul mentioned.

“Stocking coal via elevated home manufacturing and imports may yield reduction, nonetheless, these exigencies demand a speedy shift to scrub power and enhanced renewable power investments to spice up social good, planetary well being, and financial resilience.”

Sounding a cautionary be aware, Worldwide Institute for Sustainable Growth Coverage Advisor Balasubramanian Viswanathan mentioned: “Within the midst of the ability scarcity disaster, we have to take no matter short-term measures can be found to maintain the followers on. However some interventions have medium- and long-term implications, and right here we should be very cautious.

“We completely should not make new investments in our coal-dependent energy system, which can simply contribute to worse crises sooner or later. From a purely monetary perspective, there’s additionally a giant threat of stranded belongings. The federal government ought to as a substitute drive investments at scale in renewable energy and additional incentivise grid-balancing expertise, together with battery storage.”

Believing India must aggressively put money into renewables — from 10-12 GW per 12 months to 35-36 GW per 12 months, WRI India, Power Program, Director Bharath Jairaj mentioned: “If we’re to fulfill the 2030 goal of 500 GW of non-fossil gasoline capability, we now have to aggressively help investments in power storage and re-introduce beneficial regulatory circumstances for rooftop and behind-the-metre investments in renewable power.”

It’s not a scarcity of coal, says Aarti Khosla, Director with New Delhi-based Local weather Tendencies.

“Neither is it a scarcity of energy capability. Mixed with the worldwide pandemic, and the Ukraine-Russia warfare, which has elevated coal costs internationally, it must be a demise knell for coal however satirically it’s our solely choice to deliver extra energy on instantly. The time to ramp up wind and photo voltaic is now in order that we’re ready to take care of a warming world,” Khosla instructed IANS.

Sunil Dahiya, analyst with the Centre for Analysis on Power and Clear Air (CREA), mentioned it’s time to ditch the soiled and embark on an accelerated power transition journey for true power safety.

“Technology based mostly on costly imported coal or fuel or shopping for costly energy at change is commercially unviable. DISCOMs should purchase cheaper renewable power and complement it with versatile era sources,” added Vibhuti Garg, an Power Economist (Lead India) with the Institute for Power Economics and Monetary Evaluation (IEEFA).

(Vishal Gulati might be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in)

–IANS
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