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Despite push for RE, India will require coal for energy security: Pralhad Joshi

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  • 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, said the minister
  • In the April-January period of 2021-22, India’s coal import stood at 173.32 MT, down from 180.56 MT recorded during the corresponding period of the previous financial year

New Delhi: Despite push for renewables, India will require base load capacity of coal-based generation for stability and also for energy security, said Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday. In a written response to a question raised in the Lok Sabha, the minister said, “Being an affordable source of energy with substantial reserve, coal is going to stay as major source of energy in the foreseeable future. As the price of renewable power declines and that of coal-based power rises, there is a shift towards the former, also supported by emission concerns.”

‘Pace of energy transition must be viewed in light of national circumstances’

The minister also told the House, “… 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.”

India’s coal import at 173.32 MT in Apr-Jan period of 2021-22

In the April-January period of 2021-22, India’s coal import stood at 173.32 Million Tonnes (MT), down from 180.56 MT recorded during the corresponding period of the previous financial year, said Joshi. “Due to increased availability of coal on account of policy measures taken to increase domestic coal production, total coal import declined from 248.54 MT in 2019-20 to 215.25 MT in 2020-21,” he added.

Coal import by the power sector declined from 69.22 MT in 2019-20 to 45.47 MT in 2020-21. Further, during April 2021-January 2022, coal import by the power sector has decreased to the level of 22.73 MT as compared to 39.01 MT during the corresponding period of the previous year, the minister told the House.

CIL’s share in coal supply rose to 64.3% in 2021-22

The share of coal supply by Coal India Limited (CIL), which was around 60.8 percent of total consumption of coal in 2019-20, increased to 63.3 percent in 2020-21 and further to 64.3 percent in 2021-22 (April- January 2022), said the minister. In 2021-22 (upto February 28), CIL has dispatched 487.88 MT of coal to the power sector, with a 22.6 percent growth over the last year. Similarly, SCCL and captive coal blocks have dispatched 48.91 MT and 74.65 MT coal to the power sector (upto February 28), which is 36 percent and 40.8 percent more than the same period of the last year.

In a separate response to a question raised in the Lok Sabha, Joshi said that CIL has supplied coal to the non-power sector to the tune of 3.32 Lakh tonne per day in FY 2021-22. At present, Coal India has stock of 60.77 Million Tonnes (MT) as on April 1, he added.

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