‘The new India we are building has coal as its foundation. Coal will continue to play a major role in country’s energy mix,’ said Joshi
‘The demand for coal (in India) is projected to increase substantially over the next several decades,’ said the minister
New Delhi: Insisting that coal will play a big role in India’s energy transition, Union Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi said on Monday that the new India will have coal at its foundation and energy will continue to mean ‘coal’ for several decades. Speaking at an event organised to launch the Ministry of Coal’s Single Window Clearance Portal, Joshi asserted, “It is impossible to operate an industry or even grow crops without using some form of energy. And energy will continue to mean coal for several decades. The new India we are building has coal as its foundation. Coal will continue to play a major role in country’s energy mix.”
Some groups argue to shun coal without assessing implications: Joshi
While stating that some groups often irresponsibly argue to shun coal without assessing the implications, Joshi quoted the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the US Energy Information Administration and said that the two organisations believe that coal will continue to meet most of the world’s increasing energy needs for at least the next two decades. “The demand for coal (in India) is projected to increase substantially over the next several decades,” said the minister.
“Ours is a growing country in terms of population and GDP both. Still, it is noteworthy that our per capita CO2 emission is only 1.9 tonnes, contributing only 6.8 percent of global emissions. Since coal is the cheapest source to generate electricity and light up the homes of over 130 crore Indians, it provides the opportunity for achieving continual economic growth, increased incomes, higher living standards and poverty reduction,” said Joshi.
Making coal story a part of India’s growth story through commercial mining
The minister said that the government has been working towards making coal an integral part of India’s growth story and launched commercial coal mine auctions to achieve the same. “We liberalised the coal sector with the launch of commercial coal mining. Government has steadily moved towards turning the coal story to make it part of India’s growth story. Commercial coal mining is a great example of how the Narendra Modi government functions. We ushered transparency in the sector, liberalised the sector, offered incentives on coal gasification and liquefaction and conducted the auctions smoothly and fairly. Thus the sector which stood under-utilised for several decades stands completely unleashed now,” said Joshi.
“I often say that we should make the maximum use of our coal reserves while shifting to cleaner forms of energy. We cannot crush the energy aspirations of this nation in our quest to follow the West. The country has overcome that mindset,” the minister added.
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