New Delhi: Stressing that coal is going to be relevant for the next three-four decades, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi told investors that India’s coal demand is going to rise manifold to 1.5 BT by 2040 and domestic production will not be enough to meet that demand. Addressing an investors’ conclave in Mumbai on Thursday for commercial coal mine auction, Joshi said, “Our requirement for coal is increasing, our total dispatch in 2013-14 was 572 million tons, last year it was 817 MT, this year it will be 900 MT.”
He added that in 2023, India’s coal production will touch 1 BT and it will still not be enough to meet India’s demand for coal. “We will not be able to meet India’s coal demand through domestic production alone,” the minister told investors.
By 2040, despite 50% RE power generation, India will need 1.5 BT coal: Joshi
Joshi said that India’s per capita power consumption is one-third of the world average and is set to see a rapid rise in the years to come. “By 2040, the demand for electricity is going to double. When our power demand doubles, even if you produce 50 percent of that demand from renewables, the other 50 percent thermal power generation will require around 1.5 BT of coal,” said the Union Minister for Coal while assuring investors of coal’s relevance in India’s energy mix.
He added as India continues to produce and use coal, technologies will have to deployed to make the process sustainable. “Coal is going to be relevant for the next 3-4 decades because energy security is important to India. But having said that, we need to make this sustainable through processes like coal gasification, sustainable mining. In order to reduce our carbon footprint, we have also started plantation on a large scale. In the year 2021-22, 47 lakh trees have been planted. Since the inception of Coal India, around 50 hectares of land has been brought under green cover,” he said.
Investors can be sure of long-term return with 50-year-long mining leases: Secretary
Addressing investors at the conclave, newly appointed Coal Secretary Amrit Lal Meena assured them of high and long-term returns on investments made in the coal mining sector since the government is offering 50-year-long mining leases under the commercial coal mine auction regime. He stressed that India is going to need coal to meet its energy needs for several years in the future, despite commitments pertaining to energy transition.
“When the commercial coal mine auction was launched in June 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spelled out a clear vision for the coal sector in India. That the production of coal has to be increased, and along with CIL and its subsidiaries, private sector has to be involved in the process in a big way so that coal imports can be substituted,” Meena said while inviting investors to put in bids for the coal mines on offer.
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