NEW DELHI: Reacting to a report citing India will need no coal-based power plant after 2025, the World Coal Association (WCA) said it is not credible to suggest that the country can achieve universal energy access and develop its economy without coal in the next 10 years, regardless of the country's investment in renewables.
WCA chief executive officer Benjamin Sporton said, "India's energy needs are too huge for any suggestion that it will not need coal in the future. In a country where 244 million have no electricity and 819 no access to clean cooking facilities, it is impossible to find a solution without coal being part of the energy mix- Coal is essential to global efforts to achieving universal energy access. "

The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) on Monday said that excess power generation capacity provides India an opportunity to shift completely to green energy. The study by TERI said if the country can halve storage technology prices by 2024 it can do without the need for new coal-based plants. TERI report is partially in line with a recent report by the Central Electricity Authority that said the country does not need new coal based power generation capacity till 2022.

WCA said for a country like India, it's not a choice between coal and renewables - both are needed and both will play a big role. Renewables have an important role to play but coal will remain the driving force behind electrification and industrialisation and according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), coal will continue to make the largest contribution to electricity generation in India through to 2040.

WCA said although the competitiveness of renewables and gas-fired technology in India is likely to improve over time, coal is expected to remain the most affordable option through to 2035.

Given India is exploring emerging technology such as battery storage we would encourage them to also support CCS. In India there is an unsubsidised, fully commercial CCUS facility which has been operating since 2015.This CCUS project from Carbon Clean Solutions in the port of Tuticorin has been able to significantly reduce the costs associated with capturing the CO2.

"There is an assumption that we can get rid of coal, and only by doing so can we meet climate objectives. This is false. Coal plays a critical role in the world's energy mix and is going to do so for a very long time to come, especially for a country like India where the need for stable, reliable and affordable energy has never been greater," Sporton said.




(Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com)

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