Green push apart, India compelled to opt for coal as the most preferred fuel

Despite India being bullish on green energy options, as it aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070, the geopolitical situation triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war has led to supply chain constraints, rising energy prices and pushing inflation to highest-ever levels in several countries. 

All these factors combined together have compelled India to continue to depend on coal-based thermal energy. 

Recently, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that uncertainties in the energy sector were an area of concern for the government. 

She noted that like many other nations, India too would have to rely more on coal in the near future due to global uncertainties and supply chain disruptions. 

The finance minister even said that India’s plan to shift to renewable energy had received a jolt and therefore ways to reduce coal dependency and return to eco-friendly energy resources needed to be devised. 

Avinash Kumar, Greenpeace India’s lead for climate and energy campaign, recently gave a realistic perspective to India’s growing dependence on coal despite its aggressive green energy push. 

“As part of the COVID-19 recovery plan, the government opened up its coal mining sector for private players and announced many new coal mines for auction. This new investment planned for coal power plants can impact the progress of clean energy. Ideally, these investments should have been for renewables,” he had said. 

India’s dependence on coal can be gauged from the fact that owing to shortage of the fossil fuel in thermal plants, Coal India, the country’s largest producer, was in June this year, forced to import 8 million tonnes of coal for this financial year.

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