Skip to main content

Reliance thinktank report: Low calorific coal "required" for India's high economic growth, energy security

By Rajiv Shah
A top-ranking think tank attached with one of India's foremost business houses has warned that, despite the Government of India target have ensure that 40% of the energy needs would be fulfilled by renewable sources in about a decade, this is not going to happen over the next two decades or more.
Worse, the think tank report says, the use of coal, which currently accounts for 67% of India's energy needs, would go down maximum by 7%, reaching 60% about 20 years later. Rest of the 40% of the energy needs would, therefore, be met by not just renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.), but also by nuclear and hydro power plants.
The report approvingly quotes the International Energy Agency (IEA) as saying even the coal that would be used in India would be of low calorific value, producing high levels of greenhouse gases. It says, “The production of high and mid-energy coal (more than 4,200 kcal/kg) has stagnated in India, while the production of low energy coal (less than 4,200 kcal/kg) has more than doubled.”
This has happened because, says the report, “irrespective of the technology used, it is known that coal washing consumes energy and water and adds to the producer's cost.” Thus, it China, it points out, “washing is estimated to account for 18% of total national water use on coal, the second-largest source of water consumption after agriculture.”
Yet underlining why coal will continue to remain important, the report says, the Indian economy is “likely to be among the fastest growing large economies in the world for the next few years and its growth momentum is expected to be sustained for at least the next two decades.” Also, it insists, "Use of domestic coal is strategic as it minimises capital outflow and increases energy security."
Titled “Coal Beneficiation in India: Status and Way Forward”, authored by Swagat Bam, Lydia Powell and Akhilesh Sati, who are with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), attached with the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), the report says, already, the Government of India (GoI) “plans to increase coal production from 607 million tonnes (MT) in 2014-15 to 1.5 billion tonnes (BT) by 2019-20.”
The report – which is based on meetings and field visits conducted for achieving the target of clean coal for mitigation of climate change in India, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Australia – further says that coal is also “required to boost domestic economic activity by increasing the share of manufacturing in the gross domestic product (GDP) to improve prospects for employment generation and widen access to electricity for all.”
Given this framework, the report says, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India notification of 2014, which insists on having “beneficiated coal” with an ash content not exceeding 34% starting with June 2016 hasn't been achieved, and is unlikely to be achieved in the near future.
“Despite the benefits and supportive policy interventions that have been in place for over two decades, coal washing has not been adopted on a large scale by coal producers and users (particularly power generators)”, the report complains.
“More than 75% of Indian coal has ash content of more than 30% or higher, with somewhere the ash content is as high as 50%”, the report says, adding, “This is high compared to coal traded on the international market where ash share rarely exceeds 15%.”
“Overall, under practical conditions in a given washery, ash levels below 30% at a reasonable yield could be reached only in a very few cases”, the report says, adding, “High ash content is among the reasons why Indian coal scores poorly on energy content.”

Comments

Uma said…
Is this true: the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), attached with the Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL)? Has RIL taken over ORF? I thought, being independent, ORF was reliable (pun not intended)

TRENDING

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.