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Opening new coal mines, coal power plants can't improve coal supply situation

Power & Climate Policy Analyst Shankar Sharma's representation to RK Singh, Union Minister for Power and Renewable Energy, with copy to the Chairperson, Vice -Chairperson and Members NITI Aayog, New Delhi:
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May I bring to your kind attention the ongoing enormity of the coal power crisis like situation in the country from the overall welfare perspective of civil society?
The attribute to the Union govt., as in the web link here, that the country has constraints in the availability of domestic coal has only corroborated the associated concerns which have been raised by many people and media houses during the last few weeks, even though the officials and ministers refused to acknowledge the same.
It is a well acknowledged fact that the ability of the road/rail infrastructure needed to transport coal from mines and seaports to coal power stations has reached a sort of saturation, and the ill-conceived policy of opening scores of new coal mines and coal power plants cannot improve the coal supply situation to any considerable extent, because of which the sub-optimal level of operation of coal power plants can only worsen.
Keeping this constraint, various other associated concerns with coal mining/power plants, and the demand of Climate Change, it will be disastrous for the country to continue to rely on coal power plants against every wisdom. In the context of many representations in this regard from civil society, and in the context of unambiguous recommendations of IPCC, WHO, and UN, I urge the Union govt. to urgently undertake a serious and diligent review of the coal power policy's true relevance to our country, and take a conscious stand on our National Energy Policy. In this regard, there can be no doubt that the RE based power policy, that too of distributed kind of RE scenario, should be the most suited energy policy for the country.
A series of technical simulation cum costs analysis as a part of a high quality academic study to determine the applicability of a 100% RE based electricity grid to a modern society have been undertaken by a group of scholars from Stanford University, USA, as in the web link here. This study has established with a high level of confidence the feasibility to meet most energy needs (not just the electricity needs) of our society through wind, water and solar power technologies.
Whereas this series of simulations has also referred to a case study on the Indian power sector, there are no media reports about such studies having been conducted in India. While it is deplorable if our technical institutions and the Power Ministry have not deemed it necessary to undertake such a detailed analysis of power sector data for the immediate future, please instruct the ministry officials to undertake such studies as relevant to Indian conditions not only in CEA but also in technical institutes of higher learning.
Such studies and the associated policy decisions will enable our country to make an early start to move away from the undue reliance on coal and other conventional technology power sources, and on to a sustainable and green energy scenario, along with the distinct possibility to reach the goal of zero net emissions scenario much before 2070.
It will be a serious let down of our people, if our policy makers refuse to consider various options available to our country to drastically reduce the continued over- reliance on coal power, and also on other conventional technology power, which are heaping unacceptably enormous costs on our people.
It also needs to be emphasised again and again, that the deplorable lack of a diligently prepared national energy policy, even after many years of representations in that regard, will continue to thwart any efforts to reduce our total GHG emissions in the energy sector.
Can our people hope to see concrete and effective policy changes in this regard at an early date?

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