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Electricity demand: Failure to explore 'less costly, more attractive' options

By Shankar Sharma* 

A recent report says: "At least 21 international organisations have written to Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and requested the Supreme Court to speedily resolve the pending case filed by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, investigating Adani Group firms for alleged overvaluation of Indonesian coal imports."
Whether the associated corruption allegations will be proved correct or not, it would have been a lot more relevant to the global society, if these organisations were to make use of their collective clout to demand drastic reduction, or complete stoppage of coal usage, or coal exports.
The associated report also indicates that "..... citing documents from George Soros-backed Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP),...". 
 Knowing well the vested interest of many dubious NGOs functioning across the international borders, one may also question the integrity/legitimacy of such appeals.
What the global society is in urgent need of is to drastically reduce the usage of fossil fuels, including coal, in order to minimise the calamitous impacts of climate change, and not one or two corruption related representations. 
In this larger context, it will not be an overstatement that the very concept of high impact or huge cost projects (whether it is in coal power, hydro power, or nuclear power) in the present scenario of global climate emergency, can be easily associated with one kind or the other corrupt policy/ practice. 
At the global level even the official allocation of a coal mine, or approval for a coal power plant, or for a high voltage power line, or a dam based hydro, or a nuclear power can be associated with corrupt practices, because a diligent analysis of all the associated costs and benefits to the larger society can unambiguously reveal that there there much more attractive and less costly options to meet the legitimate electricity demand.
So the societal efforts should be focused on persuading our authorities to adopt least cost and most beneficial options, instead of wasting our resources in representing only on such narrow objectives. The question that comes to our mind quickly in this regard is: should such proposals for coal power plants, or coal exports/ imports acceptable to the global society, or just the Indian society, keeping in view the calamitous impacts of climate change?
Should we not make efforts to root out the origin of global concerns (such as moving away from coal usage) instead of crying foul on one or more such localised issues, which apparently also have global political connotation?
*Power & Climate Policy 



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