Coal To Dominate India's Energy Landscape In 2030, Says World Body

Coal-to-liquids, coal gasification and creation of synthetic liquid hydrocarbon will alter coal's future usage.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Source: (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)</p></div>
Source: (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Even as India prepares to set up 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, thermal power will continue to play a major role, occupying 44% of the overall power mix, according to Future Coal's Sunil Chaturvedi.

However, abatement of coal through coal gasification, coal-to-liquid and greening of the overall value chain will alter the usage of coal in the coming future, said Chaturvedi, board member of Future Coal and chairman of Gainwell Commosales Pvt., at a media webinar.

The World Coal Association, which has rebranded itself as Future Coal: The Global Alliance For Sustainable Coal, in sync with global decarbonisation efforts, expects India’s demand for coal to grow in the coming decades. The country will require 1.5 billion tonne of fossil fuels to meet its overall power requirement in 2030, despite an increase in the overall renewable power generation capacity to 500 GW from 179 GW at present.

Coal, when used responsibly and sustainably, can contribute significantly to both economic growth and environmental sustainability, according to the global alliance body. It has been propagating a few pre-combustion, combustion and post-combustion measures for reduction in emissions, including carbon abatement, waste management and recycling.

“Range of efficiency technologies, which, when combined, support power and heat utilities to abate and capture up to 99% of emissions,” said Chaturvedi.

These technologies include high-efficiency and low-emission plants, such as ultra-super critical power plants, combined heat and power generators, electricity production from coal gasification, integrated gasification in a combined cycle, and co-firing coal with biomass, said Chaturvedi.

Future Coal is also working towards identifying and helping countries avail of future business opportunities by transforming coal into new higher-value products, such as coal-to-liquids, creating synthetic liquid hydrocarbons, and producing hydrogen, methanol, and agri-chemicals, most of which are being produced today, said Michelle Manook, chief executive of Future Coal.

Coal and coal waste will also act as a secondary resource for "cementitious materials", including fly ash from power stations and slag from ironmaking blast furnaces, which are valuable to the construction sector to replace cement, according to Manook.

Gainwell Commosales is the first company that will manufacture underground coal mining equipment in India, in line with the government’s plan to increase underground mining of coal from 26 million tonne per annum to 100 MPTA by 2028, said Chaturvedi. This is being done to reduce pollution from open-cast surface mines.

“India does not have large seams of coal; hence, it doesn’t require long walls or continuous miners like the ones used in Russia or Australia. India uses room-and-pillar technology that bolts the mined areas using supporting pillars that are broken once the walls are bolted. In the coming years to 2028, the underground mining in India will require around 70–80% of the room-and-pillar equipment that Gainwell will produce,” Chaturvedi said.

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