World Coal Association exhorts India for sustainable use of cleaner coal

New Delhi,[India] Oct.18 : The World Coal Association (WCA) has urged India to work towards deployment of cleaner coal, at its conference in New Delhi held on Tuesday.

The global industry association for coal has said that in order to support a sustainable development of the resource, the world's third largest energy consumer, India, will require financial, technological and other support internationally.

Opening the conference titled 'Sustainable Energy Development: Opportunities and Innovation for Indian Coal', Benjamin Sporton, Chief Executive, WCA, said: "We are excited to be in India and have come here to observe and take back key insights.

As an international organization, we can support the sustainable development of India's coal, mining and power sectors in partnership with Coal India, NTPC, and other public and private enterprises.

As India is going to rely on coal to power up its economy in the decades to come, I think it is important to look for ways to mine coal in a sustainable, efficient and safe manner, as well as look for ways to utilize it through modern high-efficiency, low-emission (HELE) power generation technologies to reduce emissions.

For the international coal community, India is of high strategic importance and therefore, WCA has decided to convene its annual board meeting in New Delhi, this year." Present on the occasion, Anil Swarup, Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Government of India said: "We have to identify ways in which clean coal can be quickly introduced in India.

The concern is that with the increase in coal production as per our plans, we have to think in terms of how cleaner coal could also be provided.

Thereby, on the one hand, there will be increased production and, on the other, we will see how this does not damage the environment." According to the guidance given by the International Energy Agency (IEA), by 2040, India's energy consumption will surpass that of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Europe, and would be rapidly approaching that of the US.

Like other countries before it, the country's economic growth will be still largely powered by coal. Presently, over 40% of India's total primary energy and over 70% of generated electricity demand are met by coal.

The country presently has nearly 205 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired electricity generation capacity, which will soon be further augmented by another 113 GW.

To this effect, Benjamin Sporton said, "Given the continued reliance on coal, it is important to make sure that we are using modern HELE power plants with super critical and ultra-super technology that can significantly help reduce carbon dioxide emissions up to 35%.

Another important aspect to this technology is that it reduces emissions of other things that cause concerns about clean air such as particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide." The Indian Government is driven by the mission of 24X7 Affordable and Environment Friendly 'Power for All' by 2022.

Even after incorporating cost declines in renewable technologies, coal is expected to remain the most cost- effective option for meeting electricity demand growth in the country.

Source: ANI