Phasing out coal, particularly within the electrical energy sector, and shifting to renewable vitality sources is an crucial pathway to restrict the worldwide temperature of the Earth beneath 1.5°C. At COP 26, the phasing down of fossil fuels was mentioned, so was the phase-out of subsidies on fossil fuels. While the worldwide coalition (Powering Previous Coal Alliance) to section out coal is gaining momentum, nationwide and sub-national local weather motion plans shall be essential in figuring out regional priorities and figuring out the pathway to attain international commitments. The latest G20 Summit acknowledged the dearth of monetary sources in creating nations to facilitate vitality transition. It has been emphasised that creating nations want no less than USD 4 trillion for the variation of unpolluted vitality applied sciences by 2030.
India is without doubt one of the quickest rising economies on this planet, registering 7.8% progress within the first quarter of FY 2022-23. On condition that coal accounts for 55% of the overall vitality wants of India, formulating region-specific roadmap to ‘phasing down coal’ as a substitute of ‘phasing out coal’ might complement its current progress trajectories.
The intriguing query stays whereas making an attempt to section down coalare we concurrently additionally scaling up renewable-based energy technology? The expansion within the put in capability of solar-based energy vegetation has gained momentum, registering a double-digit progress of 24% between FY2021-22 and FY2022-23. That is coupled with a 1% progress in biomass energy, 5.6% progress in wind-based energy technology, and 0.3% progress in hydro-based energy put in capability. Nevertheless, the plant load issue (common capability utilisation) of solar energy vegetation is eighteen.46%, which is way decrease in comparison with the plant load issue of coal-based energy vegetation, which is working at 68.3%.
This text examines a pathway for coal transition just about the states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, which we’ve examined within the chapter ‘Macroeconomic Impacts of Coal Transition’ within the e-book ‘The Function of Coal in a Sustainable Power Combine: A Large Angle View’, edited by Mritiunjoy Mohanty and Runa Sarkar.
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‘Geography’ of Coal
The foremost coal reserves in India are geographically skewed. As per Niti Aayog Power statistics in 2022, states like Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh account for 87% of the overall coal reserves in India. These states shall be extremely susceptible within the strategy of phasing down coal in India. Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh collectively account for 45% of the overall coal reserves of the nation. These two states additionally account for 34% of the overall coal manufacturing in India. Out of 185 coal-based energy vegetation in India, 18% of the coal vegetation are in these two states accounting for 28,598 MW of put in capability.
Additional, inside Jharkhand, the Geospatial Power Map of India on the district degree created by Niti Aayog in collaboration with ISRO and Ministries of Energy, Coal, Petroleum, and Renewable Power, depicts that out of its 24 districts, coal-based energy vegetation are concentrated within the 6 districts — Bokaro, Dhanbad, Ramgarh, Sarai Kela KharsavanEast Singhbhumand Jamtara. Equally, inside Chhattisgarh, out of 32 districts, coal vegetation are concentrated within the districts of age, Raigarh, Raipur, Bilaspur, and Durg. Whereas assessing the magnitude of vulnerabilities of the vitality transition course of, the spatial dimension turns into essential in formulating the transition plan for ‘phasing down coal’particularly in these extremely coal-dependent districts.
The put in capability of renewable-based (photo voltaic, wind, biomass, small hydro, waste to vitality) vitality sources accounts for less than 0.8% of the overall energy technology put in capability in Jharkhand in comparison with 3% for Chhattisgarh. The majority of it’s hydropower vegetation, that are principally within the western half of Jharkhand. Solar energy vegetation are positioned in Ranchi and western Singhbhum. Ranchi appears to be a possible district for creating solar-based energy vegetation. Dhanbad and Ramgarh are diversifying their vitality technology sources with a deal with biomass-based energy vegetation.
Chhattisgarh, a possible energy hub of India has additionally diversified its vitality technology sources throughout photo voltaic and small hydro, biomass, and waste-to-energy. The district of Durg (it is usually a coal-reliant district) has the best solar energy technology put in capability of 87 MW adopted by Bemetara with an put in capability of fifty MW. Coal-reliant districts of Bilaspur and Raigarh have diversified by way of biomass-based energy technology.
To conclude, the potential for creating renewable vitality primarily based sources is appreciable in each Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. A number of the coal-reliant districts — Dhanbad, Durg, Ranchi, Raipur, and Bilaspur — have diversified their energy technology sources to biomass and photo voltaic. Nevertheless, appreciable sources shall be wanted to impact the transition from coal. The lately concluded G20 Summit in its Delhi Declaration made the next observations on simply transition — simply vitality transitions are wanted regardless that expensive, and the “price of inaction considerably outweighs that of orderly and simply transitions”. How the transition will be made, leaving nobody behind, stays to be seen.
Dr Saon Ray is Professor, Indian Council for Analysis on Worldwide Financial Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi. Piyali Majumder is an Affiliate Fellow on the Nationwide Council of Utilized Financial Analysis.
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