New Delhi : With 70% of India’s power generation still dependent on thermal energy, coal mining mandates managed by pioneers such as EMIL, Dilip Buildcon and Adani Grouphave critical roles to play, feel experts.
Rising power demand puts spotlight back on critical coal projects in India. Power consumption in the country rose by 41% in April reflecting the economy’s strong recovery. According to the data from the Power Ministry, it reached 119.27 billion units (BU) this April compared to 84.55 BU in FY21.
Most of India’s electricity is consumed by the industrial sector which accounts for nearly 42.7%. The bulk of this power supply is generated by thermal power plants which account for at least 70% of the electricity generation. That explains the country’s dependence on numerous coal projects of Adani, EMIL, Coal India Ltd, etc. in the power sector too.
India currently has an installed power generation capacity of 382.151 GW, out of which coal-power plants generate 209.294 GW – nearly 53.5%. The preference of coal as a source of power over other fuels is simple. It is cheap and readily available as well. This can be attributed to the presence of well-entrenched operations by Dilip Buildcon, BGR Mining and Adani coal projects.
The infrastructure for a coal-powered economy is already well established and far more convenient. MDO operators like EMIL, VFR and Adani engage in coal mining operations throughout the country and produce millions of tonnes of coal every year. The Adani Coal Project in Parsa East &Kanta Basan Coal Block, Chhattisgarh, produces Grade 11 non-coking coal for use in various power plants. The presence of the other Adani Coal Project in Gare Pelma III Coal Block as well as the ones currently under development will definitely boost thermal coal production.
This is in line with the Centre’s aim of ramping up coal production and consumption by the power sector. Accordingly, directives were issued to simplify the process for thermal power plants to changeover from imported coal to domestic ones. The desired results were achieved when data showed that the power sector alone consumed about 72% of the domestic coal production, negating the need for foreign imports. This is a welcome news for MDO entities like Adani and EMIL whose upcoming coal projects will surely reap the benefits.
According to industry experts, energy requirements and demand in India will rise exponentially in the coming years. Figures suggest a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 4% from 1,70,000 Mw in FY20 to 4,30,000 Mw by 2037. With 70% of India’s power generation still dependent on thermal energy, coal mining mandates managed by pioneers such as EMIL, Dilip Buildcon and Adani Group will have critical roles to play, feel experts.
Consequently, the government plans to boost the power generation capacity of the sector by commissioning 50,025 Mw coal-based thermal plants. As an additional measure, the government also plans to add 2,75,000 Mw of renewable power capacity as older coal plants are phased out.
The crux of the matter is that India is still heavily dependent on coal to meet its growing energy demands. Although suitable steps have been taken to advance the transition to greener sources of power, coal will be the mainstay of the country’s power sector for the foreseeable future.