Indian power sector dependence on the coal: Critical analysis, By Kartikeya Hundet, At Lexcliq

India accounts for more than 17% of the world’s population i.e., about 1.3 billion people reside. In a country like India to meet the energy demand is a very difficult task. It is challenging to provide sufficient energy supplies to every consumer at an equitable cost. India’s energy consumption has been increasing rapidly in the last six decades as result, there has been the installation of new power plants to generate electricity to meet the demand. Most of the installed electricity plant capacity is based on the thermal power plant coal as a fuel to generate electricity.

Electricity production, generation and transmission is among the most critical components of infrastructure and crucial for nations the economic growth and welfare. The existence and development of adequate infrastructure are essential for the sustained growth of the Indian economy. Such growth would depend heavily on the availability of electricity to propel around industrial, agricultural and commercial activity. In recent years, India’s energy consumption has increased at a relatively higher rate due to population growth, economic development, even though the base rate may be somewhat low as compared to other developing country in the world.

According to a report published by the Ministry of Power under the Government of India, the current installed capacity has increased from 1,362 MW to over 258701 MW since independence and so far, approx. 563,238 villages have been electrified under the policy of rural electrification[1]. However, the annual per capita consumption continues to be low at 917 kWh and this is amongst the lowest in the world. Lack of coal reserves in India made the power generation companies depends on the import of coal from other resource rice countries.

The power generation can be carried out in two different sources such as:  

  •       The power generation can be carried out using renewable sources. such types of renewable sources used in power plants are based on sunlight in solar power plant, the wind in wind power plant, the water in hydroelectric power plant, the wind Tidal energy and Waste green materials in Biomass energy.  
  •       On the other hand, there are non-renewable sources used to generate power. The non-renewable resources are Coal, Natural gas, oil in the thermal power plant and nuclear energy in the nuclear power plant.

In the case of non-renewable energy, it can re-build anywhere as long as the surplus number of raw materials is supplied. Though transporting fuels is a major task, they can produce more electricity throughout the year without any interruption. Power plants based on the fossil fuels like coal to produce power requires a huge amount of coal supplies, whereas, India’s coal reserves are not sufficient to meet domestic demand. Therefore, India usually depends on imported coal from other countries to generate power.

The mining of coal in India is a major economic activity that contributes significantly to the economy of India. The GDP contribution of the mining industry varies from 2.2% to 2.5%. however, the social-economic impact of coal mining in India is very high on labour working in the mine. The quality and quantity of coal mine in India are not good to use in the thermal power plant. At the same time, the demand for coal in this sector is always on the rising side. The major reasons are the soaring power demand in India, the growing worldwide steel production, and lastly, the increasingly stringent environmental regulations.


[1]Government of India, Ministry of Coal (2019) Coal statistics: Production and supplies, June



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