Coal will stay as a major source of energy in the foreseeable future as it is an affordable source of energy with substantial reserve, Parliament was informed on Monday.
Despite push for renewables, the country will require base load capacity of coal-based generation for stability and also for energy security, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said.
“Being an affordable source of energy with substantial reserve, coal is going to stay as major source of energy in the foreseeable future,” the minister said in a reply to the Rajya Sabha.
He was responding to a query on the steps adopted by the government to effect a ‘Coal Phasedown’ as pledged at the COP26.
The overarching decision titled ‘Glasgow Climate Pact’ reflects the various agreements between parties with regard to coal and fossil fuel subsidies.
The pact calls upon parties to accelerate the development, deployment and dissemination of technologies, and the adoption of policies, to transition towards low emission energy systems, including by rapidly scaling up the deployment of clean power generation, including accelerating efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power and phaseout of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, he said.
It is evident the pact is not mandating the phasedown of coal power, and it is not setting any timelines for that, the minister noted.
Further, it is only ‘calling upon’ parties to accelerate efforts towards the phasedown of unabated coal power in line with national circumstances and recognising the need for support towards a just transition, the minister added.
Paris Agreement is a multilateral treaty for combating climate change. Actions under Paris Agreement are nationally determined, and are undertaken in the context of equity, and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, he said.
Accordingly, while India has committed to clean energy; the pace of transition to cleaner energy sources in India is to be viewed in the light of national circumstances, and principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, the transfer of climate finance and low cost climate technologies.