Coal shortages will be a thing of the past and India won’t need to import dry fuel by 2017, except to meet requirements of the power plants located near coastal area, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.
“I have been on record to say that I judged that by 2017, India should not need to import coal except for those coastal plants where it is very difficult to transmit coal. I am fairly confident the era of shortages is over,” Goyal said addressing at a KPMG event ENrich 2015.
“At next level of UDAY we are looking at complete ability to exchange coal or to swap coal, complete synergy in the in power and coal sectors so that coal is used most efficiently by the most efficient power plants at the nearest location and power is transmitted rather than coal,” said the Minister for Coal, Power and New & Renewable Energy.
Coal imports are declining and they fell for the fourth consecutive month in October by 5.1 per cent to 14.52 million tonnes (MT) over same month year ago.
In September the import of dry fuel dropped by 27.16 per cent to 12.6 MT on rise in domestic production.
India had imported 212.103 million tonnes of coal worth over Rs 1 lakh crore last fiscal. The government is eyeing to achieve 1.5 billion tonnes of coal production by 2020.
India is the third-largest producer of coal after China and the US with 299 billion tonnes of resources and 123 billion tonnes of proven reserves, which may last for over 100 years.
Later, Goyal tweeted, “A quasi sovereign fund is being launched for renewable energy with an RFP soon for appointing the fund manager.”
The minister thinks that the renewable energy capacity target of 175 GW by 2022, is not only doable but necessary also in view of energy security of the country.
He said,”Energy has to reach the last man at affordable prices. Way forward is energy efficiency, low power prices.”
The minister also said that South India benefited by 5000 MW of additional power in last 18 months and 20,000 MW additional transmission capacity in pipeline.
As per the minister’s view with launch of discoms revival schemes UDAY, REC and PFC can lend USD 20 billion for areas like transmission, renewables etc.
He also tweeted, “250 million tonnes of coal washeries in pipeline. Standard design of washeries to leverage economies of scale.”
Goyal also said that the government is working with the NITI Aayog to draw a blue print for energy policy in the country.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the government is working on a comprehensive energy policy with NITI Aayog which will elaborate about energy mix of the country till 2050.
Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan released a KPMG India report titled ‘The Rising Sun – Disruption on the Horizon’.
The report highlighted that solar energy could scale up substantially to be a significant energy source by 2025, with the market penetration of solar power expected to be 5.7 per cent (54 GW) by 2020 and 12.5 per cent (166 GW) by 2025.
India aims to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33- 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels, and solar power is likely to contribute 4 per cent towards this target, the report states.
It also talked about how the scale up and competitiveness of solar power could disrupt the traditional generators. The disruptive force is expected to start being felt from 2017 and may accelerate post 2020.
In some states, which are promoting solar (and also wind power) aggressively, conventional coal generators could see their Plant Load Factors (PLFs) fall by as much as 10-15 per cent by 2020, as solar replaces coal-fired generation in the daytime hours. This effect may speed up post 2020 with the annual addition of large amounts of solar (estimated to exceed by 20 GW per year by 2022-23).
The report also highlights that the price for solar power has seen a decline; today, in India, solar prices are within 15 per cent of the coal power prices on a levelised basis and, it is expected that that by 2020, solar power prices would be approximately 10 per cent lower than coal power prices.
The solar rooftop power, today, is already competitive compared to grid power for many consumers and, as per the report, if combined with storage, it could be cheaper than grid power after 2022 for a large section of the consumers and drive a considerable shift to rooftop power. A Solar House that is self-sufficient in energy terms could be a reality within the coming decade.