After nuclear deal, India eyes Europes clean coal tech market

Mumbai, Nov 26 | Updated: Nov 27 2006, 07:03am hrs
India is currently in the midst of striking deals with European Union (EU) members for tapping the huge potential in the field of clean coal technologies. A high level delegation led by Rajiv Sharma, joint secretary in the coal ministry, and comprising representatives of Essar, Reliance, Spectrum Coal and Power and Coal India Ltd is visiting Brussels to discuss a roadmap in this regard.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. This initiative comes close on the heels of the Indo-US tie up for clean coal technologies and also for the nuclear energy.

The Central government sources told FE: The European Commission has been financially supporting technical and economic research relating to the production and use of coal, and to occupational safety in the coal industry. A focus on clean coal technologies would enable coal to maintain its important contribution to secure and competitive energy supplied for Europe. India can benefit from European Commission and member countries in deploying clean coal technologies to improve efficiency and curb pollution. It is quite clear that India will have to largely depend upon coal for the capacity addition of 66,000 MW in the 11th plan.

Indias initiative deserves importance as according to International Energy Agency, India and China would account for nearly half of total world coal demand by 2030, up from 40% in 2003.

Moreover, IEA has projected that over 30 years, about $560 billion in incremental costs would be needed to build integrated gasified combined cycle (IGCC) in place of conventional coal in India and China. This represents an average of $18.6 billion per year for 30 years. Against this backdrop, the Centre and the private sector in India strongly feel the environmental consequences of this reliance on coal could be severe unless new technologies are successfully deployed to minimise emissions.