Increasing Coal Demand:
The demand for coal in the country is expected to be in the range of 1.3-1.5 billion tonnes by 2030, according to Economic Survey 2021-2022, despite the push for renewable energy.
- This is an increase of 63% from the current (2019-2020) demand of 955.26 million tonnes.
- Iron and steel production uses coal and there are not many technologies to replace the fuel immediately.
- Continued expansion of India’s economy is expected during 2022-2024, with annual average GDP growth of 7.4%, fuelled at least partially by coal.
- India’s push to domestic coal mining through both Coal India and auction of coal blocks to private companies, coal usage in India will increase as it plateaus in other parts of the world, including China.
- The central government has opened up coal mining for the private sector, claiming it as one of its most ambitious coal sector reforms.
- The government anticipates that it will bring efficiency and competition in coal production, attract investments and best-in-class technology, and help create more jobs in the coal sector.