Coal Shortage can lead to the Development of Clean Energy

India and China are the world’s two largest coal consumers. Around 70% of India’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels, while coal is responsible for 56% of China’s electrical output.

This has negative implications with China being the world’s largest polluter and India ranking third after the United States. 

India is on the verge of a power crisis, with coal stockpiles at historic lows and governments warning of looming blackouts.

Due to electricity shortages, several states, such as Rajasthan, have scheduled power outages, and numerous thermal power plants around the country have shut down. 

Factors to consider: 

  • Climbing global coal prices, 
  • Rising economic activity, 
  • Flood and monsoon-related supply interruptions and geopolitical turmoil. 
  • Similar problems have forced China to impose an unofficial ban on coal imports from Australia, one of the world’s largest coal producers. 

According to experts, the uncertainty of the coal supply chain will undoubtedly benefit clean energy, causing additional investment in the area. 

India and its Plan:

 India had 96.96 GW of renewable energy capacity as of July 2021, accounting for 25.2 per cent of total installed power capacity, presenting a significant opportunity for the construction of green data centres. 

In 2019, India announced intentions to increase domestic coal production to a billion tonnes by 2024. PM Modi is refocusing his efforts on his aim of making India “energy independent” by 2047, with less reliance on fossil fuels—a goal he declared in August.

India has not committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions to zero, arguing that it does not need to make huge cuts like wealthy countries since it must prioritise growth.

But, according to the International Energy Agency, it has set a goal of reaching 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewable capacity by 2030, and solar power is expected to increase rapidly in the country.  

A state-owned coal miner in India that produces more than 80% of the country’s coal issued a tender for partners for a proposed 4 GW solar manufacturing facility last month.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industries, India’s largest company, has announced a slew of sustainable energy agreements in recent days, including the purchase of a huge European solar manufacturing firm.

Why Clean Energy is the Future:

  • The skyrocketing cost of coal and other fossil fuels.
  • Renewable energy can supply affordable electricity across the country and has the potential to help keep energy prices stable in the future. 
  • Their expanded use is critical for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce air pollution, and increase energy access. 
  • Switching to renewable energy could save 4 to 7 million lives per year due to air pollution around the world. 
  • It will enhance energy security, the environment, the economy, mechanical manufacturing, construction, transportation, and industry, as well as assist in the creation of new jobs. 

Wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources could lower energy bills in the future. The cost of producing wind and solar energy has dropped dramatically in recent years, and renewables are on track to outperform fossil fuels in the future. 

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