The impact of GST rate on coal is going to be positive for the whole Indian Economy. Reduction in the tax rate on coal would help other Industries, feels Mr. Padmesh Gupta, Chairman Gupta coal & Energy Pvt. Ltd. What is India doing to clean up its coal industry, given the proven negative, long term consequences (local & global) of coal combustion ? What ideas and initiatives can India project as good faith commitments to improving its coal sector and limiting coal users related emissions ? Questioned Mr. Padmesh Gupta.
Some misconceptions need to be addressed. First India is not part of some small minority of countries that have experienced consistent coal consumption growth. Most large, developing countries and even some developed countries have seen resurgences in coal usage from the early 2000s onwards. Second, carbon capture and sequestion technologies are far from proven and decades away from financial viability. Finally, India’s energy mix is not capable of dynamically reorienting towards non-coal alternatives in a 15-20 yrs time scale .In the long run, India must transition to renewables and non-fossil fuels but the golden age of renewables is still some decades away.
Looking at appropriate trends in India’s prime energy mix, perhaps the most salient feature is the increased consumption of natural gas over the last 10-15 yrs. But even now, natural gas is less than 10% of India’s total primary energy consumption, elaborated the Chairman, Gupta coal/Energy pvt. Ltd. Thus the coal will remain the dominant sources of energy in India in the medium term, even as it makes investment to transition to other sources.
FORTUNATELY, there are some alternative options. The first is COAL WASHING. Coal washing, beneficiation or preparation is the process of reducing the ash content of coal through physical separation. Indian coal on average contains 40% ash, which is much higher than the 25-30%, ideally needed for the efficient burning of coal in Thermal power station. Burning ash leads to incomplete combustion, which releases many more airborne effluents than necessary. In addition, since most of India’s coal is not washed, India is needlessly transporting massive amount of ash, elaborated Mr. Padmesh Gupta, chairman Gupta Coal/Energy pvt. Ltd.
While coal washery is necessary for the steel and cement industries, it has not really taken off as an intermediate activity for India’s power plants. This is because of mix of legal and pricing obstacles. Since coal washing was not a notified end use in the coal mines. Nationalisation act, prior to 1993 ,only CIL was allowed to wash coal. Despite this reluctance, CIL has been washing 10-12% of the coal it produces, due to poor quality of Indian coal, and because Ministry Of Environment and Forest guidelines have mandated that the coal transported to more than 1000Km must be washed to below 34% ash content, stated Mr. Padmesh Gupta, Chairman of Gupta coal & Energy Ltd.