Coal in India

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Submitted By sarahmohan
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Coal in India: current status and outlook
The world cannot do without coal. This energy source covers more than one-quarter (28.4% in 2006) of all primary energy consumption and is used to generate nearly 40% of all electricity consumed worldwide. All scenarios and forecasts agree that coal consumption will be growing substantially, driven mostly by China and India. According to the IEA reference scenario (World Energy Outlook 2007), these two countries are expected to account for 82% of the increase in global coal demand by 2030. The outlook for India gives cause for concern: despite a strong domestic coal industry, it could eventually become a major importer. If so, what will the economic, industrial and environmental consequences be?

India ranks Number Six in the world for the consumption of primary energy (432 Mtoe in 2006). Its appetite for energy is growing extremely rapidly: it averaged 6.7% a year between 2003 and 20061. Given the demographics, consumption per capita is one of the lowest in the world (512 kgep per capita in 2003), but this figure is steadily increasing.

Fig. 1 - Trends in the consumption of commercial primary energy and coal in India 450 400 350
Millions of toe

Consumption of primary energy Consumption of coal

300 250 200 150 100 50 0 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005

Consumption rising fast
Coal continues to dominate India's energy portfolio Reporting a figure of 238 Mtoe for 2006, India was the Number Three coal consuming country in the world. It represented 7.7% of the coal consumed worldwide (versus 2.4% in 1966). Coal covers more than half (56.2% in 2006) of domestic demand for commercial primary energy2. Moreover, since 2002, it has become steadily more dominant: its share of the national market now stands at about the same level as in the early 1990s3.
(1) For the purpose of comparison, the population of…...

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