Ojaank IAS Academy




India’s coal story

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The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) is a rich-country project to hasten the phase-out of coal and reduce emissions. The JETP programme is patterned after South Africa’s attempts to reduce carbon emissions. It seeks to cut emissions in the energy industry and hasten the phase-out of coal.

Funding for this reason is made available in specified underdeveloped nations. The JETP was introduced at the COP26 in Glasgow with the backing of the UK, US, France, Germany, and the European Union (EU). A similar agreement has been announced by the G7 in India, Indonesia, Senegal, and Vietnam.

Transition-related issues- Energy transitions may raise questions about intragenerational, intergenerational, and geographical fairness. Transitions have an impact on jobs that rely on fossil fuels in the short run. It jeopardises future energy availability. It reduces the state’s ability to fund social programmes. It aggravates already existent economic disparities between coal and other regions.

Existing JET-P agreements give little regard to intragenerational disparity, such as employment losses caused by a coal phase-down. South Africa’s agreement: It cites a “just” component – support for reskilling and other job prospects in coal mining areas. Financed as part of the first $5(8.5) billion mobilisation. Other JET-Ps (Indonesia and Vietnam) are concentrating on mitigation financing for sector-specific transitions.

The focus of wealthy countries on coal phase-out without proper consideration for country circumstances. It ignores the critical difference in energy transition between developed and developing nations. In the industrialised world, energy transition include a natural tapering of energy usage as well as fuel switching to clean energy sources.

India’s transformation necessitates huge growth in energy consumption at the same time. The Central Power Authority predicts that electricity demand would nearly double by 2030. Obtaining cost-competitiveness: Components from India are 20% more expensive than those from China. Giving preference to indigenous components without considering cost competitiveness may hinder rollout.

India has declared its commitment to clean energy by setting ambitious objectives such as 500GW of non-fossil capacity development, including 450GW of renewable energy (RE) capacity addition, and a 43% REpurchase requirement by 2030. Complementary policy and legislative requirements (Energy Conservation (Amendment) Act) missions (National Green Hydrogen Mission), fiscal incentives (production-linked incentives), and market mechanisms support the objectives (upcoming national carbon market).

Changing energy demand patterns to allow for speedier RE capacity addition: solarization of agricultural electricity consumption, electrification of diesel-powered Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and decentralised RE for home cooking and heating. Domestic clean energy manufacturing as it will; maintain a JET, promote energy self-sufficiency, and harness the green jobs potential of 21st century energy.

Energy demand stimulation through increased rural production will help in the acceleration of RE. It will contribute to bridging the rural-urban economic divide, creating rural jobs, and addressing intergenerational and geographical imbalances. There is a case to be made for realigning the existing usage of coal resources to improve efficiency until the phase-down era. Optimize the utilisation of coal-fired power plants closer to where the coal is extracted rather than depending on state energy demand.

It would allow coal to be utilised more effectively because coal transportation requires more energy than electron transmission. It would also result in cheaper electricity, as transportation costs one-third of the cost of coal for power plants. The resulting savings may potentially be used to fund much-needed emission control retrofits. It would lower emissions indirectly by making better use of coal.

India’s renewable energy initiatives include: The Wind Energy Revolution: Leveraging India’s robust wind energy sector to boost clean energy manufacturing and the rural economy, National Biofuels Policy and SATAT: Building value chains to reduce fuel imports, increase clean energy, manage waste, and create jobs, Small Hydro Power (SHP): Harnessing the power of water to integrate remote cogeneration.

This policy adjustment allows India to consider a future restriction on coal-powered generating capacity by utilising coal more effectively. Current generation capacity, along with facilities in the pipeline, is sufficient to supply India’s estimated demand in 2030. The planned coal re-alignment helps solve energy security issues by resulting in cheaper and more efficient electricity, allowing for the consideration of a future coal-based power capacity cap.

Any future JET-P agreement must take into account the larger framework for funding and supporting an energy transition. With India as the G-20 president, it has the ability to strike an agreement while also influencing international collaboration on equitable energy transitions.

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