A webinar was conducted to discuss and analyse the future of coal in India by the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) on the 16th of February 2023, at 4:30 P.M. IST. The aim of the dialogue was to bring an informed discussion on matters such as feasibility of life with or without coal, closure of old coal power plants, meeting market requirements of coal in a timely manner, technologies to make coal greener, as well as sustainable usage of coal, to the general public.

Key takeaways

  1. Coal may provide effective firm power as a backup to renewables.
  2. The high upfront cost of CCUS is a major hurdle.  
  3. There needs to be demonstration of CCUS technology by developed nations before developing nations set forth. Further, developed nations should ideally support developing nations financially for the implementation of CCUS. 
  4. With the drop in electricity generation prices from renewable sources as compared to coal, a greater potential for investments into renewables is becoming evident. 
  5. A phasedown of coal will be more challenging for India than it is for the US or Europe, as the latter have abundant supplies of gas they can switch to and low growth in per capita demand. 
  6. Coal power generation is becoming more expensive than energy from renewables. However, the prices of renewable sources do not take into account the variability and intermittency in their generation, while coal offers firm, dispatchable power.
  7. In spite of the positives that have resulted from carbon pricing and taxes across the world, there are doubts about the effectiveness of this measure in India. 
  8. The risk of leakage/s from CO2 sequestration sites under CCUS need to be studied. 

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