Fossil Fuels - Coal, Oil and Gas have been the primary energy source globally over centuries. A situation has now reached for drastic curtailment in their usage to ensure that the Universe continues to remain habitable in future.
It is for this reason that a global campaign has been launched for phasing out coal which is the dirtiest among the Fossil Fuels.
Situation in India is however, different - even now our per capita emission is one of the lowest in the world and almost 1/3rd of India's population which is going without electricity connection has to be provided electricity which is reliable and yet affordable. For achieving this mammoth task the country has already launched an ambitious programme of creating 175 GW of Renewables -based generation capacity. But despite this it will continue to remain largely dependent on Coal though its share in the energy basket will go down marginally over the years. Simultaneously the country has also to ensure that it abides by its Paris commitment of bringing down Energy Intensity per unit of GDP by 30% over the 2005 level.
This can be achieved by “Greening” the Black Coal. Realistically speaking, Black Colour can be transformed into Green oil paintings or modern day laser lights. The fact however, remains that the Black Coal is the product of Green Trees and Vegetation and though the process of Coal formation is irreversible, the Basic objective of greening can be achieved by containing the Green House Gas emissions caused by Coal Combustion into the atmosphere.
No doubt the Paris commitment made by us is ambitious but it is achievable. What is needed is a total review of the production as well as utilisation systems for Coal across the entire value chain. We have not only to ensure that the Coal produced from a mine is the cleanest possible but have also to clean it further before it is made available to the consumption centre. At the consumption centre combustion technologies have to be improved so that emission level is reduced to the minimum and then steps have to be taken to capture and sequester the Green House Gases so that their impact on the Environment is reduced to the minimum.
This requires well -planned and well -coordinated efforts on the part of Govt, Mine Planners, Coal Producers and Coal Consumers . While Govt. have to formulate policies which are implementable, the mine planners have to plan the mining system in a manner Coal that comes over the mine is not contaminated. Going forward, it has to be realised that Indian coal is basically poor in quality and for reducing its adverse impact on environment it has to be cleaned and then the consumers like power plants have to ensure that they adopt High Efficiency Low Emission (HELE) technologies to contain emissions from coal combustion. This is to be followed with Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies so that the entry of Green House Gases that are emitted on account of coal combustion into the atmosphere is reduced to minimum.
Both Coal and Power Sectors have covered lot of ground in this direction but lots more remains to be done. Need of the day is to take a review of what has been achieved so far so that the Road Map for future can be prepared.
It is with this objective that the theme for the Coal Summit being organised jointly by India Energy Forum, MGMI , Delhi Chapter and Indian School of Mines Alumni Association, Delhi Chapter has been selected as “Can India Grow Sustainably without Green Coal”?
While India Energy Forum (IEF) is a premier Think Tank in the country on Energy Issues, MGMI is the oldest organisation of Earth Scientists in India and Indian School of Mines Alumni Association has been active in the field of disseminating knowledge about advancement of Mining Science and Technology. These three orgnaisations together have been organising a Biennial Summit on Coal for more than a decade now.
In view of the current situation and on- going developments in the Industry, it is decided to devote the 7th Coal Summit due this year to the theme of "Can India Grow Sustainably without Green Coal?". This Summit will be organised on 5th and 6th the September 2018 at Hotel Ashok, New Delhi.
Challenges in Coal Sector are many and so are the obstacles which are varied in nature. The objective of the Summit would be to identify them and take a comprehensive look there at and chalk out strategies to meet them. The entire gamut of Coal Mining activities starting from Exploration and including Mining and Coal Beneficiation technologies, improvement in Infrastructural facilities, upgrading of Mining Equipment and facilitation of clearance processes particularly those related to Environment and Forest and Land Acquisition and R&R and most importantly Mine safety will have to be addressed.