India's coal reserves are vastly overstated: is anyone listening?
In India's energy sector, coal accounts for over 50% of primary commercial energy supply. With the economy poised to grow at the rate of 8-10% per annum, energy requirements will also rise at a level of 6% (approx.). Coal will continue to be a dominant commercial fuel two decades from now and beyond, despite our nuclear energy programme, development of natural gas supplies, increased hydropower generation, and emphasis on renewables. There are many issues with regard to domestic coal production, including its quality, beneficiation of lower grades, transportation to distant consumers, environment impacts (both in mining and burning of coal), efficiency of thermal power plants, and so on. This policy brief, however, focuses on our domestic coal inventories. In other words, how much coal is there underground, how much of it can be extracted, how much do we need to import, and what are the associated energy security implications?