Question-2: Is India’s ambition to phase out coal based power generation and switch to a natural gas based energy production, viable? Discuss.
Answer: The threat of global warming looms over the planet, promising to bring about unprecedented natural calamities. An effective way to keep the danger at bay is to cut the use of fossil fuels — coal, natural gas and oil.
Coal based power generation in India
- About 80% of the world’s energy requirements are met by these three fuels – coal, natural gas and oil.
- Burning coal emits nearly twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas and about 60% more than oil.
- India accounts for 49% of total carbon dioxide emissions, compared with the global average of 41%.
- Coal based power stations are retired periodically. Coal is still inexpensive compared with other sources of energy.
Viability of natural gas-based energy production
- Natural gas production domestically is very minuscule in comparison to per capita demand.
- Producing energy using natural gas is cleaner compared to coal but natural gas is equally costly.
- There are also other challenges such as technology overall in order to produce energy from natural gas.
Renewable energy sources are more suitable to replace coal. While renewable energy sources are cheaper than coal, their ability to generate power consistently is dependent on nature.
Thus, it is not easy to shift away from coal overnight. There has to be yearly goals to reduce dependency on coal.
Tags: GS 3 (Energy)
By- Prashant Tiwari