Goyal concerned India importing coal despite surplus

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New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) Lamenting that India continues to import coal from overseas despite having surplus fuel, Union Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday that Coal India has set a target of replacing 15 million tonnes (MT) of imported coal with indigenous fuel in 6 months.

“It is very unfortunate that India continues to import coal from other countries inspite of the fact that we are a coal surplus nation today,” Goyal said at an event here.

“This is because our power plants have been designed not to function on indigenous coal,” he said, urging his audience to come up with new ideas for finding a sustainable solution to this challenge.

In this connection, he said state miner Coal India has set a target to replace about 15 MT of imported coal with indigenous produce in the next six months.

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About power decentralisation initiatives, Goyal said that apart from shifting to renewable energy, focus is now on distributed energy production, where consumers themselves can start generating power.

“In fact, the rooftop solar power programme will be expanded from 300 MW today to 40,000 MW in the next six years. It will not only provide energy security but will also give support to thousands of people living in areas inaccessible to grid based power supply,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday it will extend a $500 million loan for augmenting installation of solar rooftop systems in India.

Referring to the climate change issue, Goyal said India believes that fighting climate change is a global responsibility.

“We are very concerned to see how the developed world is going to respond to this challenge in terms of demand side management of their consumption,” he said.

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