Journal Article - Energy
Sustainable Development of the Indian Coal Sector
Increased availability of energy, especially electricity, is important for India to help advance economic and human development. Coal, which currently accounts for more than 50% of total primary commercial energy supply in the country and for about 70% of total electricity generation, is likely to remain a key energy source for India for at least the next 30–40 years. Thus, sustainable development of the Indian coal sector is necessary to ensure the ability to sustain the increased production of coal in the country and to do so in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. The main challenges to such a development of the coal sector pertain to (a) systems of coal exploration, extraction, and processing, (b) ensuing environmental and social concerns, and (c) increasing and high demand for coal in the power sector. Overcoming these challenges will require an assessment and resolution of relevant technical, economic, and institutional issues. This, in turn, requires a long-term vision and systematic planning and policy development in a transparent and inclusive manner. Promoting the engagement of all stakeholders in these processes can help reconcile the seemingly-intractable conflict between the increasing demand for coal, supply constraints, and local socio-environmental needs, and thus facilitate a transition towards sustainable development of the sector.
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