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    OpinionsIndia’s green energy rise, including ‘Green Coal’

    India’s green energy rise, including ‘Green Coal’


    Ajay Kumar Gupta

    The Reserve Bank of 's latest report reflects a surge in global optimism regarding India's economic prospects, particularly in the energy sector. This year alone, green energy projects valued at approximately Rs 700 billion are set to commence, marking a significant investment milestone. By 2025-26, further project investments are anticipated to reach Rs 765.2 billion, supported by progressive policies promoting sustainable energy. India's power sector has now achieved full electrification and is integrated into a unified grid, providing rural areas with 20 hours of electricity daily and urban areas with 23.5 hours. Additionally, India has ascended to become the world's third-largest producer of renewable energy, underscoring its commitment to sustainable development.

    A key innovation on the horizon is green coal, which is poised to revolutionize energy production in India. Green coal offers significant potential as a sustainable alternative to traditional coal, seamlessly integrating into existing thermal power plants. For instance, a 1,000 MW power plant consuming around five million tonnes of coal annually could see a significant reduction in carbon emissions by replacing just 10 per cent of its fossil fuel with green coal, equating to half a million tonnes of sustainable fuel. It is estimated that using 1 kg of green coal instead of fossil coal can reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 2 kg per kg of coal replaced.

    India's largest state-run power generation company is making substantial strides in the green energy sector, including green coal initiatives. An Initial Public Offering (IPO) for NTPC Green, a subsidiary focused on green energy, is expected by the end of the year. NTPC, a major player in India's power sector, had previously planned to produce green coal, also known as torrefied charcoal, from municipal waste. This project, executed by its subsidiary NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd and awarded to Macawber Beekay, boasts a plant with a capacity to process 600 tonnes of waste daily, producing 200 tonnes of green coal from municipal solid waste (MSW).

    The success of NTPC's Varanasi Harit Koyla Pariyojna, managed by Macawber Beekay Private Limited (MBL).Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while inaugurating the Varanasi Harit Koyla Pariyojna, praised the project as a testament to the government's dedication to environmental sustainability.

    The green coal project is a cornerstone of the “Make in India” initiative and represents significant progress towards the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” mission. MBL has successfully produced green coal for NTPC Ltd, one of India's largest coal consumers in the power sector. After demonstrating the in Varanasi, the CPSU has entrusted MBL with additional projects, including the establishment of the world's largest waste-to-green coal plant in Greater Noida.

    Indian companies have increasingly diversified into green energy solutions, with MBL leading the way in transforming municipal solid waste into eco-friendly green coal. The inauguration of the world's first commercial green coal plant by Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the company's innovative capabilities. The technology not only converts waste into a viable alternative to fossil fuels but also addresses critical waste disposal challenges.

    The waste-to-energy process involves the meticulous collection and treatment of MSW, followed by moisture removal and the segregation of non-combustible materials. The refined waste is then processed  to produce high-calorific charcoal powder that exceeds the energy value of traditional coal. This method reduces carbon emissions, promotes carbon neutrality, and provides economic benefits by lowering the costs associated with traditional coal usage and mitigating the risks linked to mining and waste accumulation.


    (The writer is Chairman & Managing Director, Macawber Beekay; views are personal)

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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