Planning Commission Advisor (energy) IA Khan remarked that the country would continue to depend on imported coal unless it harnesses the renewable sources to increase power generation.
He expects the demand for coal to rise from the present level of 640 million tonne (mn t) to around 980 million tonne (mn t) by the end of the Plan period (2016-17).
He expects production of coal to rise to about 795 million tonne in the same time. In spite of this, the country could face a shortfall of nearly 200 million tonne, he said.
He said this while speaking at a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry recently.
The planning commission has evolved a three-pronged strategy to tackle the possible energy deficiency. This included making optimum utilisation of available resources, focussing on enhanced generation using renewable sources and ensuring a more energy efficient regime.
Thus, according to the Planning Commission’s estimates, the dependence on imported coal for meeting energy requirements is likely to continue in the coming years.