The Ministry of Coal and the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) have come together in a collaborative effort. Both Ministries have resolved to work jointly towards promoting sustainable energy solutions. A press release on this collaboration was issued on 27th October, 2023.
Under this cooperative framework, the MNRE will extend its support by providing technical expertise, policy guidance, and capacity-building assistance. Simultaneously, the Ministry of Coal will facilitate the availability of land and capital while actively participating in the implementation of solar energy, green hydrogen, and various other renewable energy projects.
Notably, the central public sector undertakings under the Ministry of Coal, including Coal India Limited, NLCIL, and SCCL, have already initiated a net-zero plan in line with the Panchamrit targets. A 1600 MW solar energy generation capacity has already been established, with another 500 MW of solar projects at various stages of development.
During the meeting, it was decided that surplus land resources owned by coal companies, which have undergone the de-coaling process, can be leveraged for the establishment of green hydrogen projects by private investors. Moreover, coal CPSEs have identified areas within open-cast mines where natural water storage reservoirs exist, coupled with an average elevation of 100 meters. By constructing top reservoirs, these de-coaled mines can be repurposed into pump storage projects, a significant boost to renewable energy generation. The consensus reached was to expedite the setup of these projects.
Furthermore, coal CPSEs possess vast land resources in the form of overburden dumps, which can be efficiently utilized for the installation of solar projects. As part of an ambitious initiative, around 85 residential colonies located in coal-bearing areas, comprising approximately 50,000 houses, will undergo a comprehensive assessment for the installation of rooftop solar panels. The mission is to encompass all government buildings and houses with rooftop solar panels in a Mission Mode approach.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has pledged its support to the Ministry of Coal and its CPSEs by providing capacity building training for engineers, technicians, and other professionals through the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE). Furthermore, a knowledge partnership will be established in collaboration with institutions such as IIT Roorkee, the Solar Energy Corporation of India, and other resource agencies associated with MNRE.
In a forward-looking commitment, CPSEs under the Ministry of Coal aim to create a generation capacity of approximately 12 GW by the year 2030. The Ministry of Coal is in the process of identifying around 10 land patches, each exceeding 300 acres, to offer to private investors for the establishment of green hydrogen projects in alignment with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s policy.
This collaboration between the Ministry of Coal and the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy represents a significant step towards a greener and more sustainable energy future for India.