Interview

Coal: A reigning fuel

Chandrakant Patil, Executive Director, Kailash Transformers Pvt Ltd

“India’s recent climate pledge underlined the country’s commitment to a growing role for low-carbon sources of energy, led by solar and wind power”

Chandrakant Patil, Executive Director, Kailash Transformers Pvt Ltd, positively discusses India’s emergence as a major driving force in global trends, with all modern fuels and technologies playing a part.

Critical component of an infrastructure that affects India’s economic growth
Energy consumption in India has grown at a compound annual growth rate of about 6 per cent during the last decade. BP Energy Outlook 2035 expects India to achieve the fastest energy consumption growth among all major economies, despite rapid increases in non-fossil fuel production. The total energy consumption is expected to grow by 128 per cent by 2035. Demand for gas is expected to expand by 155 per cent, followed by coal (121 per cent) and oil (118 per cent), while demand for renewable, nuclear and hydro are estimated to rise by 656 per cent, 334 per cent, and 99 per cent, respectively.

With energy use declining in many developed countries and China entering a much less energy-intensive phase in its development, India emerges as a major driving force in global trends, with all modern fuels and technologies playing a part. Our potential clearly positions us as the leading global driver of growth in energy consumption in the next 20 years, possibly surpassing China in the process.

The coal factor
India is significantly dependent on coal as a primary fuel, which accounts for 58 per cent of the energy consumption in the country. It is estimated that we have one of the largest resource bases of coal, with the policies and gains of the past few years positioning us strongly for the future. It is expected that India will be the largest consumer of coal, equivalent to over 435 million tonnes of oil by 2035. According to current estimates with respect to oil and gas, India is home to only 0.3 per cent of the world’s sedimentary basins. Further, we account for a mere 0.3 per cent of the global oil and 0.8 per cent of the global gas reserves. Surging consumption of coal in power generation and industry makes India, by a distance, the largest source of growth in global coal use. Oil demand increases by more than in any other country, approaching 10 mb/d by 2040.

Electrification of energy demand in all regions and sectors in India
India is set to contribute more than any other country to the projected rise in global energy demand, around one-quarter of the total: even so, energy demand per capita in 2040 is still 40 per cent below the world average. Annual residential electricity consumption per capita (for those with access) by state is estimated by dividing the annual residential electricity consumption by the number of people with electricity access for each state. This estimate is not comparable with the common “electricity consumption per capita” indicator, which takes into account electricity consumption of all sectors divided by total population.

Invention in our sector with solar electrical energy
Solar power in India is a fast developing industry. The country’s solar installed capacity reached 23 GW as of 30 June 2018. India expanded its solar-generation capacity 8 times from 2,650 MW on 26 May 2014 to over 20 GW as on 31 January 2018.

India’s recent climate pledge underlined the country’s commitment to a growing role for low-carbon sources of energy, led by solar and wind power. Decentralised rooftop solar and off-grid projects account for around 90 GW of this total, but the bulk of the additions is utility scale.

India began to put a much stronger emphasis on solar development with the launch in 2010 of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the target of which was dramatically upgraded in 2014 to 100 GW of solar installations by 2022, 40 GW of rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) and 60 GW of large- and medium-scale grid-connected PV projects (as part of a broader 175 GW target of installed renewable power capacity by 2022, excluding large hydropower). The dependence of national targets on supportive actions taken at state level is underlined by the fact that four states (Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra) account for over three-quarters of today’s installed capacity. Rooftop solar also has the potential to become a more important part of India’s solar portfolio, particularly where it can minimise or displace expensive diesel-powered back-up generation.

Improving the efficiency of grid is the key to an efficient and reliable delivery of electricity
Production expansion and technology transfer has allowed us to meet the growing demand in India and also meet the global standards. Quality, reliability and sustainability of products remain the cornerstones of competing in a global landscape. Kailash Transformers endeavour to manufacture and supply superior quality products that are made in India and has resulted in securing many with ‘Made in India’ orders. Recently, we delivered transformers to Karnataka Power to help curb T&D losses.

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