India’s journey towards renewable energy expansion is marked by the addition of approximately 15.4 gigawatts (GW) of renewable power capacity in 2021. This achievement positions India as the third-largest contributor to renewable capacity growth globally, following China with 136 GW and the United States with 43 GW.

This trend highlights India’s commitment to transitioning its energy landscape towards sustainability and reducing dependency on conventional energy sources.

Main Body:

Coal Dependence in India:

India boasts the world’s fourth-largest coal reserves, making it a valuable and affordable energy resource for a developing nation like India.
The energy sector in India heavily relies on coal, often referred to as “black gold,” with predominant usage in the Power, Steel, and Cement sectors. Notably, 60% of coal is dedicated to electricity generation.

The country’s limited technological advancements and resources for large-scale nuclear, wind, and hydro power generation contribute to its continued reliance on coal.

Coal plays a pivotal role in electric power generation, directly aligning with the nation’s developmental aspirations.

Initiatives such as the SAUBHAGYA scheme necessitate increased power generation, with coal standing as a reliable source.

Employment opportunities provided by the coal industry make it the largest employer in India’s primary sector after agriculture.

Certain heavy industries are directly dependent on coal, rendering coal mining an indispensable practice.

Coal’s cost-effectiveness, especially when compared to nuclear, natural gas, or oil, solidifies its prominence. Additionally, coal provides stability due to a lack of oil price fluctuations and consistent global supply.

Way Forward:

Clean Coal Technology: Advancements in technology can lead to more efficient and environmentally friendly coal utilization.

Large Battery Storage Capacity: Integrating large-scale battery storage systems can offset intermittent nature of renewable sources, ensuring uninterrupted power supply.

Thorium Electricity Generation Project: Exploring alternative sources like thorium-based nuclear power can diversify the energy mix.

Initiatives: Leveraging initiatives like the International Solar Alliance, INSPIRE, and SATAT (Compressed Biogas as fuel) can augment the renewable energy ecosystem.


The Draft National Energy Policy (DNEP) by NITI Aayog anticipates a substantial surge in renewable energy adoption and a simultaneous reduction in fossil fuel energy intensity between now and 2040.

India’s journey towards a cleaner energy landscape underscores its commitment to sustainable development and the global shift towards a more environmentally conscious energy paradigm.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish August 29, 2023