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Coal-Fired Power to Remain Main Source of Energy Despite Push for Renewables

The capacity of coal based generation would increase from the current about 195 gigawatt (GW) to 238 GW by March, 2027

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coal fired power, renewables
The capacity of coal based generation would increase from the current about 195 gigawatt (GW) to 238 GW by March, 2027. Pixabay

Even as the government continues its push for renewables, coal-fired power is expected to remain the main source of energy for the next decade or so, Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister R.K. Singh said on Tuesday.

The capacity of coal based generation would increase from the current about 195 gigawatt (GW) to 238 GW by March, 2027. “Accordingly, the total coal requirement would increase from 698 MT for 2019-20 to 877 MT during 2026-27,” Singh said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

As there is a already shortage in coal supply, the government needs to raise production to meet the needs of thermal power plants. “Besides meeting the present deficit in coal supply to power sector, Coal India Limited (CIL) may enhance its production to meet the growing requirement of the power sector,” the Minister said.

coal-fired power
Cars pass the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Power Generator Company coal power plant in Shanghai, March 22, 2016. VOA

As per the National Electricity Plan (2018), the share of electricity generated from coal-based power plants is likely to be 64 per cent at the end of 2021-22. Its share is projected to further come down to 58 per cent by 2026-27 from the current level of 72 per cent.

“The reduction of share of coal-based generation in the total generation over the period would be mainly due to addition of renewable energy,” the Power Minister said.

ALSO READ: UN Organizations Announce “Clean Air Initiative”; Urge Governments Participation

The government has taken a slew of measures to expand installed capacity through renewable energy sources. They include waiver of inter-state transmission system (ISTS) charges and losses for inter-state sale of solar and wind power for projects to be commissioned up to March 2022.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) up to 100 per cent under the automatic route has also been allowed. The Centre has set a target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by March, 2022. (IANS)

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Mourners Gather in Iceland to Commemorate the Loss of the Glacier Okjokull

Iceland glacier commemorated with plaque

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iceland
Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier. Pixabay

Mourners will gather in Iceland on Sunday to commemorate the loss of the glacier Okjokull, which was officially declared dead in 2014 at the age of 700. The glacier was officially declared dead when it was no longer thick enough to move. What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano, the BBC reported.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson and former Irish President Mary Robinson will all take part in a commemoration ceremony later in the day. After opening remarks by Jakobsdottir at the ceremony, mourners will walk up the volcano northeast of the capital Reykjavik to lay a plaque which carries a letter to the future.

“Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier,” it reads. “In the next 200 years all our main glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. “Only you know if we did it.”

The dedication, written by Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason, ends with the date of the ceremony and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air globally – 415 parts per million (ppm). “This is a big symbolic moment,” Magnason told the BBC on Saturday.

“Climate change doesn’t have a beginning or end and I think the philosophy behind this plaque is to place this warning sign to remind ourselves that historical events are happening, and we should not normalise them. We should put our feet down and say, okay, this is gone, this is significant.”

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Irish President Mary Robinson will all take part in a commemoration ceremony later in the day. Pixabay

Oddur Sigurdsson, the glaciologist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office who pronounced Okjokull’s death in 2014, has been taking photographs of the country’s glaciers for the past 50 years, and noticed in 2003 that snow was melting before it could accumulate on Okjokull. Glaciers have great cultural significance in Iceland and beyond.

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Snaefellsjokull, a glacier-capped volcano in the west of the country, is where characters in Jules Verne’s science fiction novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” found a passage to the core of the planet. That glacier is now also receding. (IANS)