[Answered] Evaluate India’s stance on coal usage in the context of its commitments to renewable energy expansion by 2030. How does this position reflect the broader global dilemma in transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy?

Introduction: Give brief context to the question

Body: Give India’s position on the usage of coal and dilemma it faces in the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy.

Conclusion: Way forward

India recently underlined the core principles of its climate diplomacy—equity and justice—while restating its commitment to reducing global warming on the fringes of COP 28 in Dubai. India has made it clear how important coal is to its economy, and it will not yield to outside pressure at the expense of its progress. Coal-fired plants are responsible for nearly 70% of India’s greenhouse gas emissions.

India’s Stance on Coal Usage

  • Commitments to Renewable Energy: As part of its commitment to the Paris Agreement, India has set high goals for renewable energy. By 2030, the nation wants to generate 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources. To meet its goal of increasing renewable energy capacity from the present 170 GW to 500 GW, India has been actively investing in solar and wind energy projects. Additionally, the capacity of renewable energy installations has increased significantly.
  • Problems with Coal: India still significantly depends on coal to meet its energy demands, and the country’s energy security policy is based on it. A significant amount of India’s electricity is produced by coal-fired power stations. Reducing reliance on coal necessitates tackling financial difficulties, such as probable employment losses in the coal industry.
  • National Electricity Plan: India’s National Electricity Plan outlines a gradual reduction in the share of coal in the energy mix. The plan emphasizes the expansion of renewable energy capacity while recognizing the need for a balanced approach to ensure grid stability.

Global Dilemma in Transitioning

  • Economic Concerns: Historically, the development of economies in many nations, particularly rising economies, has depended on the use of fossil fuels like coal. Shifting away from these sources necessitates a major reorganization of the economy, potentially affecting sectors and jobs.
  • Technological Difficulties: Energy storage and grid dependability are affected by the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources. Technological developments in energy storage are necessary to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Energy Access and Equity: Developed and developing countries have different energy transition difficulties. Developed nations may possess the financial means to allocate resources toward renewable energy, but underdeveloped countries may encounter challenges concerning accessibility and price.
  • Financial and Technological Support: To enable a quicker and more seamless transition, numerous developing nations—including India—have stressed the significance of financial and technological support from industrialized nations. It’s critical to have access to inexpensive green technologies.

Conclusion

India faces the difficult challenge of reconciling its environmental obligations with its socioeconomic goals, especially in light of its coal-dependent economy. Global cooperation, technological advancements, and supportive policies are essential elements in navigating the transition to a sustainable and low-carbon energy future.

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