The world’s largest coal producer is privately painting a picture for a bleak future for the fuel in India due to the increased cost of extraction, a leveling off in thermal-power demand and the growing viability of renewable energy sources such as solar. In an unpublished report viewed by the Nikkei Asian Review, Coal India says the industry faces a major domestic challenge as renewable energy makes inroads into coal’s dominance in electricity generation. Despite record production for the year ended March 2016, a fall in demand has forced Coal India to reduce production, and it is likely to fall short of the current target of 724 million tons. Indian coal imports are also falling – from 217 million tons in the 2014-2015 financial year to 199 million tons in 2015-2016. The fall in production and imports is primarily due to declining demand from the power sector, which consumes 80 percent of total coal produced and has accumulated losses of $60 billion. Coal supply to thermal power plants from April to October 2016 was down 3.7 percent from the corresponding earlier period.
– via the Nikkei Asian Review