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Coal to remain important mainstay fuel for India and Japan's energy plans

ANI  |  New Delhi 

India and Japan have emphasised that coal will continue to be the predominant fuel for energy production for both the Asian countries.

India, which has doubled its coal thermal capacity since 2007, is looking towards greater emphasis on clean coal technologies while Japan will add another 7200 mw of coal capacity in the next five to seven years.

Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said that India will keep in mind the environment concerns and look for technologies for clean coal.

"We will look for technologies for clean coal as this will be the mainstay in India's fuel mix even as we strive to address climate concerns," Goyal.

Reiterating the importance of coal, visiting Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yoichi Miyazawa said, "Coal is geographically available and will remain an important energy source."

Both the leaders were speaking at the Ministerial session of the sixth edition of the India-Japan Energy Forum in the national capital on Tuesday.

Yoichi Miyazawa further emphasized on how innovation in technology will help both countries fight climate change and bring about greater economic growth.

Complimenting the new government for its emphasis on infrastructure and energy, Miyazawa said, "India is now drawing attention from the rest of the world and will emerge as the third largest economy by 2035. The country's energy consumption is likely to double. To reduce the reliance on energy imports the investments in energy infrastructure are timely."

"Economic efficiency, energy security and environment are common policy issues that the countries are grappling with. The possibilities for cooperation between the two countries in clean coal are enormous.The Government of Japan is keen to expand energy cooperation with India," he added.

Echoing the importance of strengthening cooperation between the two countries, Piyush Goyal said that India and Japan can collaborate on the clean technology side and can work together to help assuage the concerns on climate.

"Japan has realized it is important to have thermal coal and is looking at putting in place 7200 MW over the next five years. We are looking at doubling our generation from one trillion to two trillion and our reliance on coal will continue...We will be happy to take up the best technology to bring down the impact of coal on the environment," Goyal said.

Emphasising on the continued importance of coal, Goyal said that together Japan and India will lead the way and show the world how to have clean energy coming from coal based plants.

"While we are setting ambitious targets for renewable energy, we are also looking at revamping our old plants with modern supercritical plants which bring in better efficiency. We are also happy to talk to the Japanese government on the export of coal to Japan. India can wash the coal bring down the fly ash percentage and support the efforts of Japan to bring down your dependency on nuclear power," he said.

Urging the Japanese community to invest in India, Goyal said that Japan has an opportunity to invest in India and earn reasonable returns over a 20-30 year time span.

"Counter party risks are kept to the minimum and we are ensuring an environment in which Japanese investment will be safe and secure," Goyal said.

Meanwhile, Secretary of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Amitabh Kant reiterated the importance of the economic relationship between the two countries and said that India and Japan have close economic relations and are committed to taking this further.

"I would like Japanese companies to create wealth in India. If India has to grow at rates of 9-10 per cent over the next three decades, manufacturing sector will need to grow at 13-14 per cent and exports would need to grow at 20 per cent plus. India needs to plan sustainable urbanization and manufacturing. There is no better country other than Japan to learn this process from," he said.

Echoing this sentiment, Director of National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) Professor Jagan Shah shared that Indian Government is closely following the Japanese model on the proposed 11 Future Cities, especially in the area of capacity development from local to national level.

"India's power sector is actually the fourth largest but faces significant energy and peak shortages. As India pursues a very aggressive renewable groth trajectory, we will need smarter systems to manage efficiently and ensure grid stability. As India advances and creates new cities, smart new technologies are critical and will play a significant role in outage management and decentralized generation. The way forward for Indian cities is to get into smart grids as fast as possible," Shah said.

Emphasising on the importance of the strategic ties between the two countries, Director General of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Chandrajit Banerjee said, "Japan has always been a strategic partner for India. Both countries have agreed to further strengthen their bilateral relations across sectors particularly in infrastructure, defence and smart cities. In fact, Japan, has committed to invest 33.5 billion dollars over the next five years in India.

First Published: Wed, April 29 2015. 19:10 IST