$30 Billion World's Largest Coal Maker Will Produce Solar Panels In India, Shut Down Mines | India



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World’s Largest Coal Maker Will Produce Solar Panels In India, Shut Down Mines
$30 Billion World’s Largest Coal Maker Will Produce Solar Panels In India, Shut Down Mines | India
Its joint venture with state-run NLC India plans to invest ₹ 125,000 crore in solar power projects with a capacity of 3,000 MW, of which Coal India would invest about ₹ 60,000 crore
Coal India Ltd, the world’s largest coal miner, could venture into solar wafer manufacturing and wants to “aggressively” participate in the country’s solar energy auctions, its chairman told Reuters on Tuesday. Pramod Agarwal said its joint venture with state-run NLC India Ltd plans to invest around ₹ 125,000 crore in solar power projects with a capacity of 3,000 megawatts, of which Coal India will invest some ₹ 60,000 crore by March 2024. At the same time, it plans to keep closing small mines and stay away from opening those that would entail mass hiring, Agarwal said.
The group closed 82 mines in the three years to March 2020, resulting in cuts to its workforce of 18,600 employees.”Coal as you know, we’re going to lose business in the next two, three decades. Solar will take over (from) coal slowly as a major energy provider in the coming years,” Agarwal said in an interview.”We are just exploring the possibilities where we can invest in solar wafer production, nobody is (currently) there in the country,” he said. India, which makes solar cells and modules but not wafers, is planning to levy customs duties on some solar equipment from April 2022 as it looks to expand local manufacturing capacity

Agarwal said the company’s steadily falling headcount would lead to a major reduction in costs. “The net reduction of employees is to the tune of 13,000 to 14,000 per annum,” he said. State-run Coal India will face increased costs due to periodical wage revisions for non-executive employees, effective from July 1, 2021. “But manpower reduction will have a stabilizing effect, so the wage bill effect may be flat,” Agarwal said.
It is already established that coal-powered power plants are one of the most prominent sources of pollution. According to research from 2014, Of the estimated annual anthropogenic emissions in India, the thermal power plants account for around 15 percent for PM2.5, around 30 percent for NOx (nitrous oxide), and around 50% of SO2 (sulphur dioxide).
And let’s not forget it runs on coal — a fossil fuel that’s getting depleted by the minute and mining it itself takes a heavy toll on the environment.

Bright Ideas But it looks like all this could come to a gradual halt as the world’s largest coal miner — Coal India has said in a statement that it is looking to dive into the field of solar wafer manufacturing while also aggressively participating in the nation’s solar energy auctions.
This was revealed in a statement by the company’s chairman, Pramod Agarwal in a conversation with Reuters. He revealed that its joint venture in collaboration with state-backed NLC India is looking to invest around 125 billion rupees in solar power projects with a capacity of 3,000 megawatts. From this, 60 billion rupees will be invested by Coal India by March 2024.
On the other hand, Coal India also revealed that the company plans on shutting down small mines while also refraining from opening mines that would require mass hiring. He stated that in a span of three years until March 2020, it has shut down 82 mines while also slashing its workforce by 18,600.
Agarwal told Reuters, “Coal as you know, we’re going to lose business in the next two, three decades. Solar will take over (from) coal slowly as a major energy provider in the coming years. We are just exploring the possibilities where we can invest in solar wafer production, nobody is (currently) there in the country.”
The report also highlights that India as of now only makes solar cells, not wafers. To encourage the manufacturing of solar equipment in India, authorities are planning on levying custom duties on some equipment starting in April 2022.
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