Coal public sector undertakings (PSUs) have committed to installing over 9 GW of renewable power capacity by 2030, according to an official statement released on Tuesday.

Currently, state-run coal mining companies, including Coal India and its subsidiaries, possess an installed renewable energy capacity of 1.75 GW, comprising 1.7 GW of solar and 51 MW of wind capacity.

According to the Union Ministry of Coal, these Coal PSUs are actively promoting rooftop solar and ground-mounted solar projects at mining facilities. Additionally, they are planning to develop solar parks within reclaimed mining areas and other suitable lands, aligning with the government’s target to achieve 50% of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.

Leading coal companies like Coal India Ltd (CIL), NLC India Ltd (NLCIL), and SCCL have collectively installed approximately 1,700 MW of solar capacity, supplemented by an additional 51 MW from wind mills. Their future goal is to increase renewable energy capacity to over 9 GW by 2030, demonstrating a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship the press release said.

The initiative includes the installation of rooftop solar panels on government buildings and the establishment of solar projects in de-coaled areas and other suitable lands to maximize solar potential in previously utilized spaces.

This shift towards renewable energy is crucial as the global focus on reducing coal usage intensifies, with many countries setting ambitious net zero plans. India, for instance, aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070, aligning with its target to install a total of 500 GW of non-fossil capacity by 2030.

In addition to diversifying towards renewable energy, the coal ministry is promoting coal gasification, with the cabinet recently approving viability gap funding for this purpose.

This move towards renewable energy also coincides with coal PSUs’ entry into thermal power generation to meet the growing demand for power. Earlier this year, the cabinet approved the establishment of two thermal power projects by Coal India subsidiaries, South Eastern Coalfields and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, in joint ventures, with a total capital expenditure of about ₹21,547 crore.

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