COAL: CHOICE FOR INDIAN ENERGY
COAL is the most important and abundant fossil fuel in India. It accounts for 55% of the country's energy need. The country's industrial heritage was built upon indigenous coal.
Commercial primary energy consumption in India has grown by about 700% in the last four decades. The current per capita commercial primary energy consumption in India is about 350 kgoe/year which is well below that of developed countries. Driven by the rising population, expanding economy and a quest for improved quality of life, energy usage in India is expected to rise. Considering the limited reserve potentiality of petroleum & natural gas, eco-conservation restriction on hydel project and geo-political perception of nuclear power, coal will continue to occupy centre-stage of India 's energy scenario.
Indian coal offers a unique ecofriendly fuel source to domestic energy market for the next century and beyond. Hard coal deposit spread over 27 major coalfields, are mainly confined to eastern and south central parts of the the country.(See Coal Reserves).The lignite reserves stand at a level around 36 billion tonnes, of which 90 % occur in the southern State of Tamil Nadu.