The Ministry of Coal (MoC) and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) have collaborated to advance the adoption of sustainable energy sources. In a meeting between the ministries, it was decided that the MNRE will offer technical expertise, policy development, and capacity-building support. Simultaneously, the MoC will contribute by providing land, capital, and overseeing the execution of solar energy, green hydrogen, and other renewable energy initiatives. The central public sector undertakings under the MoC, Coal India Limited, NLCIL, and SCCL, have initiated a net zero plan aligned with the Panchamrit targets. They have already implemented solar energy generation capacity exceeding 1,600 MW. Additionally, efforts are underway at various stages for an additional 500 MW in solar project developments.
During the meeting, it was agreed to utilise surplus land owned by coal companies for the establishment of green hydrogen projects by private investors. Additionally, coal-based Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) possess de-coaled land within open-cast mines, where natural water storage reservoirs exist at an average elevation of 100 meters. With the construction of top reservoirs, these de-coaled mines could be transformed into pump storage projects. There was a resolution to expedite the implementation of these projects. In addition, the CPSEs possess substantial land in the form of overburden dumps, which can be utilised for establishing solar projects. Approximately 85 residential colonies located in coal-bearing regions, comprising around 50,000 houses, are under consideration. There was a decision to conduct a comprehensive evaluation and systematically equip all government buildings and houses with rooftop solar panels as part of an urgent mission.
The MNRE will provide backing to the MoC and its CPSEs for the training of engineers, technicians, and other personnel through the National Institute of Solar Energy. Furthermore, an agreement was made to establish valuable collaborative arrangements through institutions like IIT Roorkee, the Solar Energy Corporation of India, and other affiliated resource agencies associated with the MNRE to offer pertinent expertise and knowledge partnership.
Furthermore, the CPSEs operating under the MoC have planned to establish a generation capacity of approximately 12 GW by 2030. Additionally, the coal ministry is currently identifying around 10 land parcels, each exceeding 300 acres in size, with the intention of making these areas available to private investors for the establishment of green hydrogen projects in accordance with the policies outlined by the MNRE.