India, U.S. identify areas for coal mining collaboration

Washington: India and the United States have identified areas for collaboration in the coal mining sector.

Power and Energy Ministers of India and United States, who were taking part in a ministerial-level energy dialogue here, said through a media statement, that the Working Group on Coal has identified some areas of coal mining where both countries could collaborate, including on dry coal beneficiation; planning of large capacity opencast mines; rehabilitation and reclamation of mined out areas; pre-combustion moisture removal of raw lignite and mining of deep seated lignite deposits.

Both delegations also recognised that India had proven reserves of shale gas, while the United States had well developed expertise for shale gas extraction.

Collaboration in the area of fracking of shale gas, especially water-less fracking in India were identified as areas of future cooperation under the energy dialogue.

Discussions were also held in the working groups on financing of clean energy technology as well as on innovative financing for renewable energy microfinance and micro enterprises.

Discussions were held on various aspects, including advantages and challenges of greening the grid, i.e., to integrate large scale renewable energy sources into the electricity grid. Joint work under the 21st Century Power Partnership laid the foundation for the “Greening the Grid” programme. In the power and energy efficiency working group, in addition to scaling up of the existing collaboration, it was decided to work in the future on energy efficiency in the following areas, namely a) Low Waste Heat Utilisation; b) Data Centre energy efficiency and c) Space cooling.

The six working groups also explored various options of translating joint research being undertaken under this mechanism to effective deployment by integrating research with deployment (“PACE-R” with “PACE-D”). It was also agreed to significantly scale up Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE), (India – US off-grid clean energy partnership), and develop innovative mechanisms to encourage participation of private sector investments for off-grid solutions.

While recognising that coal-based power plants would continue to be the mainstay of India’s electricity generation source in the coming decades, The Indian delegation urged the US to share technology related to supercritical coal plants as well as share best practices and tools to improve efficiency and carbon footprint of existing power plants. It was agreed to expeditiously conclude the following MoUs a) between National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the US and NTPC of India to improve power plant efficiency; b) to enhance cooperation on energy security, clean energy and climate change; as well as c) on gas hydrates. (ANI)