With 224MW Solar Capacity, SCCL Achieves 40% of Its Net Zero Targets

With 224MW Solar Capacity, SCCL Achieves 40% of Its Net Zero Targets

Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi recently told the Parliament that the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) had achieved around 40 percent of its net-zero targets. The Minister disclosed this information while responding to a coal supply and consumption query. He said that both Coal India Limited (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) are working towards installing more solar projects to decarbonize their operations.

However, the data shared by the Union minister hinted that although the solar energy capacity addition was not gigantic for CIL, SCCL seems to have crossed 40 percent of their net-zero targets. The written reply by the Minister claimed that SCCL had targeted to go net zero by 2025-26 by commissioning a total of 556 MW of solar power. It has meanwhile already installed 224 MW of solar energy till now, which is around 40 percent of its target (556MW).

“Coal India Limited has programmed to install 3000 MW of solar power projects in coming years and has already installed more than 11 MW of solar power plants. SCCL has set up 224 MW capacity Solar Power Plants within its command area and plan to become “Net Zero Energy” in the year 2025-26 by establishing a cumulative solar power plants of 556 MW,” the Minister said in his written reply before the Rajya Sabha.

SCCL is jointly owned by the Government of Telangana and the Government of India on a 51:49 equity basis. It is based in Telangana and is involved in coal mining. Besides SCCL, several lignite and coal companies are working towards increasing solar energy generation and have also committed to going net zero.

Net zero plans

According to the Ministry of Coals, by May 26, 2023, Coal/lignite PSUs had installed a solar capacity of around 1,656 MW and wind energy capacities of 51 MW. The ministry has planned to have a total renewable energy capacity of up to 5,570 MW by 2030.

Coal India Limited (CIL) has committed to becoming a Net Zero Energy Company by the end of 2030. It has also made its special trajectory to achieve this target too. It has been in the process of implementing a 3 GW solar power program by 2025-26. A total 398.8 MW capacity will be developed in FY2024, 1443 MW in FY2025 and 1158 MW in FY2026.

In his reply to the Parliament, the Minister said that special interventions were also taken to make mining more environment-friendly. The statement of the Minister also discussed the steps undertaken by the company to initiate undertaken by Coal India Limited for the introduction of dual fuel (Diesel – LNG) operation in the existing diesel dumpers of the company. It elaborated on its plans for other energy-efficient measures undertaken in the next five years (i.e., 2021-2026).

As per the statement, the government and its subsidiaries have taken initiatives to replace conventional lights with LED lights and to install energy-efficient ACs, super fans, efficient water heaters, energy-efficient motors for pumps, auto-timer in street lights and to add E-Vehicles. These were planned to offset about 2.36 lakh Tons of CO2 per year.

The statement revealed that this year till June 2023, domestic coal production increased by over 8.51 % compared to last year. This indicated that there was no shortage of coal in the country, as most of the current coal requirements are being met through indigenous production and supply system. The statement suggested growth in the recent coal production with a significant leap of 58%.

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