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"Sustainable Development of the Indian Coal Sector"

Laborers loud coal onto trucks on the outskirts of Jammu, India, Aug. 2, 2007. Coal from different Indian states is distributed in Jammu and Kashmir for industrial and domestic purposes.
AP Photo

"Sustainable Development of the Indian Coal Sector"

Journal Article, Energy

In Press

Authors: Ananth Chikkatur, Former Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Ambuj D. Sagar, Visiting Scholar, Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program, T. L. Sankar

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Energy Technology Innovation Policy; Environment and Natural Resources; Science, Technology, and Public Policy



Increased availability of energy, especially electricity, is important for India to help advance economic and human development. Coal, which currently accounts for more than 50% of total primary commercial energy supply in the country and for about 70% of total electricity generation, is likely to remain a key energy source for India for at least the next 30–40 years. Thus, sustainable development of the Indian coal sector is necessary to ensure the ability to sustain the increased production of coal in the country and to do so in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. The main challenges to such a development of the coal sector pertain to (a) systems of coal exploration, extraction, and processing, (b) ensuing environmental and social concerns, and (c) increasing and high demand for coal in the power sector. Overcoming these challenges will require an assessment and resolution of relevant technical, economic, and institutional issues. This, in turn, requires a long-term vision and systematic planning and policy development in a transparent and inclusive manner. Promoting the engagement of all stakeholders in these processes can help reconcile the seemingly-intractable conflict between the increasing demand for coal, supply constraints, and local socio-environmental needs, and thus facilitate a transition towards sustainable development of the sector.

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Full text of this publication is available at:

For Academic Citation:

Chikkatur, Ananth P., Ambuj D. Sagar, and T. L. Sankar. "Sustainable Development of the Indian Coal Sector." Energy (In Press).

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