To address the country's energy demand which is set to double by 2040, thermal coal requirement would go up to around 1,500 million tonnes in the next 18 years, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Saturday.
The minister added that there was a need to be conscious about the environment and keep in mind the sustainable mining goals.
''While the expected electricity generation by 2040 would be approximately 3000 billion units, India's energy demand was set to double by 2040. To cater to this demand, thermal coal demand by 2040 would increase to approximately 1500 million tonnes,'' the minister said.
Though best efforts are being made to balance the dependence on coal and lignite with development of renewables, the transition to green energy will mostly be gradual, Joshi said during his maiden visit to NLC India Ltd at Neyeli.
NLC India, in a statement, said that Joshi emphasised on the importance of coal in the country's energy security today.
India has a balanced energy mix and this is helping the country move steadily towards its energy-environmental goals, the minister added.
He also commended the significant role played by the company in fighting COVID-19.
(With PTI inputs)