Efficiency in energy and more
Energy efficiency is as much a matter of economics as it is a matter of technology. The Indian government's move to reduce reliance on imports and help the country meet its CoP-21 Paris Agreement commitments has gone up a notch with Odisha's Talcher fertiliser plant being awarded a contract for starting a coal gasification unit for the production of urea and Ammonia. This comes as a part of the government's initiative to revive closed fertiliser plants belonging to the Fertiliser Corporation of India Limited (FCIL) and the Hindustan Fertilisers Corporation Ltd (HFCL). Coal gasification is the process whereby coal is converted into synthesis gas (or syngas)— a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. The syngas has a variety of applications such as in the production of electricity and making chemical products, such as fertilisers. This process is thus one to allow more means in the production of electricity and other essential products that are vital to developing and accomplishing crucial projects and for which imports are depended on. The process of coal gasification holds significant potential in India's future as coal is the most abundantly available fossil fuel across the world. What makes this coal-centred development worthwhile is that even low-grade coal can be used in the process. The usage of locally available coal for making fertilisers would help reduce the import of LNG. India currently imports 50 to 70 lakh tonnes of urea, a key component in fertilisers, every year. The revival of the units would help increase the availability of domestically produced fertilisers. At a time for seeking environment-friendly alternatives, meeting commitments under the CoP-21 of Paris Agreement taking smaller steps to bring about a big change include these significant ones like cutting down on energy import. With more domestic production facilitated, the internal economy could be adjusted and reconfigured to augment the scale and scope of energy production and also open up new avenues for employment and development.