The world’s largest coal company has announced that it will invest in the installation of solar PV panels in an attempt to reduce energy bills and cut costs.
Coal India, the largest coal mining company in the world and responsible for producing 90% of India’s coal, has said that it will build a 2 megawatt solar plant which will have the potential to be scaled up to supply excess electricity to the grid. Think progress reported that plans also exist to install rooftop solar panels at the Ranchi Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, along with several other facilities around the country.
Coal India stated that, “India has an abundance of sunshine and the trend of depletion of fossil fuels is compelling energy planners to examine the feasibility of using renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and so on.” (Related article: Solar Crisis: Cheap Chinese Solar Panels Prove Defective)
India has been famously suffering from energy problems for a while, with constant blackouts plaguing many of its citizens, resulting from the failed attempts to expand the national grid. Solar power generally offers India the chance to solve its electricity problems, as rural communities can generate their own power from local solar arrays. The potential is great that it is unsurprising really that Coal India has decided to invest in such an energy source.
Last year Pike Research predicted that the global mining industry would invest $20 billion in renewable energy by 2020; Coal India may be the first big company to commit to this course of action.