The dependence on imported coal for meeting energy requirements is likely to continue in the coming years, going by the Planning Commission’s estimates.

The Plan panel is of the view that the country would face shortfall of 200 million tonne coal by the end of the 12 Plan period in spite of its intensified efforts to ramp up the production.

“The dependence on imported coal will continue unless we tap the renewable sources to augment power generation,” Planning Commission advisor (energy) I.A. Khan said here on Saturday.

The demand for coal, according to him, was set to go up from the present level of 640 million tonne to around 980 million tonne by the end of the Plan period (2016-17) while the production could reach about 795 million tonne in the same time. “This will still leave a shortfall of close to 200 million tonne,” he said.

Mr. Khan was addressing a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry here.

Given the shortfall and other factors, the Plan panel has evolved a three-pronged strategy to tackle the possible energy deficiency.

This included making optimum utilisation of available resources, focussing on enhanced generation using renewable sources and ensuring a more energy efficient regime.

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