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Will gas make inroads into the power sector-I: CEA says India can't give up on coal
Aug 29: The falling price of renewable energy has now brought into question the very viability of thermal power plants in India.
8Buti in a superbly argued analysis, Arvind Subramanium, India's Chief Economic Adviser, has claimed that India should not succumb to western pressure, in what he calls "carbon imperialism",  to phase out coal based power plants as there is a huge social and economic cost to doing it.
8What is more while renewable power may eventually substitute conventional power, currently, if all the externalities involved with renewable power are taken into account, and Subramanium has listed out all of them, coal will remain a viable fuel for some more time to come.
8What is more coal is predominantly located in the poor, eastern hinderland of India and the industry sustains the livelihoods of millions of people involved with the industry and this fact too must be factored into the pricing of alternative renewable energy as also the social and economic cost of stranded coal and power assets.
8He has postulated that subsidizing renewables at a time when its social costs are above those of coal seems a double whammy for government which then also has to pick up the tab for the resulting stranded assets.
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