The Indian government announced last Friday a coal tax for promoting renewable energy projects. Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee wants to implement a tax for clean energy of about $1 per metric ton of imported and domestic coal. He also proposed tax incentives to boost investment in geothermal, solar and wind power generation.
This tax would produce an annual revenue of around $600 million. According to the National Clean Energy Fund, Mukherjee, the coal is the “mainstay of India’s energy sector”, being 75% of the country’s power generation. “Harnessing renewable energy sources to reduce dependence on fossil fuels is now recognized as a credible strategy for combating global warming and climate change,” said Mukherjee.
The Indian minister of state for coal, Sriprakash Jaiswal, at a global summit in New Delhi on coal gasification, said during the weekend that India’s demand for coal in 2008 reached 550 million tons. He also said that until 2031, the country’s coal demand will exceed 2 billion tons.
India, Asia’s third largest energy consumer and world’s fourth largest polluter, is planning to install about 20,000 MW of solar power by 2022. To achieve that target, Mukherjee said the government wants a concessional import tax rate of 5 percent on equipment and machinery needed to set up solar power plants.
[Source: United Press International]