World's Largest Coal Company To Use Solar Power In Bid To Cut Energy Costs

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Solar Panels by Flickr user Chandra Marsono

Solar Panels by Flickr user Chandra Marsono

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It's perfectly reasonable to be skeptical when an alternative energy organization says we should move away from fossil fuels, and likewise reasonable to be skeptical when the fossil fuel industry says we have nothing to worry about.

But when the world's largest coal producer turns to solar power admid concerns its coal reserves won't last much longer, people start to take notice.

That's exactly what Coal India is doing, according to dna India--and it'll also invest in solar to cut its own energy costs.

It'd almost be funny if the message behind it wasn't so serious. You can almost imagine the "Actually, coal isn't all that great, says coal company" headlines.

But as Coal India officials meet with prospective bidders to decide on suitable solar technology, the company's bid document succinctly tells the story.

"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," it reads.

Essentially, Coal India isn't confident the country's coal supplies will last much longer, and wants to get into renewable energy sooner, rather than later.

The move isn't without other incentives though, the country's new and renewable energy ministry offering tariff-based incentives for solar photovoltaic-based power generation.

Coal India is initially looking into a 2 megawatt solar farm, located on 9 acres of land owned by the company. The farm could then be scaled up as required. The firm is also looking into solar panels to reduce costs at its mining research arm in Ranchi.

It's all in the brainstorming stage right now to plan out the gritty details, with nothing yet confirmed.

But one of the world's biggest coal companies saying coal is no longer the only answer? It's hard to remain skeptical about that...

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