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Flaring in the Age of Renewables – Policy Brief

In order to meet its energy requirements, India has initiated projects for the recovery of Coal Bed Methane (CBM). Unlike wind and solar, CBM is not a renewable energy source and its recovery has serious environmental implications. At a time when there is already excess power availability, there needs to be serious debate on the environmental viability of using CBM as an energy source. This debate is even more important given the fact that demonstration projects have commenced in India for the extraction of CBM in India. The principle reason for the use of CBM – higher efficiency and lower capital cost – does not account for the environmental impact arising out of such use specially the impact due to flaring, leakage and fugitive gas. More importantly, CBM extraction would divert focus from renewables to an ecologically unsustainable energy source which would be contrary to India’s commitment under the Paris Agreement.