With the ever increasing demand for fossil fuel and with India's dependence on imports reaching unsustainable limits, it is high time that India starts giving due weight to the so called alternative and non-conventional sources of energy and considers them as the most conventionally viable ones for the future. To start with, one of the most viable, environment friendly and cheap alternatives to ever increasing fuel prices could be Coal Bed Methane (CBM).
A report titled 'India Energy Outlook' published by the global consulting firm KPMG states, "With proven reserves of 765Mtoe (Million tonnes of oil equivalent) and indicated reserves of between 1260-2340Mtoe, CBM as an opportunity could be larger than either oil or natural gas." In fact, the concept of Coal Bed Methane as a viable alternative fuel is not a new phenomenon. It started in 1970s in the US, and now, around 7% of the current total natural gas production there is from Coal Bed Methane.
Given the fact that almost all types and grades of coal have more than 90% of contents as methane, and that India has more than 200 billion tones of coal reserves, it is nothing but self defeating to not give the extraction of Coal Bed Methane a national priority.