Coal will remain India’s main energy source for the next three decades although its share will gradually fall as the country pushes renewable power generation, according to a government report seen by Reuters. The country is the world’s third-largest coal producer and the third-biggest greenhouse gas emitter.
India meets climate goals early by doubling coal, and keeping it as main energy source for next 30 years
In the last day in the media, India is going to use coal as its backbone energy for the next thirty years, is buying coal mines all around the world, and will double production by 2020 to a massive 1,500 billion tons per annum. At the same time India is meetings its climate goals early, and is likely to reduce emissions by 2 – 3 billion tons by 2030.
Much of the world agrees: burning coal is bad, and we ought to do less of it.
But not everyone sings from that sheet, including Pakistan’s Water and Power Ministry. As part of a large infrastructure investment project with China, it’s committed to spending $15 billion on as many as 12 new coal power plants over the next 15 years. Reuters reports that the figure is almost half of the $33 billion being invested into energy projects as part of the initiative, and that around 75 percent of the extra generation capacity will come from new coal plants.
The government insists that the new plants will use technology to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. But the nation’s minister for planning, development and reform, Ahsan Iqbal, sounds downright Trumpian in his view of the nation’s future energy policy: “Pakistan must tap [its] vast underground reserves of 175 billion tonnes of coal, adequate to meet the country’s energy needs for several decades, for powering the country’s economic wheel, creating new jobs, and fighting spiking unemployment and poverty.”
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports (paywall) that India will fail to meet its own targets to reduce emissions from its coal power plants. India’s struggle to clean up its energy act is well-known. But it’s currently unable to meet its own power demands, so it’s not really that practical to shut down plants—and given that no penalties will be imposed for failing to reduce emissions, there’s little incentive to do so.
To anyone who would criticize the move, Piyush Goyal, India’s power minister, had this to say: “India is not a polluter,” he told the Financial Times. “It’s America and the western world that has to first stop polluting.” There’s a grain of truth to that: America and Europe did a lot of coal burning during their development, and now have strong economies to leverage in order to clean up their acts. Developing countries aren’t so lucky. And developed countries still emit far more greenhouse gases per citizen than India and Pakistan. As of 2013 the annual per capita CO2 emissions of India and Pakistan were 1.59 and 0.85 metric tons respectively. In the U.S., the figure is 16.39 metric tons.
Testifying before Congress, former UN climate scientist Dr Patrick Michaels says the Paris climate commitments from China “are nothing but business as usual” and “the Indian commitment is less than nothing.” Michaels: “They’re not doing anything.”
Hearing: At what cost? Examining the Social Cost of Carbon
Subcommittee on Environment
US House Science Committee
February 28, 2017…
India is set to surpass the U.S. as the world’s biggest coal producer after China by 2020, as state-miner Coal India Ltd. ramps up output to meet demand from domestic power producers, according to BMI Research.
The South Asian nation’s share of world output will increase to 12.7 percent by 2020 from 9.8 percent in 2016, BMI said in a report Thursday. It cautioned that the country will still fall short of the government’s ambitious coal output target and domestic demand will continue to exceed production up to 2020.
India, where coal accounts for 61 percent of electricity generation capacity, is seeking to reduce imports of the fuel by boosting domestic output. India foresees coal as a dominant source of energy at least for a couple of decades, while other countries, including the U.S., are moving faster toward replacing the fuel with cleaner energy sources such as natural gas to meet tougher emissions standards.
India plans to expand coal output to 1.5 billion metric tons by 2020 from an estimated 634 million tons in the year ended March 31. China produced nearly 3.7 billion tons of coal last year, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.…
By ELLEN BARRY and CORAL DAVENPORTOCT. 12, 2016
DELHI — A thrill goes down Lane 12, C Block, Kamalpur every time another working-class family brings home its first air-conditioner. Switched on for a few hours, usually to cool a room where the whole family sleeps, it transforms life in this suffocating concrete labyrinth where the heat reached 117 degrees in May.
“You wake up totally fresh,” exulted Kaushilya Devi, a housewife, whose husband bought a unit in May. “I wouldn’t say we are middle class,” she said. “But we are closer.”
But 3,700 miles away, in Kigali, Rwanda, negotiators from more than 170 countries gathered this week to complete an accord that would phase out the use of heat-trapping hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, worldwide, and with them the cheapest air-conditioners that are just coming within reach of people like Ms. Devi. Millions of Indians might mark the transition from poverty with the purchase of their first air-conditioner, but as those purchases ease suffering in one of the planet’s hottest countries, they are contributing profoundly to the heating of the planet.
HFCs function as a sort of supergreenhouse gas, with 1,000 times the heat-trapping potency of carbon dioxide. While they account for just a small percentage of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, scientists say a surge in the use of HFC-fueled air-conditioners would alone contribute to nearly a full degree Fahrenheit of atmospheric warming over the coming century — in an environment where just three degrees of warming could be enough to tip the planet into an irreversible future of rising sea levels, more powerful storms and deluges, extreme drought, food shortages and other devastating impacts.
Between 6 and 9 percent of Indian households use air-conditioning, and the purchase of a first unit — not a second or a third — is driving growth, said Ajay Mathur, the director general of the Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi. Every time government salaries are raised, he said, air-conditioner purchases surge, as civil servants gain confidence that they will be able to pay higher electric bills.
“It is me of 10 years ago. It is many of my younger colleagues,” Mr. Mathur said. “It is my driver, who after 20 years working for me, bought his first air-conditioner. It is a marker of social mobility.”
A fast phaseout comes with big wins for the United States, since many of the replacement …
India is doubling it’s coal use by 2020 and tripling it’s emissions by 2030. That’s what “going green” means.
India has ratified the weakest kind of non-reduction, just a promise it will try to “cut emissions intensity“. That big goal is to increase its carbon emissions by slightly less than the rate its population is growing at. An achievement most countries do just by being there. It’s the default condition as economies develop. Instead of reducing emissions, India is set to increase its total emissions threefold by 2030. Ratify that, eh?
Though even that pitifully weak anti-goal is not enforceable. Nearly everything in the Paris deal is optional, voluntary, and written as a should, not a shall. After ten months of delays and frivolous ambit claims like trying to get entry to the nuclear club (and access to more uranium), India has finally signed up for Paris anyway. Which is signing nothing much — really India has agreed to submit a new goal for itself every five years, and do a stocktake. It’s that banal.…
India’s environmental minister said Monday that an American weapons system, which is the subject of numerous conspiracy theories, is behind global warming.
“The US has developed a type of weapon called High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme (HAARP). It strikes the upper atmosphere with a focussed and steerable electromagnetic beam,” Anil Madhav Dave, India’s Environmental Minister, told Business Standard Monday. “HAARP is an advanced model of a super powerful ionospheric heater which may cause the globe to warm and have global warming effect.”
HAARP is a regular target of conspiracy theorists, who claim that it was capable of modifying weather, disable satellites and control people’s brains. Conspiracy theorists have blamed HAARP for causing earthquakes, droughts, floods, the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 the 2003 destruction of the space shuttle Columbia and Hurricane Sandy.
In reality, HAARP is a research station currently owned by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The system was used to study the upper atmosphere and investigate its potential for monitoring radio communications. Scientific research done with HAARP has been routinely published in major peer-reviewed journals.
India is the world’s fastest growing, and third largest, emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2). In 2014, India got 59 percent of its electricity from coal, and Indian leaders are ramping up the country’s coal production by opening a new mine every month. The country appears set to literally double down on coal by doubling production and building 87,122 megawatts of new coal power capacity. Even with that level of coal use, it is estimated that 400 million Indians, 31 percent of the population, lack access to electricity.
More bad news for Obama.
From the Times of India:…
The White House told reporters Monday Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had agreed to move as quickly as possible to bring the Paris climate deal into force this year.
Media outlets were quick to report Modi intends to “join Paris climate agreement this year,” which came as news to Indian officials who denied making such a promise.
The Hindu newspaper reported Tuesday that “Indian officials said this was not the case.”
Modi met with President Barack Obama Monday to discuss a wide range of issues, including global warming. While Modi and Obama did agree to phase out hydrofluorocarbons and promote green energy, Indian officials insisted the prime minister did not promise to sign onto a United Nations climate deal this year.…