Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t ResourceGuy; despite a recent survey which suggested India is more concerned about climate change than most countries, Prime Minister Modi‘s determination to extend the electric grid to poor people, coupled with a drop in domestic production, appears to be driving a surge in demand for coal imports.
Coal imports by Indian power plants are growing at the fastest rate in five years
Quartz September 18, 2019
Indian power plants’ appetite for imported coal is on the rise again.
The country’s electricity generating firms are expected to import up to 74 million tonnes of the fossil fuel in the current financial year ending March 2020, according to India Ratings and Research. The Mumbai-based ratings firm released its mid-year power outlook yesterday (Sept. 17).
Coal imports to produce electricity have already risen by five million tonnes year-on-year in the April-July period, at the end of which they stood at a total 23 million tonnes. In the rest of the fiscal year, they are expected to increase by another 10-12 million tonnes over their previous levels, said Vivek Jain, director at India Ratings. This would result in an annual growth of over 19%, the highest in at least five years.
Low domestic production
Though weak sales of automobiles and consumer goods have impacted industrial demand for electricity, rapid electrification of rural households by the government has ensured that the overall demand for power remains healthy, the outlook said. In the April-July period, national electricity demand grew 6.7% year-on-year.Read more: https://qz.com/india/1710880/indian-coal-imports-rise-as-power-plants-face-cil-output-crunch/
As India catches up with China, and China spreads prosperity throughout Central Asia via its coal belching belt and road initiative, any emission cuts Western governments make will be utterly inconsequential.