India’s coal capacity-needs threatens climate change goals

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Emissions from a coal power plant in Punjab, India. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

India expects that its coal energy generation will grow by 22% by the end of 2022, putting climate change goals – just recently reported as being on-track – in severe jeopardy.

That’s the word from Ghanshyam Prasad, chief engineer at the country’s Federal Power Ministry, who told Reuters that the country’s coal capacity is likely to reach 238GW over the three-year period.

India’s Coal Minister, Pralhad Joshi previously stated that the demand for coal for the year March 2018-19 had spiked by 9.1% and 991.35 million tonnes, with three-quarters of that figure due to utilities.

If those projections prove true, it would jeopardise the country’s chances of achieving its climate-change goals, whilst worsening already-poor air quality.

Minister Joshi said that despite thermal capacity out-performing power consumption in recent years, India would need more coal-fired plants in order to meet future growth requirements.

He noted: “If we have to meet demand and address the intermittencies we have with solar and wind, we have no choice but to keep depending on coal-based generation in the near future.”

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