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India going gangbusters on coal — tosses green rules, & wants to reopen 100 old mines

By Jo Nova

China has already announced it will dig up another 300m tons of coal next year, and now India is planning to boost its own production by 500m extra tons in the next two years.

Coal mine in Dhanbad, India.

Coal mine in Dhanbad, India.    | Flikr

Amazing what a strong market signal can do

India increasing domestic coal production, cuts environmental green tape

India needs a billion tons of coal a year, and digs up about 770 million tons. Suddenly the plan is to increase that to 1.2 billion tons “in the next two years” and if that means opening 100 old mines and throwing away the green tape, so be it.


Soaring temperatures have prompted higher energy demand in recent weeks and left India facing a 25-million-tonne shortfall…

The government hopes to woo private mining giants—like Vedanta and Adani—to revive more than 100 dormant  previously deemed too expensive to operate, using new technology and fresh capital.  …the Environment Ministry said it has allowed a “special dispensation” to the Ministry of Coal to relax certain requirements—like public consultations—so mines could operate at increased capacities. Coal mining projects previously cleared to operate at 40-percent capacity may now increase capacity to 50 percent without undertaking fresh environment impact studies, the authority said.

At least 18 coal plants are not even operating because they can’t get enough coal

Benjamin Parkin and Chloe Cornish, Financial Times

About two-thirds of 21,500 people recently surveyed by pollster LocalCircles reported they had suffered power outages. One in 10 said the blackouts lasted between four to eight hours.

India is the world’s second-largest coal producer and consumer and depends on the fossil fuel for about 70 per cent of power generation. But the combination of surging demand as economic activity rebounds after Covid restrictions were eased and supply chain bottlenecks, such as a lack of rail cars to transport coal, have left many plants plagued by shortages.

US coal output forecast to rise by 3% this year. But that’s only a 20m ton increase.  Small bicci’s. But it’s all going in the same direction.