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Not-Transitioning: India burns more coal than the US and Europe combined and just ordered $33b in ‘new coal plants’

By Jo Nova

India is going gangbusters building coal
The need for energy in India is so dire, the Modi government just leaned on the power companies to get their act together. Instead of adding the usual 1 – 2 gigawatts of new coal power, which they have for a lot of the last decade, last year they ordered enough gear to build 10 gigawatts. And this year Modi wants them to aim for 31 gigawatts. Which is about the same capacity as the entire coal generation of the Australian National Grid (and our gas plants too).

Somewhat miraculously, they are talking of building them “in the next 5 or 6 years”:

India ‘Asks Utilities to Order $33bn in Gear to Lift Coal Output’
Rush to add more coal plants
India is rushing to add fresh coal-fired plants as it is barely able to meet power demand with the existing fleet in non-solar hours.

Post pandemic, the country’s power demand scaled new records on the back of the fastest rate of economic growth among major economies and increased instances of heatwaves.

India saw its biggest power shortfall in 14 years in June, and had to race to avoid night time outages by deferring planned plant maintenance, and invoking an emergency clause to mandate companies to run plants based on imported coal and power.

—  Asia Financial

And they are discussing numbers like $33 billion instead of $3.3 trillion. When President Modi wants electrical generation fast, he didn’t say “quick, build 50,000 wind mills, with batteries, gas plants, high voltage lines and pumped hydro.”

India now consumes more coal than Europe and North America combined, making Australia and the UK, and everyone except China, just so irrelevant.

Coal, rise of consumption in India. Graph. OWID

Meanwhile the Western advisors sit around at frequent-flyer lounges on the way to UN junkets and tell themselves how the world is transitioning away from coal. And when the UN patsy declares coal is a “stranded asset” they nod obediently and sip more champagne.

When our inept and traitorous scientific agencies calculate energy costs, they won’t even put coal on the map unless they add up the cost of every cyclone in the next hundred years and park it in the “coal” column. Witchdoctors, every one of them.

Source: Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Pablo Rosado at  OWID.