India wants to double coal production by 2030 – 09/01/2024 – Environment

As climate diplomats at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai discussed a deal to transition away from fossil fuels last December, India faced another energy dilemma: it needed to build more energy capacity quickly.

“To meet growing demand,” the Indian government said on December 11 that it expects to nearly double the country’s coal production, to 1.5 billion tons by 2030. Energy Minister Raj Kumar Singh later laid out plans to add 88 gigawatts of power plants. Thermal energy. By 2032. The vast majority of them will burn coal.

The move to increase investment in the world’s most polluting fuel – one of the biggest contributors to global warming – may seem contradictory for the South Asian nation, which is highly vulnerable to climate impacts.

However, with elections looming in April and May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to avoid any risk of power shortages. Besides record heatwaves, India has seen huge spikes in electricity demand for two consecutive years.

“India’s policy is to build everything out. Promote renewable energy, but also promote coal and other fossil fuels,” said Sandeep Pai, director of the climate-focused organization Swaniti Global. “The justification is increased energy demand.”

However, when it comes to renewable energy, India is not building enough to meet its ambitious goal of producing 500 gigawatts of clean energy by 2030. Solar and wind installation rates in recent years are about a third of what is necessary, according to the Center for Energy Research . Bloomberg BNEF.

There are a range of factors that influence the implementation of renewable energy. The main reasons, according to Rohit Gadre of BNEF, are inconsistent incentives for state-owned electricity distributors, difficulty in obtaining necessary land, and lack of consistent policies at the federal and state levels. As a result, even as energy demand increases, there is not enough interest among private investors to accelerate investments in renewable energy.

This does not mean things will be easy for coal, which faces similar challenges in attracting new investment. “Solar and wind plants can be built quickly, while coal plants will take much longer and at higher costs,” said Vibhuti Garg, South Asia director at the Institute for Energy Economics and Finance Analysis, a non-profit organization.

Neither Pai nor Gadri expect India to meet its coal targets. BNEF’s Economic Transformation Scenario forecasts coal use in India to peak at 1.1 billion tonnes before 2040.

Ultimately, India needs to invest in energy infrastructure as the lower-middle-income country seeks economic growth. India’s per capita electricity consumption is much lower than that of developed countries or even China. India is still far from using its fair share of the global carbon budget.

India, like other major developing countries, also needs more incentives to choose a greener path. Over the past three years, the G7 has developed the Equitable Energy Transition Partnership to help South Africa, Vietnam and Indonesia reduce their use of coal. These agreements were complex and no results have yet emerged.

While the world may have agreed to transition away from fossil fuels at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), it has yet to find effective ways to help countries like India transition away from coal, Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav suggested on Monday at the launch of a book titled “ Modi energizes green energy “future” (in free translation “Modi energizes green future”).

He also said that this issue should not only be limited to rich countries distributing money, but better policies, technology transfer and training are also needed.

Bai echoed this sentiment. “The world needs to offer something to India to avoid carbonization,” he said. “The main challenge is that the world is not offering much for India or any developing country.”

(Tags for translation) Environment

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