Bleak future for coal as India embraces renewables

Intro

According to an unconfirmed report, India is planning to dramatically scale up its deployment of wind energy to 10,000MW annually – a five-fold increase on existing plans. As India is already the world’s fifth largest producer of wind energy, such an expansion of wind generation, coupled with new Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s desire to speed solar development and tax coal, will be another nail in the coffin for the coal industry. Prime Minister Tony Abbott may want “coal carries steaming north”, but with China’s demand for coal also peaking and other developing nations making strides to reduce their emissions and leapfrog fossil fuels to renewables, the future of the mining industry operating in Australia is looking increasingly bleak.

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  • MT @renew_economy: Indian #wind turbine manufacturers to increase annual capacity to five times its current level http://t.co/fzdznGDufw

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Key Points

  • With China’s war on pollution curtailing its appetite for coal, the industry has been trying to offload its dirty products on India, but this is fast becoming a futile operation. The developing world wants clean energy. Renewables are already more economic than fossil fuels, and they will only get cheaper over time. The installed cost of electricity from wind in India is Rs4.60/kWh – this is materially lower than the Rs5-6/KWh of imported-coal. It is not only more logical for poor, disparate communities to locally generate what they need, it is more just to not lock them into a fuel purchase cycle when they don’t need to be.

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  • “Our [climate change] mitigation efforts are more than developed countries. We are going ahead with our voluntary actions which will reduce carbon emissions and also bring about increased energy efficiency from 25 to 50 per cent. We want the developed world to walk the walk.” Indian Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar.

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