June 28, 2018 Read More →

Commentary: End of coal era in India coming sooner than many think

Asia Times:

On Tuesday last week, Tony Abbott, Australia’s ex-prime minister, was photographed in parliament clutching a document entitled, the “Coal era is not over.”

In India, which until recently had the world’s second-largest coal pipeline, two seismic events have signaled the contrary to be true.

According to Australia’s pro-coal “Monash Forum” parliamentarians, of which Abbott is a founding member, India is ensuring a rosy future for coal exporters such as Australia due to its plans to construct 116 new power stations, or around 88 GW. Ironically, on the same day the Forum’s “fact sheets” were released, NTPC, the largest owner and developer of domestic coal plants in India, shelved its 4 GW Pudimadaka Ultra-Mega Power Plant, due to be built in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

This decision to cancel the largest new coal-fired power station planned in India is another step in the country’s remarkable Indian energy transition. Since the start of 2010, as a result of shelved and cancelled projects, India’s coal plant pipeline has shrunk by a staggering 547 GW. To give this some perspective, that is almost three times the total installed capacity of Germany.

Today, 88GW–or rather 84GW–are still reported to be “progressing” through approval processes. Though given current trends, this more accurately translates as “yet to be formally cancelled or put into administration.”

In fact, of the remaining pipeline, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) estimates no more than 10-20 GW might actually see the light of day. That means more than 84% of India’s 2010 coal pipeline will have been cancelled. What’s more, if India’s 2018 National Energy Plan forecast of 48GW of end-of-life coal plant closures by 2027 occurs, India is rapidly approaching peak thermal coal.

Coal will not be gone in a decade, but the era will end sooner than many expect.

More: India is bringing the coal era to an end

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