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India Sees $55 Billion Investment in Clean Coal Over Next Decade

January 14, 2021

By Paul Homewood




India expects to invest 4 trillion rupees ($54.5 billion) in clean coal projects over the next decade as it seeks to tap domestic energy sources and curb imports, federal home minister Amit Shah said.

The investment will be made in clean coal facilities, including coal gasification and coal-bed methane, Shah said at a signing ceremony to develop new mines. He said coal power will be key to achieving India’s ambition of becoming a $5 trillion economy, a goal he said would be reached despite setbacks due to Covid-19. Emissions from burning coal can be made cleaner but not totally erased.

India, the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, expects coal to remain its dominant energy source for decades, even as large parts of the world shun the dirtiest fossil fuel, which is blamed for contributing to global warming and air pollution. The South Asian nation has defended its use of the fuel while also embracing large-scale renewable energy projects to transition to clean energy.

“We have to meet a target to become a $5-trillion economy, and for that, we have to exploit our coal reserves,” Shah said to the winning bidders of India’s first auction of coal blocks for commercial mining. “We should look at exploiting our coal reserves under the ground in the next thirty years to speed up economic growth. Looking at the rapid growth in alternative energy sources, the sooner we exploit these reserves, the better for us.”

The investment in clean coal from state-run companies will be 2.5 trillion rupees, Shah said, accounting for almost 63% of the total. He said a roadmap has been prepared and 100 million tons of coal gasification capacity is planned by 2030.

Coal helped produce about 64% of India’s electricity in the first half of the fiscal year ending March, although its share has been sliding with the growth in renewable energy.

“It is impossible to operate an industry or even grow crops without using some form of energy. And energy will continue to mean coal for several decades,” coal minister Pralhad Joshi said at the same event.


Bloomberg refer to “emissions from burning coal can be made cleaner but not totally erased”. This is misleading, probably deliberately so.

Clean coal means reducing the emission pollutants, not CO2.

Even more misleading is this statement:

Coal helped produce about 64% of India’s electricity in the first half of the fiscal year ending March, although its share has been sliding with the growth in renewable energy.

In fact, total coal generation has nearly doubled since 2010, rising steadily until last year,when the small drop last year was nearly all due to greater hydro generation, following a wet year. Since 2010, the share of coal has also increased from 69 to 73%.



BP Energy Review


In stark contrast, the contribution from renewables is a paltry 8.6%

What is abundantly clear is that India are not going to ditch this massive investment in coal, and will be using the stuff for many decades to come.

  1. 2hmp permalink
    January 14, 2021 7:01 pm

    Free thinking is the cheapest route especially if you recognise that CO2 is not and will not be a problem.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    January 14, 2021 7:07 pm

    Add India’s coal to that of China and the Paris Agreement is dead in the water. But, Sleepy Joe will rejoin and begin throwing more $$$$ down the drain. That will leave the US without the backups when the Sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

    • Robert Jones permalink
      January 14, 2021 7:41 pm

      The 2016 Paris Agreement was dead in the water as soon as it was signed. since 2016 the number of coal-fired power stations in China, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, India, South Africa, Turkey, and the EU has increased from a start state of 3,722 to 5,614. (Source S&P.)

  3. jack broughton permalink
    January 14, 2021 7:22 pm

    In that media-frenzy for climate doom that is called the “i”, there was a short, neatly concealed, article saying how the pollution in the UK had not improved during the lockdown last year as was expected by the doomsters. It even noted that the emissions laws might need to be re-considered: whatever next?

    Of course they still think that China and India will reduce their CO2 by 2050.

  4. dave permalink
    January 14, 2021 7:35 pm

    Hurrah for India–some folks there have their brains activated and realize what is the real goal of “sustainable”.

    • another dave permalink
      January 15, 2021 9:14 am

      “…brains activated…”

      India invests heavily in technical education. This increases their human capital, with a million new graduates in STEM subjects every year. Admittedly, only 100,000 of them are genuinely competent, but, still, the other 900,000 learn enough to support sensible technology.

      (the ‘dave’ who sometimes mentions solar cycles)

  5. Coeur de Lion permalink
    January 14, 2021 9:49 pm

    The saddest thing about the Paris Agreement was the explosion of joy in the PRESS OFFICE! when agreement was reached – ‘should’ having replaced ‘must’. Not a single crusty old journalist said hey hey this is all crap, isn’t it?

  6. January 14, 2021 9:52 pm

    Africa is hungry for fuel-generated electricity…

    African nations planning 1250 new coal and gas power plants, new study reveals
    Date: 13/01/21 GWPF & Power Engineering International

    Of Africa’s 2500 planned power-generation projects, half are coal and gas power plants, Oxford University study reveals

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      January 15, 2021 9:29 am

      I wonder how many of those power plants will be ‘funded’ by China.

  7. markl permalink
    January 15, 2021 12:19 am

    Given the reality of wind and solar vs. fossil fuel energy why would any under developed country choose excessive cost and reduced reliability over prosperity? Even if the renewable sources were paid for by other countries the growth equation just isn’t there considering time to produce and availability. So if CO2 is really the demon it’s being made out to be do the developing countries become the bad actors or does the world just look the other way? Will Russia, India, China, and any other countries ignoring the CO2 mandates become the producers of goods while the rest of the world becomes solely consumers? I don’t think so.

  8. January 15, 2021 7:26 am

    Tip : “Clean air” is often mixed up with Climate Change
    cos it’s argued Electric Cars are a magic solution.
    However many CC measures like encouraging wood/straw/corn burning increase air pollution, whereas car engine design gets ever cleaner and efficient.

    10am Fri Radio4 Women’s Hour :
    Anjali Raman-Middleton is a 17 year old activist, and one of the founders of Choked Up, a group set up by black and brown teens campaigning for changes to clean air laws.
    Anjali went to primary school with Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death. a factor, after a lot of political lobbying.

    It’s after the item on virginity testing.

    • mikewaite permalink
      January 15, 2021 12:16 pm

      It’s a brave man who listens to Women’s Hour .

    • jack broughton permalink
      January 15, 2021 1:46 pm

      For the first time in months I was listening to Womans grumble hour today, it used to be excellent years ago. The article about virginity testing showed the mysogyny of most religions very clearly, but that was not its purpose.
      The section about pollution was because of the recent court-victory for the doomsters. No mention of the fact that pollution did not reduce last year despite much lower vehicle usage, or that the air is the cleanest that it has been for years. The concept of best cost / benefit assessment in the governments Green Book has been replaced by the most powerful lobby group and the belief that the Green Book was an eco-publication.

  9. January 15, 2021 8:21 am

    9pm Radio 4 : Second 1 hour episode of Magic Green Solutions
    pushed by BBC activists Tom Heap & TamsinEdwrds

  10. January 15, 2021 9:46 am

    Tip : Manchester Climate lectures
    eg “Is Capitalism Compatible with Environmentalism?
    Friday 26 February 2021”
    Don’t laugh your tax money funds this stuff

    Also Manchester Science Festival
    from Friday 12 – Sunday 21 February 2021 .
    Main theme : “Hear from scientists and experts at the forefront of the fight against climate change …”

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