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India Reopens 100 Coal Mines

June 8, 2022

By Paul Homewood





Political leaders of developing countries face constant pressure to generate enough electricity for their populations as they are being asked to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. In a bold and rebellious move, India has ordered reopening more than 100 dormant coal mines to meet skyrocketing domestic power demand.

The action is just one of the many measures that the country has taken to ensure a seamless supply of coal to power plants that generate more than 70 percent of the electricity consumed by the subcontinent’s industries and 1.3 billion people. Leaders in developing parts of the world are ready to wear a badge of dishonor that climate alarmists award those who reject their absurd policy proposals.

“Earlier we were hailed as bad boys because we were promoting fossil fuel and now we are in the news that we are not supplying enough of it,” said India’s Coal Secretary, pointing to the negative coverage of a media that change colors as frequently as chameleons and the global hypocrisy over fossil fuels.

The post-pandemic economic recovery has sent power demand to unprecedented levels, resulting in rapid depletion of coal stockpiles at power plants and threatening serious consequences both to individual lives and major industrial processes.

Consistent with recent policies, India has again chosen to prioritize energy production over climate policies. The number of mines to reopen is expected to total nearly 200 soon.

In fact, the government is going as far as to remove mandatory technical requirements for the immediate operation of these mines. “With the mine developer and operator model already existing, companies bidding for shut mines need not be technically qualified to do the mining work and the same could be outsourced on payment of a fee," said a coal ministry official.

In addition, the government has ordered the removal of environmental regulations that are needed before currently operational coal mines can increase production. In a memo, the government asked operating mines to increase production by as much as 40 percent. Forget international climate strictures, the country is dispensing with local environmental regulations to meet energy demand. Desperate times require desperate measures, we suppose.

There are talks of providing loans to increase domestic coal production. Business Standard reported that “leading mining companies, including Adani Enterprises, Vedanta and Essel Mining, have informed the coal ministry that they will be keen to add sizable chunks of investment to expand coal production. This means they will need more bank financing — marking a reversal of the climate change programme. And the government is keen to walk the extra mile to make it happen.”

The federal government has also ensured that new funding mechanisms will be put in place for its thermal plants to procure more imported coal from countries like Indonesia. Not to forget, the country’s railways have already suspended many commercial passenger trains to free up the tracks for coal freights.

These measures are just the beginning of dominance by fossil fuels as an energy source in a country that will have the world’s highest rate of growth in electricity demand over the next two decades. Last November, the Indian prime minister called out the colonial mindset of Western political leaders when it came to energy freedom in developing parts of the world.

Those in charge of India’s power generation embrace the “bad boy” tag to ensure that 1.3 billion people have affordable and reliable power. However, their legacy may be one of wisdom while those who cling to foggy, pseudo-scientific projections about climate lead their people to economic decline.

Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, Va., and holds a Master’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, England. He resides in Bengaluru, India.


I cannot understand why they just don’t build loads of solar farms, which the renewable lobby assures us are the cheapest source of electricity now?

  1. dave permalink
    June 8, 2022 10:11 am

    100 cheers for them!

    We sometimes, rather smugly, think that the British Empire left a permanent impress on the Indian Subcontinent’s psychology. That they are all morally ruined, lower-middle class sheeple, comical characters in a never-ending “It ain’t ‘alf hot mum!” show, looking to their racial betters – ‘us’ – to tell them what their duties are.

    Not so!

    Mind you, the posturing can be very funny sometimes. My school physics teacher had served there in the War and was apt go to into rants about how awful they all were. In the middle of one such, he suddenly noticed a new – dusky – face at the back Being essentially a decent man he went red and started to backtrack. However the new boy raised his hand to stop him; “Do not apologize, Sir! Indians are indeed lazy, scruffy and stupid. Not
    at all like we Pakistanis!”

  2. June 8, 2022 10:19 am

    Ah, here is the “money quote”, worthy of endless repetition:

    “However, their legacy may be one of wisdom while those who cling to foggy, pseudo-scientific projections about climate lead their people to economic decline.”

  3. Jack Broughton permalink
    June 8, 2022 11:03 am

    Basically, letting the woke west believe in their CO2 fantasies and destroy their economies is the right view. Poverty-now massively trumps theoretical-jam-tomorrow.

  4. 2hmp permalink
    June 8, 2022 11:25 am

    Bad boys ? Good boys, sensible boys.

  5. Malcolm permalink
    June 8, 2022 11:45 am

    Our brainless Oxford “betters” with their Liberal Arts degrees in Westminster closed our mines prematurely and sealed them off with concrete beyond easy reopening. Did they never wonder “What if…?” and just mothball them? Many of those clowns in the “home county’s retirement villages” are still alive. I hope they are wracked with guilt. Just like the ones who closed the Nuclear plants and stripped out the coal burning boilers in the power plants should be.

    How do we get some proper practical Engineers into control? Not senior academics from the Universities with their flawed “models” and their impractical EV dreams.

    Now we are heading in a desperately dangerous direction which this Engineer knows will be an agonising own goal.

    The greens say humans are destroying the Earth. Well, now we are. The upside is that our population will collapse that has to be good for the world! But there has to be no reason for the means to be so dreadful to get to the inevitable end.

  6. Up2snuff permalink
    June 8, 2022 12:08 pm

    So should we in the UK instead of importing wood chip from the USA to power up Drax.

    • Devoncamel permalink
      June 8, 2022 6:25 pm

      The big spanner in the works of carbon net zero.

  7. dennisambler permalink
    June 8, 2022 1:34 pm

    We nearly got a new coal fired power station in 2009:

    “The government is expected to give the go-ahead to the coal-burning Kingsnorth power plant. Here, one of the world’s foremost climate experts launches an excoriating attack on Britain’s long love affair with the most polluting fossil fuel of all.

    The climate is nearing tipping points. Changes are beginning to appear and there is a potential for explosive changes, effects that would be irreversible, if we do not rapidly slow fossil-fuel emissions over the next few decades. As Arctic sea ice melts, the darker ocean absorbs more sunlight and speeds melting. As the tundra melts, methane, a strong greenhouse gas, is released, causing more warming. As species are exterminated by shifting climate zones, ecosystems can collapse, destroying more species.

    The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death. When I testified against the proposed Kingsnorth power plant, I estimated that in its lifetime it would be responsible for the extermination of about 400 species – its proportionate contribution to the number that would be committed to extinction if carbon dioxide rose another 100 ppm.”

  8. Tony Cole permalink
    June 8, 2022 1:56 pm

    At last a sane Government. The massive solar “farms” remove huge tracts of productive land, which are critical for feeding the Nation

  9. Micky R permalink
    June 8, 2022 2:24 pm

    Is it feasible to import coal from India to the UK?

    James Hansen and his ilk are responsible for the monstrous price of domestic energy in the UK.

    • chriskshaw permalink
      June 8, 2022 5:01 pm

      Regrettably the economic suffering was dialed in when the votes were counted. The issue is the lack of debate and the media love of catastrophism.

      • Devoncamel permalink
        June 8, 2022 6:27 pm

        To quote Obama, ‘ the science is settled…’

  10. Penda100 permalink
    June 8, 2022 7:13 pm

    It’s what happens when reality collides with the Green Dream. The new Australian labour government has asked coal-fired generators to fire up and deliver power. From the Spectator Australia.

  11. M E permalink
    June 9, 2022 1:23 am

    I think that India has a lot of cloud cover during monsoon periods. Hot and damp too. School geography lessons in 1950. Solar panels may not be useful,perhaps

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