Russia finds market for its vast reserves of Arctic coal

Russia finds market for its vast reserves of Arctic coal

SOURCE: The Barents Observer DATE: November 1, 2019 SNIP: It was not alternative and green power that was discussed when Indian Minister of oil, natural gas and steel Dharmendra Debendra Pradhan visited Russia last month. The minister was on a four-day tour in the Russian Far East and he had with him a powerful delegation of leaders from the country’s biggest industrial companies. It was coal that was on top of Mr Pradhan’s agenda as he sat down with Russian government officials and business representatives. “Our negotiations must end with a successful project decision on the development of metallurgic coal, that is to be exported from Russia,” the minster said in a meeting with the Russian Ministry of the Far East and Arctic. According to Pradhan, India needs about 70 million tons of high-quality coal for its aluminum and steel industry. Pradhan and the Indian business leaders are looking towards the Russian Arctic, where they will find all the carbon-rich rocks they ever might need. Several new major mining projects are under development in the remote northern region. Among them is the projects of company Vostok Coal in the Taymyr Peninsula. Vostok Coal plans to extract an annual 30 million tons of anthracite, a high-quality coal, from its fields in Taymyr. Since 2016, the company has prepared the ground for a huge industrial project that includes several open pits and the building of seaports, roads and other infrastructure. Coal India Limited is the largest coal-producing company in the world. It produces more than 500 million tons of raw coal per year and accounts for for more than 80 percent...
China struggling to kick its coal habit despite Beijing’s big climate pledges

China struggling to kick its coal habit despite Beijing’s big climate pledges

SOURCE: CNN DATE: September 29, 2019 SNIP: [E]ven as China reiterated its commitment to reducing emissions last week in New York, earlier this month at least three large, new coal-fired power stations appeared to be either operating or under construction in Inner Mongolia in northern China. On the outskirts of the Inner Mongolian city of Xilinhot, smoke could seen swirling from a number of power plants, while others appeared to be busily under construction. China’s economy has been looking increasingly shaky after decades of unprecedented growth, driven by a global slowdown and trade competition with the United States. China’s quarterly economic growth slowed to 6.2% at the end of June, the lowest level in three decades. “This has actually been the norm that we have observed over the past few years. Whenever there is downward pressure on an economic front, there is a tendency or desire from the industry and policymakers to unleash large-scale infrastructure projects,” Greenpeace senior global policy adviser Li Shuo said. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, far outstripping rivals such as the United States, India and Australia. But amid rising concern around greenhouse gases and manmade climate change, China’s reliance on fossil fuels has come under increasing domestic and international scrutiny. President Xi Jinping announced in 2017 that tackling pollution and greenhouse gas emissions would be one of his “three battles,” along with ending poverty and excess debt. “I think on one hand, China has already become the largest manufacturer developer and investor when it comes to some of the most advanced renewable technologies,” Greenpeace’s Li said. “But on the other...
Why it’s premature to declare coal dead

Why it’s premature to declare coal dead

SOURCE: Yale Climate Connections DATE: August 28, 2019 SNIP: Coal’s story across the world is a study in contrasts: up sharply in some places and down in others. From a climate perspective, there is no simple characterization of the global status of coal, other than to say that overall, the world is still burning far too much of it. A few indicators point to a global slowdown in coal, but it’s unclear whether that can happen fast enough to meet global climate change emissions targets. A recent post at this site covered the downturn of the American coal market as a result of cheaper and cleaner alternatives. Although the U.S. is a major player in global energy, trends in American coal do not necessarily dictate or match what’s happening elsewhere in the world. It’s premature to say, as some do, that coal is dead. Domestic use of coal for electricity generation has dropped sharply, but American coal exports are up. Growing international demand for coal has boosted prices and made coal exports an attractive economic prospect. About 15% of America’s total coal production is exported. North America and Europe are leading the world in moving away from coal, but China and India are driving a surge in coal use. Increases in the Asia-Pacific region moved global coal consumption upward about 0.5% in 2017 and 1.4% again in 2018. The all-time global peak in coal use was in 2013, but the world once again is approaching that peak. Coal use is dominated by a handful of nations. China accounts for more than half of worldwide coal consumption, and then come...
India’s coal-fired generation needs growing 22 percent by 2022

India’s coal-fired generation needs growing 22 percent by 2022

SOURCE: Power Engineering DATE: August 7, 2019 SNIP: India expects that its coal energy generation will grow by 22% by the end of 2022, putting climate change goals – just recently reported as being on-track – in severe jeopardy. That’s the word from Ghanshyam Prasad, chief engineer at the country’s Federal Power Ministry, who told Reuters that the country’s coal capacity is likely to reach 238GW over the three-year period. India’s Coal Minister, Pralhad Joshi previously stated that the demand for coal for the year March 2018-19 had spiked by 9.1% and 991.35 million tonnes, with three-quarters of that figure due to utilities. If those projections prove true, it would jeopardise the country’s chances of achieving its climate-change goals, whilst worsening already-poor air quality. Minister Joshi said that despite thermal capacity out-performing power consumption in recent years, India would need more coal-fired plants in order to meet future growth requirements. He noted: “If we have to meet demand and address the intermittencies we have with solar and wind, we have no choice but to keep depending on coal-based generation in the near...
China coal mine approvals surge despite climate pledges

China coal mine approvals surge despite climate pledges

SOURCE: Reuters DATE: August 5, 2019 SNIP: Approvals for new coal mine construction in China have surged in 2019, government documents showed, with Beijing expecting consumption of the commodity to rise in the coming years even as it steps up its fight against smog and greenhouse gas emissions. Long-term cuts in coal consumption are a key part of China’s energy, environment and climate goals, but the fivefold increase in new mine approvals in the first-half of 2019 suggests China’s targets still provide ample room for shorter-term growth. China’s energy regulator gave the go-ahead to build 141 million tonnes of new annual coal production capacity from January to June, compared to 25 million tonnes over the whole of last year, Reuters analysis of approval documents showed. Lauri Myllyvirta, senior energy analyst with environmental group Greenpeace, said many of the newly approved projects would likely replace small or depleted old mines. “However, it is alarming that China’s energy planning seems to be driving at roughly maintaining current levels of coal output for the coming decade or two, which is very hard to reconcile with the goal of the Paris agreement (on climate change),” he said. Chinese coal output rose 2.6% in the first-half of 2019 to 1.76 billion...