India will continue to use coal until at least 2040

India’s coal minister has said the country has no intention of phasing coal out of its energy mix anytime soon. Minister Pralhad Joshi told a parliamentary committee that coal will continue to play an important role in India until at least 2040, calling the fuel an affordable energy source for which demand in India has yet to peak.

Therefore, there is no transition away from coal in India for the foreseeable future.” Joshi said adding the fuel will continue to play a big role into 2040 and beyond.

The startling statement came even as the UN climate talks in Egypt saw growing calls for countries to switch to cleaner fuel types. At the COP27 talks in November UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls for urgent action to cut emissions, including phasing out global coal by 2040. But it’s not the first time India has opposed a coal ban: India and China were more blocking at last year’s COP26 talks obligations to end it.

India is not alone.

Last November, the United Kingdom hosted the together with its main partner Italy Climate Summit COP26, an event many believed to be the world’s best last chance to bring runaway climate change under control. A key outcome of the summit was dozens of nations pledged to end deforestation, curb carbon and methane emissions, and also halt public investment in coal power. Specifically with regard to coal, a total of 46 countries signed the agreement Global transition from coal to clean energy Statement promising to “accelerate the transition away from unbridled coal-fired power generation” and “stop issuing new permits for new unbridled coal-fired power generation projects.”

Less than a year later, all those promises have gone to the dogs, and developed countries are now scrambling to resume coal-based power generation after the Ukraine crisis sparked a global energy crisis.

According to a report by the Observer Research Foundation, disruptions in energy supply triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine led to even higher LNG prices Coal as the only option for distributable and affordable electricity across much of Europe, including the troubled markets of Western Europe and North America, which have explicit coal phase-out policies.

According to the Washington Post, coal mines and power plants that closed 10 years ago have started to be repaired in Germany. The country is expected to experience what industry observers have dubbed “springtime” for Germany’s coal-fired power plants burn at least 100,000 tons of coal per month until winter. That’s a big turnaround, considering Germany’s goal was to be completely coal-free by 2038. Other European countries such as Austria, Poland, the Netherlands and Greece have also started restarting coal-fired power plants.

Meanwhile China’s Coal imports have risen sharply, which rose 24% month-on-month in July as power producers increased purchases to meet peak summer electricity demand. China has the largest number of coal-fired power plants in operation at 3,037, while Germany, the largest economy in the EU, has 63.

By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com

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