Australian news, and some related international items

Malcolm Turnbull, Marketing Man for Coal in India – despite the glut in India’s coal market

Malcolm Turnbull talks up coal in Delhi, despite India’s aim to stop imports Glut in Indian coal market, plans to phase out imports and lower than forecast energy demands cast doubt on future for exports from proposed Adani mine, Guardian,  , 11 Apr 17Malcolm Turnbull is adamant that Australian coal will play “a very big role” in powering India’s future despite a glut in the local market and clear signals from Delhi that it aims to eliminate imports of the fossil fuel as soon as possible. ………..On Monday Turnbull met Gautam Adani, the mining magnate whose company will soon decide whether to begin building the world’s largest coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee basin.

As well as concerns over its environmental impact, the $16bn Carmichael project has been dogged by questions over its economic viability, as worldwide demand for the fossil fuel stalls and Asian economies boost their commitments to renewable energy.

Turnbull said in Delhi on Monday that India had an “enormous need for more electrification” which the Galilee basin mine, as well as Australian solar technology, would help to meet.

 But that assessment clashes with the forecasts of Indian power agencies and the latest data on the country’s energy use.

After decades of importing coal, India’s domestic output is now surging: last year, for the first time, the country produced enough to become an energy exporter, shipping up to 3m tonnes of thermal coal to neighbouring Bangladesh.

And although about 300 million Indians still lack access to electricity, the country’s energy demand has been much less than forecast. In December, India’s draft national electricity plan predicted that on the current trajectory, there would be no need to build more thermal coal-fired power stations until at least 2027.

Should the cost of renewables – which hit record low prices in India in February – continue to decline, the Indian economy has the potential to be coal-free by 2050, according to a report from the Energy and Resources Institute, a Delhi-based think tank.

Piyush Goyal, the Indian energy minister, has been clear about his intention to phase out foreign coal. “I urge you to stop all coal imports,” he told his state counterparts at a conference in October, adding that he was meeting private industry representatives to help wean them off the fuel “to the highest extent possible”…….

The financial case for the Galilee mine was weak in the short term,said  A leading Indian energy policy specialist, Arunabha Ghosh, but its longer-term prospects would “be determined by the economics of the moment”.

 The key factors would be whether Indian power demand surged beyond what domestic mines could supply, whether subsidies on coal for household consumers were kept in place, and if renewables continued to fall in price.

“When household willingness and ability to pay increases, and renewables come much close to being grid parity with thermal power, then the need for imported coal diminishes,” Ghosh said…….


April 12, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international

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