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India Needs Renewables, Not Coal

Will the Coal Industry Die Out Soon?

Written by Keith Kohl
Posted August 7, 2015

Although India ranks as the world’s third-largest coal producing country, the country itself is in need of imports. Domestic demand has shot past domestic production, leading to a necessary 180 million tonnes per year from exporting countries.

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One of these countries is Australia: the largest coal mine in the country, the Carmicheal mine in the country’s Galilee Basin, can supposedly supply 100 million people with power enough to lift them out of energy poverty.

The problem is that it is too expensive. To supply coal to the country’s power plants, then send that electricity out to the 68% of the country that lives in distant rural villages, is not cost-effective.

The cost of coal from Australia’s Galilee Basin is twice that of the current average cost of wholesale electricity, according to the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Even cheaper Indonesian coal cannot make up for the lost land and health threats of new coal-power plants that would be needed to supply the whole country with coal.

Understand, out of that 68% in rural areas, about 45% of homes do not have access to the electric grid. And of those who live in urban areas, 8% still have no electricity due to uncertain home ownership rights and safety concerns.

The answer to India’s energy poverty may not rely in more coal imports, or even an extension of the coal fuel grid.

Economically, it makes more sense for India to make more renewable power available. Especially solar power would benefit the country, which has excellent weather conditions for it. Ideally, the country would not rely on an electrical grid at all, but use individual renewable electricity generation, much like the many Hawaiian homes now fitted with solar panels.

It’s estimated that the country could generate 570 times its energy demand if only 1% of the land was fitted with solar panels that produced at only 10% efficiency.

The cost of coal in land, health, and coal supply is becoming too great; India may soon be joining the trend away from the dirty fossil fuel.

To continue reading…

Click here to read the Guardian article.

Until next time,

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Keith Kohl

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A true insider in the energy markets, Keith is one of few financial reporters to have visited the Alberta oil sands. His research has helped thousands of investors capitalize from the rapidly changing face of energy. Keith connects with hundreds of thousands of readers as the Managing Editor of Energy & Capital as well as Investment Director of Angel Publishing's Energy Investor. For years, Keith has been providing in-depth coverage of the Bakken, the Haynesville Shale, and the Marcellus natural gas formations — all ahead of the mainstream media. For more on Keith, go to his editor's page.

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