Thursday, February 7, 2019

GWPF Newsletter: India Opens 52 New Coal Mines To Achieve Universal Electrification








Indian Govt announces it has achieved universal household electrification

In this newsletter:

1) India Opens 52 New Coal Mines To Achieve Universal Electrification
Times of India, 23 January 2019
 
2) India Just Achieved Universal Household Electrification
Press Trust of India, 20 January 2019 


 
3) India Ramps Up Spending On Coal Exploration
Reuters, 1 February 2019
 
4) China Is Financing Hundreds Of New Coal Power Plants Around The World 
China Dialogue, 5 February 2019
 
5) Official: German Coal Exit May Be Delayed Beyond 2038 If Energy Security Is At Risk
Voice of America, 2 February 2019 
 
6) Green Madness: Germany’s Power Grid Overhaul To Cost €20 Billion More Than Expected
Bloomberg, 4 February 2019 
 
7) Jim Ratcliffe: UK Government Using ‘Slippery’ Manoeuvres To Kill Off British Fracking
City A.M., 4 February 2019
 
8) And Finally: Already A Vintage Year For Climate Claptrap
Chris Morrison, The Conservative Woman, 6 February 2019 


Full details:

1) India Opens 52 New Coal Mines To Achieve Universal Electrification
Times of India, 23 January 2019


NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi government has opened 52 new coal mines since coming to power in May 2014 to fuel its flagship village and household electrification programmes without tripping the system, officials told TOI.



These 52 mines represent 86% growth over the number of mines added in the five-year period between 2009 and 2014, when most projects were stuck in red tape,
especially pertaining to environment and forest clearances, before the NDA government took over.

The officials said structural reforms in the government's functioning since 2014 made it possible to quickly open such a large number of coal mines, a cumbersome process involving approvals and permissions from various statutory authorities.

The new mines have added 164 MT (million tonne) to India's annual coal production capacity, marking 113% increase over capacity added during the 2009-2014
period. Since 57% of power is generated in India by burning coal, these mines allowed the government to rapidly move towards universal electricity access without creating shortages....

In April, the government completed the task of hooking up all the 18,452 un-electrified inhabited villages to the national power. It is now in the process of bringing power to all households without electricity by giving free connections under the Saubhagya scheme. So far, 91.9% of the 2.48 crore households identified without power have been electrified.

Full story
 

2) India Just Achieved Universal Household Electrification
Press Trust of India, 20 January 2019 


India is all set to achieve 100 per cent household electrification by the end of January, with 24.4 million families having received power connections out of the targeted 24.8 million, an official said.



"The 100 per cent household electrification under Saubhagya will be achieved by month end. The government has energised 24.4 million households under the scheme till today," the official said.

Full post
 

3) India Ramps Up Spending On Coal Exploration
Reuters, 1 February 2019


NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Indian government will increase spending on exploration of coal and lignite by 20 percent in the coming financial year but will slash funding for coal mine safety and conservation, according to the budget document released on Friday.

India is one of the world’s largest consumers of coal and rising imports of the fuel are adding to a burgeoning trade deficit, prompting the government to invest in developing more domestic resources.
In the 2019/20 financial year that begins in April, the government aims to spend 6 billion rupees ($84 million) on exploration of coal and lignite, the document for the 2019/20 budget showed.

At the same time, it will cut spending on conservation, safety and related infrastructure development by about a third from last year to 1.35 billion rupees, according to the document.

India is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a coal miner, with one miner dying every six days on average in 2017, according to government data, but this will be the second straight year that the government has cut spending on safety.

The coal ministry said that coal companies had their own safety budgets….

The coal ministry said it had increased spending for exploration in 2019/20 to develop more coal blocks to increase domestic coal production and minimize imports.

“This will also enable (the) release of more coal blocks for auction/allocation,” the ministry said.

Full story
 

4) China Is Financing Hundreds Of New Coal Power Plants Around The World 
China Dialogue, 5 February 2019

Lili Pike

China is planning on financing more coal-fired power capacity beyond its borders than Germany currently operates, according to a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). 














In an interview at last year’s UN climate conference, Li Junfeng, director of China’s National Centre for Climate Change Strategy, said, “We can’t require a developing country that is less developed than China to start decreasing coal consumption now, that is not possible.” China is helping other countries meet their coal power needs with the cleanest ultra-low emissions technology, he said.

The IEEFA report shows that the Chinese-financed coal plants have become more efficient, with fewer of the most carbon-intensive plants under development.

These concurrent trends of continued coal power development, but with more efficient technology, mirror China’s own energy trajectory. Although the move toward greater efficiency carries some environmental and health benefits, it still defies the call for global decarbonisation.

China’s overseas coal plant development looms large

China is not a new entrant to global coal power development. A study conducted by the Global Environmental Institute in 2017 found that between 2001 and 2016, Chinese companies and banks were involved in 240 coal projects overseas with a total capacity of 251 gigawatts. Analysing public finance alone, the Natural Resources Defense Council showed that China has been the largest backer of overseas coal power in recent years.

IEEFA’s new report pulls back the curtain on China’s future plans. Its involvement in coal projects does not appear to be flagging: Chinese financial institutions and companies have committed or proposed to finance one quarter of the coal plants under development outside of China – 102 gigawatts of capacity spread across 23 countries.

In some cases, China’s financial pledges come from the very top. Bangladesh and China signed off on four Chinese-financed coal power plants during Xi Jinping’s 2016 state visit. State-owned energy companies have also enjoyed high-level support from industrial policies encouraging their overseas expansion, backed by financial support from China’s policy banks, which can offer low-interest loans.

Demand from developing countries is also driving business, said Yuan Jiahai, a professor at the North China Electricity and Power University. His field research on China’s coal power development in Southeast Asia showed that coal remains attractive in the region. “For countries like Indonesia and Vietnam that are in the early stages of industrialisation, coal power is still the most economical and reliable choice,” Yuan said, adding that these countries prioritise safety and cost over environmental considerations.

Full post
 

5) Official: German Coal Exit May Be Delayed Beyond 2038 If Energy Security Is At Risk
Voice of America, 2 February 2019 


BERLIN — Germany’s phasing out of coal-fired power stations could be delayed beyond 2038 if the deadline creates problems for the security of electricity supply, a senior legislator in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party said.

The phase-out, proposed last Saturday by a commission tasked with mapping out Germany’s transition to a more environmentally friendly low-carbon economy, drew criticism from some in industry who fear the impact of higher energy prices.

But in remarks that appeared aimed at the right of a party not always comfortable with Merkel’s centrist approach, Ralph Brinkhaus, chair of the conservative benches in parliament, said it was crucial not to be “dogmatic” in pursuing a goal that was widely accepted.

“Energy supply security must be guaranteed,” he told Welt am Sonntagnewspaper. “If it is endangered, we should be free to do another round and address that, without abandoning the path we’ve chosen. There’s no reason to be dogmatic about this.”

Pro-business wing of party

Brinkhaus, from the Christian Democrats’ (CDU) most pro-business wing, last year toppled a Merkel ally in the race for the influential parliamentary leader post, precipitating the sequence of events that led to Merkel resigning as party leader and announcing that this would be her last term as chancellor.

That sparked a fight for the soul of the party, whose members have chafed at the centrist course that Merkel plotted over the 14 years of her chancellorship, during which time she has often seemed closer to leftists and Greens than some in her own party.

While her ally Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s narrow victory in the race to succeed her as party leader was seen as a win for her centrist vision, Brinkhaus’s remarks are a reminder that the party’s right has not gone away as the CDU gears up for a series of tough European and regional elections.

Full story
 

6) Green Madness: Germany’s Power Grid Overhaul To Cost €20 Billion More Than Expected
Bloomberg, 4 February 2019 


Germany’s plan for new power cable “autobahns” to take wind and solar energy from the north to the south of the country is set to cost billions more than envisaged.

The grid upgrade will cost as much as 52 billion euros ($59 billion), 53 percent more than was budgeted for in 2014, the companies building the north-south high-voltage links said in a joint statement. Two more of the super cables are needed on top of the three already planned in order to meet the government’s new green power targets, the builders said.

The revised blueprint spells bigger electricity bills for a nation that already shares with Denmark the highest retail power costs in the European Union. Grid upgrade expenses are tacked on to consumers’ bills.

Just 150 kilometers (93 miles) of the super power highway was constructed by 2018. Another 5,700 kilometers needs to be added by 2025, the targeted completion date of the current, three-line plan, according to the Economy and Energy Ministry’s website.

Peter Altmaier, the Economy and Energy Minister, said last year that progress achieved in enhancing the grid was a “catastrophe.”

Full post
 

7) Jim Ratcliffe: UK Government Using ‘Slippery’ Manoeuvres To Kill Off British Fracking
City A.M., 4 February 2019


The chairman of Britain’s biggest private company has accused the government of using “slippery back door manoeuvres” to kill off fracking in the UK.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire founder of Ineos, said the government is sticking to a plan which is “unworkable, unhelpful and playing politics with the country’s future”.

Ratcliffe hit out at a system which forces fracking to halt the moment minor seismic activity is detected around the site, saying it would prevent the UK from following the US’s booming shale market.

Britain’s limit of 0.5 points on the Richter scale is over 3,000 times lower than the 4.0 level in the US where just one well is producing more gas than the entire British North Sea.

“The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy seems to lack a basic understanding of the Richter Scale. It is a logarithmic scale. The limit within the United States is typically set at 4.0 – a level that the US Environmental Protection Agency feels is safe and will not lead to any damage to land, property or people,” Ratcliffe said.

“To put that into perspective, magnitude 4.0 is 3,162 times higher than 0.5 and 177,827 times stronger in terms of energy release.”

He said the government was betting the country’s future on “potentially unstable” imported gas and wind power while killing off shale gas.

The businessman also hit out at the government’s nuclear plans, saying Hinkley Point is “unproven technology at a totally uncompetitive price.”

Meanwhile, 85 per cent of UK homes need gas for heat.
“We have a non-existent energy strategy and are heading towards an energy crisis that will do long term and irreparable damage to the economy and the government needs to decide whether they are finally going to put the country first and develop a workable UK onshore gas industry” Ratcliffe said.

Full story 
 

see also: GWPF Calls On UK Government To Remove Arbitrary Shale Gas Restrictions
 
8) And Finally: Already A Vintage Year For Climate Claptrap
Chris Morrison, The Conservative Woman, 6 February 2019 


It has been an encouraging start to the contest for the year’s loopiest climate story.



First out of the blocks is a cracker from the geography department at University College London with the suggestion that Spanish colonisation in the Americas contributed to global cooling. Early interest is also being shown in a paper that appeared in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggesting that a rise in temperatures stemming from climate change may increase the number of US infants born with congenital heart defects. This presumably opens up a whole new field of science – and funding – investigating the effect of latitude on vast numbers of ailments.

The global drop in temperatures started in 1300, long before the Spanish invaded the Americas. The UCL team suggested that reductions in population after the Spanish conquests and subsequent increases in tropical jungle led to more CO2 being used from the atmosphere. The report seems to suggest that this amounted to around three parts per million in the atmosphere. If true, this would be a minute amount in an atmosphere that held at the time round 280ppm of CO2. Three ppm is well within any genuine scientific margin of error. The ‘mini ice age’ was caused by many natural events and continued until around 1850. It was characterised by numerous variations in temperature across different time periods and regions in the northern hemisphere.

Needless to say the BBC led the media charge and was all over this story. Linking climate change with the genocidal activities of white colonists just ticks so many boxes, even for so-called science correspondents. What next? How the Roman warming period was brought to a premature end by the increasing demand for crucifixes?

All harmless fun, of course, except that it pushes out real and important climate science news. Missing for instance in much of the mainstream media was the remarkable news that 2018 passed without a single violent tornado (Cat EF-5) in the US. Perhaps it was missed in all that California wildfire coverage – measured less by the column inch, more by the mile.

This was the first year free of the most violent tornados since recording began in 1950 and it follows a recent decreasing trend in most categories.

Blink and you might also have missed the comment from the eminent Irish scientist and meteorology professor Ray Bates that the recent IPCC report should not be regarded by policymakers as ‘a scientifically rigorous document’. Bates accused the UN body of failing to pass on recent evidence indicating a greater contribution from ‘natural variability to explain observed global temperature trends’.

But still we press on with wasting vast amounts of money to de-industrialise the planet on the basis of unproven science. Much of the developed world is signed up to political ‘settled’ science by replacing efficient oil and gas with inefficient unreliable expensive renewable energy in a heroic attempt to gain a first in the natural world by stopping the global thermostat at precisely 59F.

But already the warning signs of green disaster are starting to appear. Late last year the long-established and respected Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland warned that Scottish and UK government green energy policy was likely to lead to severe electricity blackouts.

Full post


The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.

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