Coal Boom Worldwide (Canada Free Press)
Coal Boom Worldwide
In a world where more than 1 billion people have no electricity and a much larger number live in deep energy poverty, only the fossil fuel industry has developed the ability to produce energy for electricity, fuel and heat for those in need. The politically popular alternatives, solar and wind, are expensive, unreliables that depend on reliable sources, mostly fossil fuels for life support reports Alex Epstein. 1
Overall, 1,600 coal plants are planned or are under construction in 62 countries. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent. The fleet of new coal plants would make it virtually impossible to meet the goals set in the Paris climate accord. 2
Leading the pack is China with 11 of the 20 biggest coal plant developers.
Even though China claimed to halt plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year as President Trump vowed to ‘bring back coal’ in America, the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s new role as a leader in the fight against climate change.
But new data on the world’s biggest developer of coal-fired power plants paints a very different picture: China’s energy companies will make up nearly half of the new coal generation expected to go online in the next decade reports Hiroko Tabuchi. 2
These Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal. Roughly a fifth of the new plants are outside of China.
Some of the countries targeted for coal power expansion, like Egypt or Pakistan, currently burn almost no coal and the new coal plants could set the course of their national energy policies for decades.
Chinese companies are not the only drivers of the global coal expansion.
The world’s single largest coal plant developer is India’s National Thermal Power corporation, which plans to build more than 38,000 megawatts of new coal capacity in India and Bangladesh.
India produced 9 percent more coal in 2015 than in 2014. India coal secretary Anil Swaroop said, “Coal production by Coal India crosses nine percent over the last year’s record production. Well done. Keep it going. Still a very long way to go.” 3
Japanese companies are planning to develop about 45 additional coal power plants in the next decade. 4
Even the US is getting back into the act.
Corsa Coal is the first American corporation to open a new coal mine in six years. The company plans to open another mine next year and a third in 2019.
The new mine, about 60 miles south of Pittsburgh, will create 70 to 100 new, direct full-time jobs which pay an average of $80,000 to $100,000 annually and about 500 indirect jobs. President Trump’s pro-energy policies and pro-business policies are invigorating US production and manufacturing. The Corsa mine opening is a cast in point, providing new jobs and helping a slumping American industry.5
The frenzied addition of coal plants underscores how the world is set to remain dependent on coal for decades despite fast growth in renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. 2
- Alex Epstein, “Warming is mild and manageable,” USA Today, October 21, 2016
- Hiroko Tabuchi, “As Beijing joins climate fight, Chinese companies build coal plants,” The New York Times, July 1, 2017
- Steve Milloy, “Coal India produces 9 percent more in FY 2015,” junkscience.com, December 26, 2015
- Sydney Platts, “Japan plans to build 45 new coal power plants in next decade,” platts.com, February 3, 2017
- Institute for Energy Research, “For the first time in six years, a new American coal mine has opened,” Canada Free Press, July 6, 2017