China and India plan 818 new coal plants

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
November 26, 2012



Surface coal mining in Bihar, India. Around 70-80 percent of India's power is currently provided by coal.
Surface coal mining in Bihar, India. Around 70-80 percent of India's power is currently provided by coal.

Even as the clamor to reduce greenhouse gas emissions reaches a new high—echoed recently by such staid institutions as the World Bank and the International Energy Agency (IEA)—a new analysis by the World Resources Institute (WRI) finds that 818 new coal-fired plants are under proposal in China and India. In all 1,199 new coal-fired plants are currently planned worldwide, according to the report, totaling 1.4 million megawatts of energy.

According to the report 59 nations are currently proposing to build new coal plants. This includes 49 new coal plants proposed in Turkey, 48 in Russia, 36 in the U.S., 30 in Vietnam, and 17 in Indonesia. But India has by far proposed the most new coal-fired power plants: 455. While China, already the world's biggest burner of coal, has proposed 363 new plants.

"Not all of these projects will necessarily be approved and developed—the report only looks at proposed new plants. However, this research shows a significant—and troubling—interest in coal development globally," writes Ailun Yang with the WRI in a blog.

Coal is the world's most carbon-intensive energy source. It has been estimated that currently around a third of all greenhouse gas emissions stem from the combustion of coal alone. In addition to its carbon emissions, coal also spreads around 20 toxic chemicals into the environment. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the use of coal shortens a million lives around the world every year. Despite such figures, coal is on the rise, especially in Asia.

"After a slight decline in 2008, the global coal trade has rebounded and continues to grow," the analysis reads. "In 2010 the global coal trade rose by 13.4 percent, reaching 1,083.1 million tonnes. This growth was fueled by the worldwide economic recovery and China’s expanding coal intake."

















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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (November 26, 2012).

China and India plan 818 new coal plants.

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/1126-hance-coal-india-china.html