Coal is a paradox. It’s a cheap and plentiful energy source that created and continues to power our modern world, yet our continued reliance on coal threatens the very world it helped create.
Coal powered the Industrial Revolution, and remains the leading energy source worldwide for generating electricity. And despite a recent decline in U.S. coal use, globally we burn more coal than ever.
But coal is dirty. Pollutants are released when we burn it, one of them carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping gas scientists see as a driver of rising global temperatures.
Germany may have a problem with too much baseload power, much of the rest of the world is still busy building baseload power plants. Which in most cases means: coal-fired power plants.
According to The Guardian newspaper, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim recently warned that “plans to build more coal-fired power plants in Asia would be ‘a disaster for the planet’.”
China alone is planning to build 150 GW of new coal plants, notes The Guardian. By 2020 that is. This is on top of the 270 GW it built over the last five years. If you’re not good at numbers, think of 1 GW as one 1 power plant.
So that’s 420 new coal power plants. Countries like India, Vietnam and Indonesia are also looking to build large numbers of coal power plants.
Now to the other side of the coin, India though populous, dirty and chaotic (as per Western thoughts); we have one of the lowest per capita CO2 emissions globally, we may rejoice now but thinking about the economic growth, changing lifestyle and aspirations of everyday Indians, we are most likely to engage in activities which will make those numbers climb.
Source : www.theguardian.com
India’s coal demand will see the biggest growth over next five years even as it slows down globally on lower consumption in China and the US while renewable energy sources gain ground, the International Energy Agency says.But much of Asia will remain hooked on coal which, while polluting, is also affordable and widely available.
The oil industry will lap up the story. After all, the IEA says that India, which currently consumes less energy per person than Africa, will become the engine of global growth in oil demand by the mid-2020s as its economy grows and its population becomes the biggest in the world.
US is doing it, China too is, Eu is doing, but in India Coal is yet to be exploited. Have a look.
Can we switch to alternatives? YES we can.
Then why don't we? We are, we are now in the beginning of the transition phase of energy in India. India can not switch over night to Cleaner sources.
We need to consider the Political, Economic and Technology point of view, though things are slowing down, we are reaching where we must be.
Better late than never.