The coal crunch afflicting India’s thermal power plants seems to be easing. The Central Government, which in May had ordered the use of 10% imported coal for blending with domestic coal at power plants, has decided to rollback the mandate. The withdrawal of the blending order comes at a time when the country’s coal stocks have been replenished to 31 million tonnes, the highest number recorded for August. “The coal stock position in power plants has been reviewed periodically with the stakeholders, including ministry of coal and ministry of railways. It has been decided to withdraw the aforesaid order dated 26th May 2022, with immediate effect,” read the order issued on August 11. Amidst the coal shortages in the first two quarters of the year, Coal India Ltd has upped its production. While the first quarter saw 19% growth compared to last year, the public mining company plans to dispatch 700MT this year- about 18% higher than last year.
G7 seeks a price cap on Russian oil before December 5
Anticipating a harsh winter that could see oil prices surge again, G7 leaders are cautious about the viability of a complete ban on Russian oil. The EU’s latest rounds of sanctions, which will prohibit insurance and finance services to shipping companies transporting Russian oil, will come into effect on December 5. The sanctions are expected to put upward pressure on prices. The G7 is now looking to get ahead of the curve by installing a price cap that would ensure the avoidance of a supply shock but would also limit Russia’s revenues through oil.
World’s coal consumption to reach record levels this year, says IEA
Global coal consumption is set to see another year of strong growth, taking it back to record levels reached almost a decade ago, according to a new IEA report. Coal demand has seen a sharp upturn since the COVID lows as a rapid economic recovery was followed by turmoil in the energy markets. Now, the IEA states that if the Chinese economy recovers as expected in the remainder of the year, global coal demand would rise by 0.7% to touch 8 billion tonnes. Worryingly, the demand, which matches the record of 2013, is likely to increase further next year. Apart from China, India and the EU have seen spikes in coal demand this year due to increased power demand and rising costs of gas.
Australia rules out banning fossil fuel projects; will support those that ‘stack up’ economically and environmentally
Climate action laggard Australia is currently debating its Climate Change bill, which was passed in the lower house of the Australian parliament last week. While the bill seeks to reduce emissions by 43% by 2030 relative to 2005 levels, Australia’s new Labour government has ruled out any complete ban on fossil fuel projects. “If Australia today said we are not going to export any more coal, what you’d see is a lot of jobs lost, you would see a significant loss to our economy, significantly less taxation, revenue for education, health and other services, and that coal wouldn’t lead to a reduction in global emissions, what you would see is a replacement with coal from other countries that’s likely to produce higher emissions … because of the quality of the product,” said Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in justification of the move. The PM’s statement was followed by Australia’s Federal Resources minister claiming in a speech to Queensland’s resource industry that fossil fuel projects would be greenlit provided they “stack up” economically and environmentally.