A dying breed: The Yermarus Thermal Power Station in Raichur, inaugurated in 2018, will be the last state-run TPP after Karnataka announced that it would not invest in any new thermal power | Photo: Twitter/@NammaKarnataka

No new thermal power plants in Karnataka

State government-run Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) on Monday announced that it would cap thermal power production in the state and no longer invest in thermal power plants. According to the state energy department, the decision is part of a new energy blueprint which includes plans to phase out thermal power completely in three to five years. The decision has flagged concerns about impacts on Raichur district where two of the three major thermal power plants in the state are located. 

Minerals Council of Australia: EU should label nuclear and fossils with CCS as sustainable

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) is urging the European Commission (EC) to label nuclear and fossil fuel power mated to carbon capture and storage (CCS) as sustainable, as it says the EC’s favourable view of solar, wind and biofuels would “increase the cost of reducing CO2 emissions”. The MCA is also concerned about the flow of investments away from fossil fuels and nuclear power that the EC’s classification of sustainable technologies would cause, and the impact that would have on the industries it supports. 

However, the MCA has been routinely criticised over its opposition to carbon pricing and its support for coal power. Yet, its chief executive, Tania Constable, has gone on record to say that “the technology-led transformation required” (for major industries to align with the Paris Agreement) “could not happen without Australia’s minerals and raw materials”.

Research report: US fossil fuels companies receive $62 billion/year in implicit subsidies 

A new research report revealed that fossil fuels companies in the US receive around $62 billion in implicit subsidies every year, since they do not have to pay for the use of their products and the cost of the resulting health and environmental impacts. The research was conducted by an economist at Yale University and it finds that all the costs of burning fossil fuels — in terms of air pollution and adverse health impacts — were borne entirely by the country’s taxpayers. The research also pointed out that US coal plants were the largest beneficiaries, even though that may change under the Biden administration. 

Carbon Brief: Fossil fuel investments have shed 20% of their value since 2012

New research by climate action tracker Carbon Brief showed that fossil fuel shareholdings shed 20% of their market value since 2012, unlike clean energy holdings, which gained 140% in the same period. The research showed that investors had bought nearly $640 billion in coal, oil and gas and related infrastructure projects, but lost around $123 billion despite the markets predicting healthy returns on investment. A key factor for the decline has been the heightened risk of climate change, which the report said has prompted investors to pivot to renewables instead. 

Interestingly, the fossil fuel equities underperformed the global general equities market (the  MSCI All Country World Index) by 52%, while the renewables’ portfolios outperformed the index by around 54%. 

China’s share in coal power output grows to 53%

New data from a London-based research group showed that China produced 53% of the world’s coal power in 2020, which has grown from the 44% share in 2015. This despite the country adding a record-breaking 48.2GW of solar and 71.7GW of wind power in 2020, and committing to go nearly net-zero by 2060. The jump in coal power output was attributed to the addition of 38.4GW worth of new coal plants, which was three times the capacity added by the rest of the world put together. The country has also approved 46.1GW of new coal plants, even as the share of coal power in its energy mix dropped from 70% in 2010 to 56.8% in 2020.

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