Many more planned: Indian Railways will massively expand its coal freight corridors to counter the coal supply crisis | Image credit: Business-standard.com

Railways to expand India’s coal freight corridors, Centre prioritizes coal supplies to publicly-owned plants

Indian Railways is planning 84 new projects – spanning 9,259km — to boost the country’s network of coal freight corridors. The move comes amidst prolonged shortage in coal supplies to India’s power plants and despite the IPCC urging countries to accelerate their exit from fossil fuels.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is likely to push to complete 14 of the projects between 2020 – 2022,  and the full expansion is likely to cost the Centre Rs.989.8 billion ($14 billion).

Meanwhile the govt. has ordered Coal India Ltd. (CIL) and South Eastern Coalfields Ltd. (SECL) to prioritize coal supplies to Centre and state-owned thermal power plants, potentially leaving privately-owned plants to fend for themselves.

Satellite imagery reveals 40% of China’s coal power plants running on losses

Carbon Tracker’s new satellite imagery-based analysis has revealed that 40% of China’s over 1,000 coal-fired thermal power plants (TPPs) are running on losses – possibly due to an uptick in global coal prices.

The figure may even rise to 95% by 2040 and morph into China’s own stressed assets fiasco, and the country’s National Energy Investment Group could lose up to $66 billion in investments — if China imposes higher taxes on CO2 emissions. India’s loans to its power-sector-stressed assets, in comparison, account for approximately $51 billion.

Australia reiterates support for coal despite IPCC warning, ex-EPA head slams coal-fired power

Australia has (seemingly) dismissed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate warning over using coal beyond 2050, and has strongly reiterated its support for coal-fired power – despite the former US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy saying “nothing is worse” than burning coal when it comes to fighting climate change.

The Australian government has asserted that renewables cannot replace coal in generating baseload power, and that the fuel was critical in keeping the country’s lights on and its electricity prices affordable. The Australian Energy Market Operator, however, has squarely contradicted the last two claims.

British Petroleum: Oil & gas projects won’t turn into stranded assets

British Petroleum (BP) head Bob Dudley has played down investors’ fears of an imminent burst of the ‘carbon bubble’ – insisting that oil and gas projects around the world would not turn into stranded assets.

The comments are derived from BP’s assessments that oil and gas would meet nearly two-thirds of the world’s energy needs post 2040, despite the pace at which several countries are boosting their clean energy capacities.

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