Friday, February 23, 2024

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India Relies on Coal, And It’s About to Run Out

When it comes to nations that rely on coal, India is second on the list just behind China. However, much like the power shortage in China, India’s power plants are almost out of coal. And supply cannot keep up with demand.

According to India’s Central Electricity Authority (CEA), 63 out of 135 coal plants, only have two days’ worth of coal. And 17 of them have zero. Most plants are running in a critical state, and this is threatening mass blackouts in the coming days, which could last for months.

The coal supply cannot keep up with the growing demand of India or China.

The Power Demand is Will Triple By 2040

India’s power demand is growing at a rapid pace. In fact, it is expected to triple by 2040, which can seriously impact climate goals if it does so with fossil fuel.

And with the Diwali Festival taking place next month, this could cause a huge spike in consumption during the shortage.

The energy grid is expanding, and it has added 28.2 million new customers to the grid. This growth is continued to expand as the energy grid becomes more accessible, yet, the low supply may prevent or slow it from developing.

Why Is There A Coal Shortage?

Pandemic

Due to the ongoing pandemic, coal supplies, along with most commodities, are experiencing a shortage. And due to the high emissions and pollution burning coal brings, most countries are retiring it.

And the nations that still export coal do not see a future in expanding those operations. Thus, while the demand for coal in countries like India and China continues to grow, supply is beginning to shrink.

India is the perfect example of why most countries diversify where they get their energy.

To create a healthy electric grid, it must consist of multiple sources to ensure that if one fails, the others can pick up the slack. This also helps keep the cost of raw materials down.

After all, if countries can get raw materials cheaper elsewhere, they will.

Yet in India’s case, coal makes up 70% of the electric grid. They have no other options, and they are not the only nation in need.

Why Isn’t India Diversifying The Energy Sector?

To give credit where credit is due, India’s renewable energy sector had a terrific 2020. It is growing steadily, and may even exceed the goals of the government.

That said, It’s just a blip on the radar.

India not only faces a higher demand for power as its population continues to grow at a dangerous rate, but the infrastructure in place is also costly to replace.

Even making a switch from coal to natural gas would be a huge undertaking.

The transition in India will happen, but when is still just a guess at this point. Yet one thing is clear, it’s going to be rough for residents and businesses over the next several months as energy prices are sure to skyrocket and blackouts may become common.

This situation could force the transition or diversification to happen much faster.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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