Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: Renewable Energy  (Read 710437 times)

nanning

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 740
  • 0Kg CO2, 35 KWh/wk,130L H2O/wk, No heating
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 103
  • Likes Given: 4838
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4050 on: October 04, 2019, 12:52:01 PM »
Quote
I will not stop respecting you and your lifestyle choices.
And I will not stop respecting you either oren :).

If you felt a personal attack then I have mixed up addressing you and all people like you. It really rattles my cage if richer people dismiss the helpless and innocent poor. It has the hallmarks of colonial supremacy and very low morality.

I respect you, but, I do not respect your lifestyle (I assume it is high energy and high consumption). Not in the current reality. I can't. I can understand why other people keep living that way, but for a highly intelligent and well informed human like you I don't understand. I expect more.

Quote
But I will stop this conversation here.
Me too, thanks. In this way it is not working.

I think there are misunderstandings by both of us, and I have to say that parts of your posts made me a bit angry. My emotions must've shone through in my response even though I still don't read it like that. Sorry.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
   Simple: minimize your possessions and be free and kind    It's just a mindset.       Refugees welcome

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 63
  • Likes Given: 92
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4051 on: October 08, 2019, 07:58:16 PM »
With all of the bad news at the Federal Government level, it's easy to overlook the progress that is being made in the transition to a carbon free economy.  With renewables being cheaper than fossil fuels, "green-washing" has given way to lowering costs by going green.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/07/business/energy-environment/rooftop-solar-panels-retailers.html

Quote
At a time when the federal government is increasingly stepping away from addressing issues like sustainability and climate change, corporate America is stepping up. Retail giants from Target to Walmart to Amazon; and tech titans from Apple to Google to Facebook, are taking action to respond because it’s good for business and good for corporate image. For many consumers, addressing core issues like climate change and sustainability go hand-in-hand with attracting their business.

Going green has never looked so good — or cost so little. Solar power is almost 90 percent cheaper than it was 10 years ago and wind power is about 70 percent cheaper, said Gregory Wetstone, president and chief executive of the American Council on Renewable Energy, a nonprofit that promotes the transition to renewable power. That explains why companies in the United States purchased three times as much power generated from solar and wind energy in 2018 than they did the year before.

“Every aspect of retailing’s machine is going to be modernized and ultimately energized green,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry analyst at The NPD Group, a research and consulting specialist. This green evolution not only applies to energy use, but everything from packaging to fuel consumption during delivery, he said. “Retailers will chase greenness to be viewed as part of their DNA.”

This has left many of the world’s biggest companies falling all over themselves to embrace solar power, wind power and other renewables. But over the past decade, major retailers like Target and Walmart, who use vast quantities of energy in their stores, have gone from sticking a toe in the water to diving in headfirst.

I think that many of the posters on this site who embrace a negative outlook on the growth of renewables are under-estimating the pace of the transition.  They think that the current deployment rates, which involve decisions made when renewables cost more than fossil fuel energy, can be used to forecast the future.

But new investments being made now will have to take into account that it's cheaper to build new renewable power plants (or slap a bunch of solar panels on a roof) than it is to buy power from an operating fossil fuel plant.  That means that the only limit on how fast fossil fuels will be phased out is how quickly new wind and solar plants can be built.

That's not hopium, that's economics.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 63
  • Likes Given: 92
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4052 on: October 08, 2019, 10:49:30 PM »
Another utility releases plans to shut down coal plants and replace them with wind and solar backed up by battery storage.

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/10/08/pacificorp-plans-shift-from-coal-to-renewables-storage/

Quote
The Yakima Herald reports that PacifiCorp derives 56% of its electricity from coal-fired plants, a statistic that has made it a target for criticism by environmental groups. Now, however, the company says it is embarking on a plan to close two-thirds of those emission-spewing beasts by 2030 and most of the rest by 2038 and replace them with wind and solar coupled with battery storage. Renewables “are simply more cost-effective to meet our customer needs,” said Rick Link, a PacifiCorp vice president, during a conference call with reporters.

During that time period, the utility company plans to invest billions of dollars in wind, solar, and battery storage. Here are the details of the PacifiCorp plan as reported by Green Tech Media.
3,000 megawatts of new solar in Utah paired with 635 megawatts of battery storage, phased in between 2020 and 2037
1,415 megawatts of new solar in Wyoming paired with 354 megawatts of battery storage, phased in between 2024 and 2038
1,075 megawatts of new solar in Oregon paired with 244 megawatts of battery storage, phased in between 2020 and 2033
814 megawatts of new solar in Washington paired with 204 megawatts of battery storage, phased in between 2024 and 2036.

Quote
Rick Link insists shutting down the coal-fired power plants on a tighter timeline would risk a shortage of supply that could force the utility to purchase electricity on the spot market, which could be very expensive. The likelihood of that happening increases if other western utility companies also shut down their coal plants ahead of schedule.

The only reason for not shutting down the coal plants sooner is that there aren't enough renewable plants yet!

vox_mundi

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1489
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 540
  • Likes Given: 105
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4053 on: October 09, 2019, 12:26:51 AM »
Proposals Would Dam Little Colorado River for Hydropower
https://phys.org/news/2019-10-colorado-river-hydropower.html

Pumped Hydro Storage LLC is seeking approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for preliminary permits to study the sites east of Grand Canyon National Park over three years. None of it will move forward without permission from the Navajo Nation.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez said he's been briefed by tribal economic development officials about the proposals to create four reservoirs—two of which would be directly on the Little Colorado River—but hasn't talked with anyone from Pumped Hydro Storage.

The largest of the reservoirs would be northeast of Grand Canyon National Park with a smaller reservoir to the south. Together, they'd store more than 30,000 acre-feet of water and produce 3,200 megawatts of energy sent to an existing switchyard near the Navajo community of Cameron

The hydropower industry is seeing a renewed interest as states increasingly turn to wind and solar, and they need a way to supplement energy when the sun's not shining and the wind's not blowing. Most energy storage comes from pumped storage projects, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The Little Colorado River has some limits of its own. It doesn't flow year-round and can carry heavy sediment during the spring runoff and monsoon season, which could choke up dams. The endangered humpback chub also spawns in the Little Colorado River where the water is warmer than in the mainstem Colorado River.

... Hopi Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva said he first heard about the proposal for dams on social media, and it kept him up most of the night.

"They've done enough damage with the big Colorado River, yet something like this proposed is just mind-blowing," he said. "We just closed one segment of what they say is harm to the environment. This is more harm."
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Bruce Steele

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1443
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 112
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4054 on: October 09, 2019, 05:58:09 AM »
Nanning, So I just bought two powerwalls, $22,500 with about ten back in rebates, someday ,hopefully but out of pocket 22 grand. Someday it will be a lot cheaper but the bottom line is solar and batteries are expensive! 
 Hopefully better cheaper technology will make solar / renewables accessible to more people but there has to be someone paying top dollar to facilitate the transition. The transition away from fossil fuels.
I won’t live forever and if i’m Really lucky the farm will run on solar long after i’m gone.

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5129
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 351
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4055 on: October 09, 2019, 09:14:01 PM »
Bruce
Will your new system be enough to get you through PG&E's announced shutdown?
Terry

Bruce Steele

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1443
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 112
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4056 on: October 09, 2019, 09:39:49 PM »
Terry, I don’t think we are going to be affected by this blackout but if PG&E does shut down power I can run for weeks without grid power. When the grid goes down the powerwall shuts down the grid but still takes power from my solar panels so I have solar power during the daylight and powerwall for nighttime. I know what my big power demands are and I can avoid the air conditioner or the electric cloths drier if I have to. If the grid goes down and I don’t use the power from my solar then the powerwall will shut down the solar panels.
 I guess I will see how everything works if and when the grid goes down.
 

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5129
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 351
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4057 on: October 09, 2019, 11:39:51 PM »
Bruce
Glad that you won't need to test the system in an actual blackout. I'm also relieved that California apparently won't be facing the "brown outs" so prevalent when Enron was playing games with power. The brown outs we experienced in Nevada were blowing AC compressors and refrigeration systems so rapidly that at times I needed to order replacement parts from out of state - and deliveries took some time. Very bad news for anyone with inventory that needed to be kept frozen or chilled.


You've mentioned your AC draw on more than one occasion. Is there any possibility that you could switch to a modern evaporative cooler system? Some now add a stage and rather than increasing the living space humidity, they chill water and the chilled water is pumped through a coil that takes the place of an evaporator coil in an AC system. These require far less energy than AC systems and work anywhere that high humidity isn't a problem.
Another possibility is adding an evaporative pre-cooler to the condenser coil on your AC, this can drop your wattage draw by ~20-25% on a hot day and extend the life of your compressor.


Heating season is just about upon us, so you've months to decide what, if anything, makes sense.
Terry




Bruce Steele

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1443
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 112
  • Likes Given: 9
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4058 on: October 10, 2019, 01:19:12 AM »
Terry, The A/C is twenty years old and I didn’t need a Tesla app to tell me it needs replacing but I had the pressure checked a couple years ago and it was still holding the original charge. So we limp along. I would like to have it properly drained when the time comes. R-22
 We close vents in rooms we don’t use and close doors to keep the cooler air in the living room & office. It is rare to see 100F days so really not a big issue. Windows and our normal breeze work most of the time. Manufactured home, no bueno.
 If you have a name for a good evaporator cooler let me know. Our water is really hard so I might need a big rainwater tank to keep the evaporator from turning into a stalagmite .
 
The pressure pump for my domestic water might be replaced with an elevated tank and gravity for some uses,like stock water. I put sleeping bags on my freezers for extra insulation. And I haven’t gone after all the fantom small draws , how many clocks does one need... 

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15369
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 403
  • Likes Given: 204
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4059 on: October 10, 2019, 04:16:24 AM »
Home solar provider Sunrun Inc. said hundreds of customers were spared from recent planned shutoffs because of their solar panels and batteries -- and it expects that to number to be in the thousands after this week’s blackout.

California’s Blackout Becomes a Selling Point for Back-Up Power
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-10-09/california-s-blackout-becomes-a-selling-point-for-back-up-power
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5129
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 351
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4060 on: October 10, 2019, 11:25:17 AM »
Bruce
At twenty years there are a few things that can help to extend it's life. In no particular order:


Oil all motors - 3 drops for each bearing - repeat yearly
Oil the squirrel cage bearings and replace the drive belt if equipped - repeat yearly, or as needed with the belt.
A "Zoom Spout Oiler" is easy to use & has the correct oil


Clean fan & squirrel cage. Strong degreaser & stiff brush. Getting each vane of the squirrel cage clean is important.


Carefully clean both coils, then buy an electrostatic filter & wash it every month that the AC is in operation.


Replace all motor capacitors - once every ten years.
Capacitance is printed on each piece, most look something like a short roll of nickels


Install a "hard start kit" for compressor - once every ten years
You'll need the compressor make & model
Consists of a Start Capacitor, Run Capacitor & relay & should come with instructions


Pull the breaker before working on the unit. Short out the compressor capacitors, they bite.


A 20F split is what you want between the return air & a vent, if it's lower your charge may be low, if it's higher your evap coil & or fan are dirty (or you've a very old, very dirty filter)


If an HVAC supplier won't sell to you try Grangers, their catalogue has everything you need.


It's cheaper to replace the capacitors than to buy a quality tool to check them.
A cheap "fin comb" can straighten crushed coils.
If you've a decent Amp-Probe you can check your compressor for excessive draw, but the hard start kit will probably keep it running properly for years.


If your system hasn't leaked in twenty years it's not likely to start now.
I've seen 40+ year old systems operating in Las Vegas heat that ran perfectly. Capacitors do break down after extended use & when they go they take the motor with them - same with the larger capacitors on the compressor.


The above probably won't make your unit work better, just longer. :)


Graingers used to carry evap. coolers, though I don't recall the brand. Hard water requires that you drain a portion of it more or less constantly. A "Tee" fitting off the pump is the usual solution. When the pads get crapped up they need to be replaced, but they should last for one season.


You don't need to wait for late spring to set up your AC.
Have Funn!!
Terry

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15369
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 403
  • Likes Given: 204
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4061 on: October 10, 2019, 02:55:57 PM »
Home solar provider Sunrun Inc. said hundreds of customers were spared from recent planned shutoffs because of their solar panels and batteries -- and it expects that to number to be in the thousands after this week’s blackout.
California’s Blackout Becomes a Selling Point for Back-Up Power
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-10-09/california-s-blackout-becomes-a-selling-point-for-back-up-power

Tesla Superchargers will have Powerpacks to help with outages, says Elon Musk
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-superchargers-will-have-powerpacks-to-help-with-outages-says-elon-musk/
Tesla is also adding solar to their supercharger stations “as fast as possible.”
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 15369
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 403
  • Likes Given: 204
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4062 on: October 10, 2019, 04:10:46 PM »
“In the 18th century, Nantucket was the energy capital of the world. Ships departed the island, sailing to distant seas, hunting right whales for their oil.

On Tuesday, Nantucket is adding another page to the history books, as officials unveil a new energy source for the island: a giant battery. The battery will serve as backup for two insulated cables that run from Cape Cod to Nantucket, carrying the electric lifeblood that makes modern life on this timeless island possible.”


Biggest Battery In New England Is Unveiled In Nantucket
https://www.wbur.org/earthwhile/2019/10/08/nantucket-energy-storage-lithium-ion-giant-battery

Tesla's grid-scalable battery is supporting this popular East Coast island destination with power
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-powerpack-nantucket-massachusetts-backup-power/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 63
  • Likes Given: 92
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4063 on: October 10, 2019, 11:38:31 PM »
The linked article on coal's decline in the southeastern US has some interesting predictions for the growth of solar in the region.

http://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Coal-Fired-Generation-in-Freefall-Across-SE-US_October-2019.pdf

Quote
The ready availability of low-cost natural gas has led to a freefall in coal generation across the region over the past 10 years that has outpaced even the national drop in coal-fired generation. This, despite the fact that the area is home to companies such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, Southern Company and Duke Energy—three of the traditionally most coal-reliant utilities in the country. The decline is also noteworthy because the region’s utilities are still vertically integrated—controlling generation and transmission—and thus largely shielded from economic pressures like those in fast-changing markets like Texas and the PJM Interconnection,2 where more competitive generation resources often have an easier route to the market.

Quote
This is just the opening act in what is essentially a two-stage transition that will further erode coal’s generation market share in the region over the next five years and beyond—a trend that in several of the states affected could lead to the zeroing out of coal generation. The second act will be driven by solar, which, while still a modest contributor to regional electric output, is poised to grow substantially through the 2020s.
The region has 13.1 gigawatts of installed solar capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), and more than two-thirds of that total is in just two states, North Carolina and Florida. But significant growth is on the horizon. SEIA sees an additional 21.5GW of solar coming online in the region by 2024,3 an outlook that may be already out-of-date given recent utility and state announcements that are likely to expand the total.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 63
  • Likes Given: 92
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4064 on: October 11, 2019, 01:19:16 AM »
While the coal industry is looking to Vietnam to at least postpone its decline, Vietnam is going to renewables instead.

http://www.ipsnews.net/2019/09/qa-vietnam-went-zero-hero-developing-solar-projects-countries-can-climate-change/

Quote
In a country like Vietnam, for instance, last year our story was that Vietnam was the country with the largest number of new coal fire power plants. They were going to build 25 new coal fire plants. And then the government came out with a new policy – [companies] get offered a [tariff] for large-scale solar.

Vietnam had a target to reach 4.5GW of solar then by 2025. This is a lot if you have nothing.
The target was to be reached by 2025, and to everybody’s surprise they reached that on the 1st of July this year.

From nothing to 4.5GW — and not plans, not ideas but projects that are already built and connected to the grid.

https://en.vietnamplus.vn/vietnam-develops-renewable-energy/160585.vnp

Quote
Hanoi (VNA) – Since 2017, the Vietnamese Government has issued a number of priority policies to develop renewable energy to boost production and attract domestic and foreign investment, heard a workshop in Hanoi on September 17.

As a result, in just two years, the proportion of renewable energy in the national electricity structure has increased rapidly to more than 9 percent with wind power and solar power being the two main sources.

https://www.aseaneconomist.com/vietnam-looks-to-solar-to-fill-energy-void/

Quote
Vietnam looks to solar to fill energy void
By Taylor McDonald -2019-09-24

Vietnam is looking to renewable energy solutions to solve a growing power shortfall which is intensified by the dispute with Beijing over oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea.

rboyd

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1116
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 137
  • Likes Given: 39
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4065 on: October 11, 2019, 07:12:15 PM »
India’s solar and wind boom is fizzling - MIT Tech Review

Strong arm government actions (such as stopping paying suppliers to get lower prices) and too aggressive cuts in tariffs endanger India's plans for 175GW of renewable capacity by 2022 - could end up as low as 104GW. The problem when the state is highly corrupt and unpredictable.

Quote
The background: India had aimed to install 175 gigawatts of renewable generation by 2022, a central policy plank for the recently reelected Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the Mumbai rating agency CRISIL now predicts the country is going to miss those goals. The S&P-owned firm expects India will only reach 104 gigawatts by 2022, coming up more than 40% short, it said in a recent report.

What’s happening? The report notes that the state of Andhra Pradesh simply stopped paying developers, despite long-term power purchase contracts, in a strong-arm effort to force developers to slash rates. Meanwhile, the state-owned distribution companies have pushed down prices for proposed projects to the point where they’re often not financially viable.

These and related actions have chilled investment, stalled projects, and discouraged developers from bidding for new ones. In the last fiscal year, more than a quarter of state or federal auctions for new projects “received no or lukewarm bids.”

https://www.technologyreview.com/f/614539/indias-solar-and-wind-boom-is-fizzling/

The underlying report:

https://www.crisil.com/en/home/our-analysis/reports/2019/10/return-to-uncertainty.html

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 663
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 63
  • Likes Given: 92
Re: Renewable Energy
« Reply #4066 on: October 11, 2019, 08:41:01 PM »
India’s solar and wind boom is fizzling - MIT Tech Review

Strong arm government actions (such as stopping paying suppliers to get lower prices) and too aggressive cuts in tariffs endanger India's plans for 175GW of renewable capacity by 2022 - could end up as low as 104GW. The problem when the state is highly corrupt and unpredictable.

Quote
The background: India had aimed to install 175 gigawatts of renewable generation by 2022, a central policy plank for the recently reelected Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the Mumbai rating agency CRISIL now predicts the country is going to miss those goals. The S&P-owned firm expects India will only reach 104 gigawatts by 2022, coming up more than 40% short, it said in a recent report.

What’s happening? The report notes that the state of Andhra Pradesh simply stopped paying developers, despite long-term power purchase contracts, in a strong-arm effort to force developers to slash rates. Meanwhile, the state-owned distribution companies have pushed down prices for proposed projects to the point where they’re often not financially viable.

These and related actions have chilled investment, stalled projects, and discouraged developers from bidding for new ones. In the last fiscal year, more than a quarter of state or federal auctions for new projects “received no or lukewarm bids.”

https://www.technologyreview.com/f/614539/indias-solar-and-wind-boom-is-fizzling/

The underlying report:

https://www.crisil.com/en/home/our-analysis/reports/2019/10/return-to-uncertainty.html

Yes, India is known for that type of behavior.  It effects all projects, not just energy and in the energy sector, not just renewables.

However, even with the corruption involved, India has made good progress on building renewables.

https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/can-india-achieve-175-gw-of-renewable-energy-by-end-of-fy22/story/384202.html

Quote
Can India achieve 175 GW of renewable energy by end of FY22?
With only 23 GW of renewable power capacity left to bid, India is confident that the target of installing 175 GW of renewable power capacity will be met

Anilesh S Mahajan        Last Updated: October 11, 2019  | 21:10 IST

In a statement issued a day before the two day power ministers' summit at Tent City, Narmada in Gujarat, the MNRE spokesperson said, as of end-September, India has an installed renewable energy capacity of 82,580 MW and another 31,150 MW is at various stages of installation. By the first quarter of 2021, India would have installed more than 113 GW of renewable power capacity. It further stated that 39 GW of renewable power capacity is at various stages of bidding which would be installed by September 2021. With only 23 GW of renewable power capacity left to bid, India is confident that the target of installing 175 GW of renewable power capacity will be met.

Meanwhile, India has overbuilt coal power plants and many sit idled, in part due to the increase in wind and solar projects.

https://thewire.in/energy/has-growth-in-electricity-from-coal-stopped-in-its-tracks

Quote
Has Growth in Electricity from Coal Stopped in Its Tracks?
Structural and short-term factors have brought India’s half-century rise in coal-fired power to a halt, at least for now.

Energy
10/Oct/2019

Conventional thinking represented by the BP Energy Outlook or the International Energy Association’s forecast suggests that India’s thirst for electricity requires ever more coal.
   
But coal’s continuous rise has ground to at least a temporary halt.

As of this week, at just after the halfway point of FY’20, India has  generated less electricity from coal (and lignite – brown coal) than in the same period a year ago, while overall electricity production grew by 2.9%.

Data from the National Load Despatch Centre run by the Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO) showed that this crossover took place on October 9th, with 2019-20’s cumulative coal generation dipping to just over 500 GWh less than the equivalent period in 2018/19.

Quote
One factor eating into coal’s share is the continued rise of renewable energy, especially solar.  Though still a modest contributor, and itself suffering from an investment dip and push-back by DISCOMS seeking lower tariffs (notably Andhra Pradesh), renewable energy has maintained generation growth and now provides just over 9% of India’s electricity on an annualised basis.  The Indian Electricity Grid Code 2010 requires discoms  to purchase renewable energy when available, which has the effect of squeezing out conventional power unless there is sufficient demand.

Quote
Will coal resume its upward march? A return to higher economic growth would be a necessary condition, and some of the temporary factors such as hydro’s recovery may stall or even reverse. In addition, periodic coal supply interruptions, such as that from late September’s Coal India strike or last week’s inundation of Chhattisgarh’s Dipka mine by the Lilagar river, may not recur. 

Even so, the coal power sector still faces barriers of excess capacity, decreasing competitiveness and massive new costs when air pollution controls finally take effect. Then there are constraints from uncertain cooling water availability.  These factors will hinder coal’s outlook whether or not the renewed global focus on climate change bolsters India’s ambition to curtail carbon emissions with enhanced goals and new policies.

No wonder, then, that the optimistic forecasts from BP and the IEA, which make broad statistical projections at the expense of taking a more fine-grained perspective, have been joined recently by far more measured commentary and analysis about coal’s place in India’s electricity future.