Clean Air is Complicated

Reuters recently reported that India’s coal-fired power generation capacity is expected to rise by 22.4% in three years, based on comments by India’s federal power ministry’s chief engineer.

India, the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, saw annual coal demand increase 9.1%, to nearly 1 billion tonnes, in the year ended March 2019.  Coal demand from utilities accounted for over three-quarters of total consumption.  Electricity demand in the country rose 36% in the seven years leading to April 2019 while coal-fired generation capacity grew 74% during the period.

An increase in coal-fired power generation capacity would be bad news for India’s cities, 14 of which are already on the list of the 20 most polluted in the world.  The problem is, no one wants to freeze in the dark.

In the world today, established economies have large, but waning, carbon emissions, while new economic giants in the developing world, think China and India, are increasing their emissions rapidly.  Unfortunately, what goes into the atmosphere in India and China, circles the globe.

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA