With the second largest known reserves of coal in the world Russia could easily take over from Australia and become the world leader in making money out of “black gold.” Not to mention the diplomatic and strategic advantages.
The Greens and others like Joe Biden and the US Democrats passionately want to see coal stay in the ground in the western world and that would hand the world coal market to Russia on a platter. Whose side are they on?
Read a roundup of commentary on the Soviet coal initiatives.
Russia is spending more than $10 billion on railroad upgrades that will help boost exports of the commodity. Authorities will use prisoners to help speed the work, reviving a reviled Soviet-era tradition.
The project to modernize and expand railroads that run to Russia’s Far Eastern ports is part of a broader push to make the nation among the last standing in fossil fuel exports as other countries switch to greener alternatives. The government is betting that coal consumption will continue to rise in big Asian markets like China even as it dries up elsewhere.
They are betting on a sure thing. The developing nations in the world are determined to have a better future and it will be powered by coal more that anything else. China and India are the most obvious users with a huge potential demand to be satisfied for decades to come. And China is especially active in financing and building coal stations in other parts of the world. The Global Warming Policy Forum provided an overview of coal prospects and projects around the world.
China funds more than 70% of all new coal plants being built globally. It is reported that, “Nearly all of the 60 new coal plants planned across Eurasia, South America and Africa –70 gigawatts of coal power in all – are financed almost exclusively by Chinese banks.” Among the most recent of its coal investment is the $3 Billion coal plant in Zimbabwe. With its “Belt and Road initiative”, China is helping around 150 countries with fossil fuel production and coal technology. Beijing is unlikely to compromise on its Belt and Road Initiative, especially when most of the countries relying on its help are developing countries that desperately seek fossil fuel driven energy growth.
Indian government officials have gone on record to reiterate the importance of coal to the country’s future energy prospects and continue to announce major investments to boost production.
For Africa, coal is not an option, but a necessity. Energy access is the foundation of any economy and much of Africa is nowhere close to alleviating the rampant energy poverty in the continent. Scientific American reported that, “more than 60 percent of Africans are without basic energy services and coal, oil and natural gas may be a necessary bridge.”
Even big banks continue to be indirect funders of coal projects. HSBC is now confirmed to be indirectly aiding the development of more than 70 new coal plants in Asian and African countries, including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Madagascar, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and Vietnam.
The continued coal demand in Asia-Pacific countries has also kindled prospects of increase in exports from Russia and the U.S. During the past two decades Russia has registered a 2.9% increase in coal production and 9.6% increase in coal export. It is estimated that if Russia continues to produce coal at 440 million tonnes a year (the current rate), its coal reserves will last for the next 370 years. The reserves are the second largest in the world, next to those in the U.S.
Even the US is still participating in the push for coal, whatever the administration wants or says, with exports of thermal coal around 9.4 million mt of U.S. thermal coal in the first quarter of 2021, “up from 7.5 million mt in the same period last year.”
From the comments, courtesy of Old Ozzie
4 Articles on Coal Fired Power by Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.
The Benefits That Coal Fired Power Gave Us – UPDATE May 2021
1. Coal Fired Power Dying – Not So Fast – Part One – Introduction
2. Coal Fired Power Dying – Not So Fast – Part Two – Electrical Power Generation In China
3. Coal Fired Power Dying – Not So Fast – Part Three – Coal Fired Power In China
4. Coal Fired Power Dying – Not So Fast – Part Four – SteamH, The Future For Coal Fired Power