Connect with us

World

India turns to coal as hydro generation falls

India turns to coal as hydro generation falls

Published

on

India turns to coal as hydro generation falls

India produced a record amount of electricity from coal in October to make up for a shortfall in hydro generation following lower-than-normal monsoon rains.

Coal remains fundamental to the country’s energy security, despite rapid deployment of wind and solar generation, underscoring the challenge of reducing emissions.

Notwithstanding the ambitions expressed at the UN climate conference in Dubai, for the foreseeable future, India will depend on its mines and rail network to satisfy rapidly growing electricity demand and ensure reliability.

Total electricity demand met increased by 24 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) (+21%) in October compared with the same month a year earlier.
But hydroelectric generation fell by 5 billion kWh (-30%) as unusually low monsoon rainfall depleted water resources.

Advertisement

Total precipitation across most of India, the Himalayas and Tibet has been less than 80% of the long-term average since the start of the rainy season in June.

The volume of water stored in the 150 reservoirs monitored by India’s Central Water Commission was 20% below the level in 2022 and 7% below the average for 2013-2022 on Nov. 23.

Reservoirs are managed to provide a mix of hydroelectricity and irrigation; depletion would have been even more severe if hydroelectricity had not been curbed to save water for agriculture.

Despite big increases in installed capacity, solar and wind generation were unable to make up the deficit. Wind increased by 0.3 billion kWh (+10%) while solar was up 1.3 billion kWh (+16%).

Instead the electricity system turned to gas (1.6 billion kWh, +103%) and especially coal (28 billion kWh, +33%) to meet demand.

Advertisement

Coal-fired generators produced a seasonal record of 111 billion kWh in October 2023 up from 84 billion kWh in October 2022.

Coal satisfied 80% of electricity demand up from 73% a year earlier, while the hydro share fell to 9% from more than 15%.

COAL REMAINS KING

India’s installed solar capacity has risen by almost 47 million kilowatts (+24% per year) while wind capacity is up by 9 million kilowatts (5% per year) since the start of 2018.

Over the same period, coal generation capacity has increased by just 9 million kilowatts (1% per year) and gas-fired capacity has been essentially unchanged.

Advertisement

But coal units have much higher utilisation and are particularly critical to meet load in the shoulder seasons of March-April and September-October when renewable generation is lower but air-conditioning load is relatively high.

In the final analysis, India’s electricity system remains overwhelmingly reliant on coal for baseload and ensuring reliability.

To cope with rising electricity demand and poor hydrological conditions, India boosted mine production and the volume hauled by the railways to generators to record rates in October.

Coal output was up by 13 million tonnes in October and by a total of 87 million tonnes since January compared with a year earlier.

The volume despatched to power producers was up 8 million tonnes in October and by 35 million tonnes in the first ten months.

Advertisement

Even so, coal stocks at generators were severely depleted in September and October, and by the end of October had been reduced to just 7.5 days at the required level.

Inventories had been reduced near to three-year lows and close to levels that sparked the fuel crisis and blackouts in September 2021.

Coal production and despatch will have to remain high throughout the winter, when consumption is lower, to rebuild stocks ahead of the next shoulder season. 

Advertisement

World

US Coast Guard boards Chinese fishing boats near Kiribati, official says

US Coast Guard boards Chinese fishing boats near Kiribati, official says

Published

on

By

US Coast Guard boards Chinese fishing boats near Kiribati, official says

The US Coast Guard and Kiribati police boarded two Chinese fishing boats during a patrol against illegal fishing in the Pacific Islands nation’s vast exclusive economic zone this month but found no issues aboard, a coast guard official said.

The United States is seeking a bigger role for its coast guard in helping remote Pacific Islands nations monitor millions of kilometres of ocean – a rich tuna fishing ground – a move that also boosts surveillance as a rivalry with China over security ties in the region intensifies.

Reuters reported on Friday that Chinese police are working in Kiribati, with uniformed officers involved in community policing and a crime database program.

Kiribati, a nation of 115,000 residents, is considered strategic despite being small, as it is relatively close to Hawaii and controls a 3.5 million square kilometre (1.35 million square mile) exclusive economic zone. It is also host to a Japanese satellite tracking station.

Advertisement

Washington has flagged plans to build an embassy in Kiribati to compete with China, but has not yet done so.

Kiribati police officers were on patrol with the US Coast Guard as “ship riders” for the first time in almost a decade, between Feb. 11-16, a US Coast Guard Guam spokeswoman said.

“The two People’s Republic of China (PRC) flagged fishing vessels were boarded as part of routine maritime law enforcement activities to ensure compliance with regulations within the Kiribati Exclusive Economic Zone,” the spokeswoman said in an emailed comments.

No concerns were reported during the boardings, she said.

“Both Kiribati officers from the Kiribati Police Maritime Unit and US Coast Guard officers were involved in the boarding operations. This collaboration underscores the partnership between the two nations in upholding maritime law and good governance,” she added.

Advertisement

The Kiribati president’s office and Chinese embassy did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Kiribati’s acting police commissioner, Eeri Aritiera, told Reuters last week that Chinese police on the island work with local police.

China built a large embassy on the main island, Tarawa, after Kiribati switched ties from Taiwan to Beijing in 2019. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

Ukraine downs nine Russian drones, three missiles, air force says

Ukraine downs nine Russian drones, three missiles, air force says

Published

on

By

Ukraine downs nine Russian drones, three missiles, air force says

Russia launched 14 attack drones and a barrage of missiles at Ukraine overnight, with air defence systems destroying nine drones as well as three guided missiles over the Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions, Ukraine’s air force said on Monday.

Russia also launched two S-300 missiles from anti-aircraft missile systems and one air-to-surface Kh-31P missile, the air force said on the Telegram messaging app.

It was not clear what happened to the missiles and drones that were not downed. 

Advertisement
Continue Reading

World

Taiwan ally Tuvalu names Feleti Teo as new prime minister

Taiwan ally Tuvalu names Feleti Teo as new prime minister

Published

on

By

Taiwan ally Tuvalu names Feleti Teo as new prime minister

Tuvalu on Monday announced former attorney general and fisheries official Feleti Teo as its new prime minister, after he was elected unopposed by lawmakers in the Pacific Islands nation, officials said.

Former Prime Minister Kausea Natano lost his seat in a general election on Jan. 26 closely watched by Taiwan, China, the US and Australia, amid a geopolitical tussle for influence in the South Pacific.

Tuvalu, with a population of about 11,200 spread across nine islands, is one of three remaining Pacific allies of Taiwan, after Nauru cut ties last month and switched to Beijing, which had promised more development help.

Teo received unanimous support from the 16 lawmakers, two lawmakers told Reuters on Monday.

Advertisement

Teo, who was educated in New Zealand and Australia, was Tuvalu’s first attorney general. He has decades of experience as a senior official in the regional fisheries organisation and has worked with the Pacific Islands Forum, the region’s major political and economic group. Fishing is a major source of revenue in the Pacific islands.

“Feleti Teo was declared by the Governor General as Prime Minister for Tuvalu,” Tuvalu’s government secretary, Tufoua Panapa, said in an emailed statement.

Tuvalu lawmaker Simon Kofe congratulated Teo in a social media post.

“It is the first time in our history that a Prime Minister has been nominated unopposed,” he said.

The election result in Tuvalu had been delayed by a month as dangerous weather stopped boats from bringing new lawmakers to the capital to vote for prime minister, highlighting why climate change is the top political issue in the Pacific Islands nation.

Advertisement

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said its ambassador to Tuvalu, Andrew Lin, expressed Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s congratulations to Teo, adding that deputy foreign minister Tien Chung-kwang will visit Tuvalu in the near future.

Teo is a friend of Taiwan’s and has visited many times, and has said relations are stable and that maintaining ties is the widespread consensus in Tuvalu, the ministry added.

Taiwan previously said it was paying close attention to the election after Tuvalu’s finance minister in the previous government, Seve Paeniu, said the issue of diplomatic recognition of Taiwan or China should be debated by the new government.

There had also been calls by some lawmakers to review a wide-ranging deal signed with Australia in November, that allows Canberra to vet Tuvalu’s police, port and telecommunication cooperation with other nations, in return for a defence guarantee and allowing citizens threatened by rising seas to migrate.

The deal was seen as an effort to curb China’s rising influence as an infrastructure provider in the Pacific Islands.

Advertisement

Teo’s position on Taiwan ties, and the Australian security and migration pact, have not been made public.

Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on social media he looked forward to working with Teo.

“Australia deeply values our relationship with Tuvalu, in the spirit of the Falepili Union,” he wrote, referring to the migration pact.

Tuvalu’s ministry would be announced at an oath taking ceremony for the new government later this week, Panapa said.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN