"The consumption of coal is growing at a massive rate at the moment, particularly in Asia," says David Price, director of Cambridge Energy Research AssociatesThis underscores the futility of minimally useful (and additionally destructive) wind power. As long as people want power, and access to power grows (as it must), coal is going to be at the base. Pretending, in promoting large-scale wind, that you can have your power and your clean earth too, simply legitimizes the craving for more power and thus the continued expansion of coal use.
The Chinese and the Indians are pushing their consumption up very rapidly and production levels are now approaching five billion tonnes a year, which compares with about three billion tonnes at the beginning of the millennium.
The increase in China and India is a simple case of raising living standards. These countries are still classified as developing countries.
"In India, half the population still has no access to electricity and government policy is firmly fixed on ensuring that they are connected to the grid at some stage in the next 10-20 years," Mr Price says.
"Coal is the cheapest available and the most available fuel which will enable that."
Thursday, January 27, 2011
James Melik of the BBC writes: