India and China Coal Production Surging By 700 Million Metric Tons Per Year: That’s Greater Than All U.S. Coal Output

India and China Coal Production Surging By 700 Million Metric Tons Per Year: That’s Greater Than All U.S. Coal Output


By Robert Bryce 

If you think the world is moving beyond coal, think again. The post-Covid economic rebound and surging electricity demand have resulted in big increases in coal prices and coal demand.

Since January, the Newcastle benchmark price for coal has doubled. And over the past few weeks, China and India have announced plans to increase their domestic coal production by a combined total of 700 million tons per year. For perspective, in 2022, US coal production will total about 600 million tons


The surge in coal demand in China and India, as well as in the U.S., where coal use jumped by 17% last year, demonstrates two things:


1) The Iron Law of Electricity has not been broken

2) It is far easier to fantasize about cutting CO2 emissions than it is to achieve those emission cuts. 


In April, China announced it will increase coal output by 300 million tons this year. 

Last month, India said it aims to increase domestic coal production by more than 400 million tons by the end of 2023. 


Adding the 700 million tons of new coal that China and India will be mining to the amount they are now producing leads to some staggering numbers.


By the end of next year,


China will be producing about 4.4 billion tons of coal per year  

India will be producing about 1.2 billion tons of coal per year


Add those together and you get 5.6 billion tons of coal, which is more than 9 times the amount of coal mined in the U.S. in 2022.


Indian Purchases of Russian Oil are Increasing

India has increased its oil imports from Russia, because it gets a $25 to $30 per barrel discount. It pays with Rubles or with Rupees, not with dollars. China and other Asian countries have done the same. See image

As I point out in my latest book, A Question of Power, electricity is the world’s most important and fastest-growing form of energy.


After writing that book, and doing further reporting, I wrote the Iron Law of Electricity, which says that “people, businesses, a....”


The Iron Law matters, because the electricity sector is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide emissions. And as the Iron Law states, politicians in countries like China and India are going to do everything they can to prevent (or reduce) blackouts, including burning more coal. 


The Iron Law helps explain why coal continues to be a dominant fuel for electricity production today, nearly 140 years after Thomas Edison used coal to fuel the first central power station in Lower Manhattan. 


Coal persists, because it can be used to produce the gargantuan quantities of electricity the world’s consumers need, at prices they can afford. Indeed, coal’s share of global electricity generation has stayed at about 35%, since the mid-1980s. Plus coal is used for producing products, and is embedded in a vast number of products used all over the world, everyday


In India, the push for more coal has led the government to give a "special dispensation" to the Ministry of Coal, which allows the agency to relax environmental controls and public consultations so mines can produce more coal.


As one media outlet explained, the move came after the government “received a request from the Ministry of Coal ‘stating that there is huge pressure on domestic coal supply in the country and all efforts are being made to meet the demand of coal for all sectors.’”


Of course, the surge in coal is going to hamper efforts to control emissions. Last year, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said there is a “high risk of fa... to reach a new climate accord, unless politicians agree to slash their respective countries’ emissions.


Guterres’ remarks came just a few days after the United Nations issued a report which found that global greenhouse gas emissions are likely to increase by 16% by 20...


On Thursday, John Hanekamp, a St. Louis-based coal industry consultant, told me “the incremental coal production in India and China is exceeding whatever coal-fired generation capacity that was retired in the US and Europe. Whatever policymakers thought they were achieving by reducing the use of coal, they’ve effectively done nothing, except increase the cost of energy with very expensive, boutique wind, solar and batteries,” he said. “We haven’t changed anything, except make ourselves energy poorer.”

I will conclude with two points I have been making for more than a decade.


First, soaring global electricity demand will largely be met in the near term, meaning the next decade or so, by burning more coal, oil, and natural gas. Why? Wind, solar and batteries cannot, will not, be able to scale up to meet soaring global demand for power. 

Second, if the countries of the world are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing more electricity to the 3 billion people now living in energy poverty, the only way to do it is with nuclear energy and lots of it, and that would take at least 20 to 30 years to implement.

South Korea, China, and Russia are the only countries with up-to-date nuclear sectors with big order books. South Korea,

China and Russia build modern nuclear plants for about $5000 to $6000/kW, in 5 years. They last at least 60 years. Nothing can compare, except reservoir hydro, such as in Quebec and Norway.

There are 52 nuclear power reactors under construction worldwide. Only two in the United States, nearing completion at Vogtle -- which environmentalists want to prevent from opening.

Seventeen are under construction in China.

Meanwhile, China installs about 1000 MW of coal-fired capacity per week.


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Comment by Willem Post on June 15, 2022 at 6:45am

The deranged EU bureaucrats in Brussels had been drinking the UN KOOL-AID, and were eagerly dancing to the UN climate tunes, and telling member countries not to sign long-term gas supply contracts with Russia, because it looked bad regarding fighting global warming.


As a result, EU members had to buy gas on the SPOT market, which went through the roof, because Russia supplies gas only to customers with long term contracts, AS DO ALL OTHER GAS SELLERS.

Normally, the SPOT market is just a very small fraction of the total gas market, but now, IN EUROPE, it had become the 800-lb gorilla in the room.

The EU bureaucrats were PISSED at Russia, because they had thought Russia would supply gas to the SPOT market, which it did not.

The EU bureaucrat scheme fell apart, much scrambling to shift the blame, egg-on-faces every where.

IDEOLOGY-DRIVEN EU bureaucrats had shot themselves in the foot, AGAIN

All that happened in 2021, well before Ukraine, with EU gas storage levels at record lows, and WIND AND SOLAR HAVING UNDERPERFORMED FOR MONTHS.


The UN nutcases, and EU bureaucrats, and other Climate Posses are holding hands and dancing in a circle of deranged, positive-feedback madness.

Comment by Lynn Oleum on June 12, 2022 at 3:06pm

Russia and China are not destroying their energy sectors to "save the planet." Western greenies have insisted we in the west must do so. Does anybody any longer doubt the origin of the green movement (and the woke movement too)?

Comment by Willem Post on June 12, 2022 at 5:53am

Germany is continuing to implement programs that reduce CO2, and is committing economic suicide while doing it.

Has anyone figured out what effect reducing “carbon emissions” would have on global temperature?

Yes, actually they have.

There is MAGICC: Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse‐​gas Induced Climate Change (MAGICC was developed by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research under funding by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). 

Using MAGICC, you can evaluate the effects of various emission strategies on temperature change over time. The results are quite interesting.


For an analysis of the entire US going to net zero carbon emissions.
It works out to 0.1 degree C by 2050.

One-tenth of a degree, if the entire USA goes to net zero!


Is there a way to sue Brussels for malfeasance?

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on June 11, 2022 at 7:57pm

President Trump Asks Georgia Court of Appeals to Allow Its Citizens to Investigate 148,000 Absentee Ballots from 2020 Election in Fulton County

Where to order 2000 Mules DVD

Comment by Dan McKay on June 11, 2022 at 5:20pm

That is what I call inconvenient facts

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on June 11, 2022 at 3:20pm

Congressman Andy Biggs: On January 3, 2023, the Judiciary and Oversight Committees will open up investigations of the Biden administration


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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