On the Blogs: Coal Power Risks Grow FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Hindustan Times:The economics of coal-fired power generation is incredibly vulnerable, much more so than is recognised. Coal is particularly at risk from competition from low cost renewables, volatile commodity prices, growing concerns about air pollution, worsening water availability for cooling, the increasing incidence of heat waves that reduce operating efficiencies and, of course, necessary action to tackle climate change. These factors in combination are driving the structural decline of coal, led by China. According to Wood MacKenzie, coal use in China has dropped by 40% in the last five years.According to Morgan Stanley, solar power in India has recently reached a tipping point, becoming more affordable than coal. Other Asian economies already seem to understand the dynamic of coal being highly risky. For example, South Korea’s newly elected President Moon Jae-In’s is moving to phase out coal and shift into solar and wind. Taiwan is expanding its renewable energy plans whilst reducing its reliance on coal by a third, from 45% to 30% by 2025.Analysts now argue that coal usage in India will peak in the next five to 10 years. India will join China, and other East Asian economies, in halting new coal growth. No new coal plants are set to be commissioned for the coming decade, according to the Central Electricity Authority’s draft plan. And 37GW of old coal could be shut down, while Coal India is set to close 37 mines. This is the right approach and should be futher accelerated, otherwise Indian utilities focused on coal could face significant stranded assets and financial underperformance. This is what happened to European utilities that bet big on coal.While Europe and India are at different stages of development, the European experience shows how investing in coal can go badly wrong. Between 2005 and 2008, European power companies planned to build 65 new coal-fired power plants, with 49 gigawatts (GW) of capacity, but only 12 were actually built. More cancellations are expected.In Germany alone, 20 GW has been cancelled. The economics of existing plants have deteriorated too. For example, in the UK coal use fell by over half in 2016 and the country’s power system now experiences coal-free days for the first time since the 1880s.More: Why Indian power companies must dump coal and bet big on solar, wind
Jul 14, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Another Vietnamese has died of avian influenza and three others have tested positive for the disease, according to reports from Vietnam today.Reuters news service reported that an unidentified person infected with an H5 flu virus died in a Hanoi hospital last week. The report was based on a story in a Vietnamese newspaper called Tien Phong, or Vanguard, which attributed the information to the country’s health ministry.The report also said three people in an isolation ward at Hanoi’s National Institute for Clinical Research of Tropical Medicine have avian flu, and another 13 patients in the ward have suspected cases.The Chinese news service Xinhua published a similar story today. It said that one of two people who died in the Hanoi hospital last week had tested positive for an H5 virus, while results for the other person were inconclusive. The story also said 15 other people were being treated at the hospital for suspected avian flu.The Xinhua story was based on a report in a Vietnamese newspaper called Pioneer, which attributed its information to Vietnam’s Preventive Medicine Department.Another Vietnamese newpaper, Than Nien News, also reported the latest death and the three other confirmed cases in its online edition today.But the official Vietnam News Agency said in a story datelined today, “Since June 4, Vietnam has reported no new human cases of bird flu infections.” The story made no mention of the newspaper reports.The latest report, if accurate, brings Vietnam’s unofficial avian flu death toll since late 2003 to 40, including 20 fatalities since December 2004. Another 12 people in Thailand and 4 Cambodians also have died of H5N1 avian flu in the past year and a half.Today’s reports did not make clear whether any of the cases mentioned have been reported previously. By the official World Health Organization count, Vietnam had had a total of 87 cases of avian flu as of Jun 28.