May 6, 2014

Coal industry poverty claims found to be on thin ground

The Australian coal industry’s controversial claims that coal is needed to lift billions out of poverty have received the most significant set back yet, with the release of a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

The report, based on detailed financial modelling, reveals that for India to import coal from Australia for power generation is ‘prohibitively expensive’, and double the wholesale price of India’s electricity.

“The report further breaks the myth that coal can alleviate Adding to the already disastrous track record of coal in killing thousands of lives and livelihoods, the economic reasons against coal imports from Australia are now irrefutable” said South Asia Coordinator Chaitanya Kumar.

“It comes as no surprise then that big coal lead by companies like Adani and Reliance are pumping obscene amounts of money in the ongoing elections in India to get right wing and pro industry leader Narendra Modi to power. His election will open the floodgates for greater crony capitalism in the country. “

Economic modelling in the report shows that renewable energy, including wind and solar would be significantly cheaper and effective at lifting hundreds of millions in India out of energy poverty. The cost of electricity generation from solar in India has fallen 65% in the last 3 years alone.

The report findings deal a serious blow to the claims by the Minerals Council of Australia, BHP Billiton, Adani, GVK Hancock and others that Australian coal is a financially sound and morally responsible investment.


Graphic above by Market Forces – summarising IEEFA’s study.

Chaitanya Kumar, South Asia coordinator, based in New Delhi, India, is available for comment on:

  • The anti-coal movement in India
  • Coal corruption in India
  • Specific power projects in India facing opposition
  • Status of electricity distribution in India
  • Local concerns regarding social and environmental impact of burning coal
  • Success of renewable projects

Contact Aaron Packard, Oceania Region Coordinator
Phone: 0420 406 074