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'Ultra Mega' Coal-fired Power Plant to Doom Planet?

Original post made by jar, Hoover School, on Apr 10, 2008

Bad news for Al Gore, great news for millions of impoverished Indians:

India’s Tata Power group just gained important financial backing from the International Finance Corporation, a branch of the World Bank, for its planned $4 billion, 4-billion watt “Ultra Mega” coal-burning power plant complex in Gujarat state.

The I.F.C., along with the Asian Development Bank, Korea, and other backers, sees the need to bring electricity to one of the world’s poorest regions as more pressing than limiting carbon dioxide from fuel burning. The plants will emit about 23 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to the I.F.C., but using technology that is 40 percent more efficient at turning coal into kilowatt-hours than the average for India.

It sounds like a lot of carbon, it's not.

Forest fires in this country alone produce more than 10 times as much carbon every year, and each American produces about 22 tons of carbon annually (maybe more if you're shuttling back and forth to Norway to pick up Nobel prizes).

New York Times global warming reporter Andrew Revkin lays it out pretty well:
"The decision powerfully illustrates one of the most inconvenient facets of the world’s intertwined climate and energy challenges — that more than two billion people still lack any viable energy choices, let alone green ones."

Those people also don't have cars, but the same company behind this power plant is working to remedy that with the Nano, a $2,500 car that was debuted earlier this year.

Comments (5)

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Posted by fred
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 10, 2008 at 3:29 pm

After five days of contentious discussions in Bangkok, governments from nearly 200 countries last week agreed to an agenda for further talks to forge a new United Nations global warming agreement.

One sticking point has been developing nations' insistence that industrialized countries should take the first steps in reducing emissions and should help finance reductions in developing countries. But this represents a serious misreading of the underlying economic situation.

The theory behind the "developed countries should pay" model was articulated by Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change: "The problem of climate change . . . is a result of rich countries' emissions, not the result of poor countries' emissions. The historic responsibility of this problem lies with industrial nations."

Yet although greenhouse gas emissions can be blamed on nations based on the location of emission activities, these emissions are the effluvia of civilization and all its activities.

In today's interconnected world, economic activity in one country helps provide livelihoods and incomes for many inhabitants elsewhere, and vice versa.

A substantial portion of economic growth in developing countries is attributable to trade, remittances, tourism and direct investment from industrialized countries.Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 10, 2008 at 8:51 pm

1500 watts per residence will give them power for an electric wok and teakettle, eliminating the smoke from the wood or cattle dung that usually heats food and boils tea. Just the reduction in smoke caused diseases will be an asset to the world. Thank technology, for maaking all other ologies possible.

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Posted by Greg
a resident of Southgate
on Apr 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Just start building a ton of new nuclear power plants!

Why be satisfied with 1500 watts? 5000 watts might actually accomplish local wealth creation, reduced birth rates, appreciation of the local environment, reduction of war....

What are we waiting for? We should be setting the example, by building many more nukes in our own country. Our current path is suicide, led by the Ludds.

Like this comment
Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 11, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Some older houses in Frisco still have 15 Amp 220 V service.
5KW is nice, but utilization efficience is getting better by engineering and science, not by legislative fiat.

Like this comment
Posted by The Real Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 12, 2008 at 3:10 pm

The USA share of emissions is dropping with every passing year. Last year we were 16%, China 22%..hmmm

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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