Australian government analysis warns that reliance on Indian coal imports poses ‘significant risk’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Guardian:Thermal coal exporters face “significant risk” that demand from India will decline, a report by the Australian office of the chief economist says. It also warned of long-term uncertainties in the market considered a “great hope” by miners.The report, released on Friday, came as the resources minister, Matt Canavan, prepared to visit India to promote the Australian resources sector. He argued India has an “astonishing” appetite for Australian thermal coal that could support “three to four new Adani-sized coalmines.” But those comments appeared at odds with the conclusions of the government’s economic advisers: that while India and southeast Asia were seen by the resources industry as a “bright light” that could help sustain Australian thermal coalminers as industrialised nations pivot away from fossil fuels, the outlook in India was “finely balanced and uncertain.”“While India is one of the great hopes for thermal coal exporters, alongside southeast Asia, it also presents significant risk,” the first paragraph of the report said. “If India’s thermal coal imports decline, there could be substantial implications for seaborne markets.”The argument being pushed by advocates of the thermal coal sector, that growth in these new markets could support new mines – or a new coal basin – ignores the more dramatic shifts away from coal in developed economies, analysts said.Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said: “The hope was that India and southeast Asia might provide something of a cushion [for the thermal coal industry] on the way down. But this isn’t a gentle slide to oblivion.”Buckley said solar power in India was three times cheaper than the assumptions used in the chief economist’s report, based on outdated IEA predictions. “They’re underestimating the importance of low-cost renewable energy,” he said. “Growth of thermal coal demand in India is financially challenged by the fact renewable energy is 30% cheaper, so what bank in their right mind would finance a new coal-fired power plant?”More: Australian thermal coal exporters warned of falling demand from India Australian government analysis warns that reliance on Indian coal imports poses ‘significant risk’last_img read more