World Bank group loans India $450 million for massive coal-power project

Thu, 2008-04-10 09:47Bill Miller
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World Bank group loans India $450 million for massive coal-power project

A New York Times article described the Tata loan agreement as illustrative of the “troubling tension” between driving development and curbing climate risk in a world still wedded to fossil fuels.

The $450-million loan from the International Finance Corporation, a branch of the World Bank, with the Asian Development Bank, Korea, and other backers, was for a planned $4 billion, 4,000 megawatt coal-burning power plant in Gujarat state.

The decision by the bank’s board of directors comes even as former Vice President Al Gore and NASA climate scientist James E. Hansen call for a freeze on new coal-plant construction in the United States unless the emissions can be captured. Still others contend that India and China need not follow the Western norm of building prosperity on fossil fuels.

China and India are the world’s most populous nations and their energy use is projected to double from 2005 to 2030. By 2030, they will account for nearly half the 55 per cent increase in global demand. Both have resisted calls to limit emissions, saying energy use per person is still much lower than in industrial nations.

What's desperately needed is funding for new research, but as the Tata loan illustrates, subsidies still cater to the burning of fossil fuels.

Comments

Do you support the idea of bringing power to over 13,000 people who currently do not have it, or are you against the idea of a plant that has less polution than previous ones?

There has to be a balance and a compromise for the next 4-8 years while technologies that mitigate pollution become economically viable for emerging countries. It’s like driving that bad car, while you wait to afford the safer newer model.

Just my thoughts…

…not 13,000…. 16 million people.

Wow. I just read about this. This complete crap. I’m guessing this is because friends of GWB (and thus enemies of Earth’s future civilians) are in charge of the World Bank.
Heath, on a 1-10 scale of air/GHG pollution: diesels are 1, coal is 2, nuclear is maybe 4(?), and wind is 8 to 10, depending on the manufacturing plant’s power source. Heath, do you really believe this plant is only to operate for 4-8 years?!
This isn’t India building a coal plant, this is the World Bank helping India build a coal plant. Probably for 50% higher costs (ie. Canada loans $40 million rather than $60 million), this could’ve been wind turbines. If India industrialized on coal, we are fucked. What a waste of taxpayer money. Why don’t we just start subsidizing corn?
Those 16 million people with power, won’t have food under this model because soot and CO2 will cause them to miss a monsoon.
I don’t think the world bank is a functional entity anymore, at least not under American administration. It was designed to rebuild Europe post WWII using 20th century industry. Clearly, it isn’t equipped to develop the world under 21st century industries (hint, not coal and the cold war is over).
Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor over 25 years ago, because of a WMD threat. A decade or two from now, when climate or climate precipitated events demonstrate the grim reality CCS-less coal is a WMD, I expect Israel to do the same thing to this facility for the exact same reason, and the World Bank to eat the loss.
If we can’t trade war India into abaondoning coal, that’s a real tough problem. But we’re building the damn things for them, WTF?!

Specifically, there might never be new a green electricity source as cheap as existing coal fired power-plants, let alone in 4-8 years.
CCS storage coal plants will cost about as much as wind turbines. Offshore turbines look one cent/kW/h more expensive than land ones. Polymer solar cells utilize many of the Moore’s Law deflationary forces semiconductor chips enjoy, but it is hard to imagine Nanosolar getting costs down to coal. Solar panels with copper and copper wind turbines with copper may even rise in value (as might copper cooling pipes, cooling towers and power lines). Maybe decades-from-now battery advances will enable off peak power generation to be stored, likewise for carbon nanotube powerlines. Maybe not. Maybe a solid-state hydrogen storage economy towards the 2nd half of this century will bring costs down below 5 cnets/kW/h. But given how finicky PEM fuel cells (hydrogen from natural gas is not sustainable) are, I doubt it.
In the above analogy the bad car might be all we have, and voting for a political party that is a tool to big oil, is driving the car off a cliff. I can’t for the life of me understand why loud wealthy people in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Texas, are urging a perpetuation of the present state of affairs. Global public (IDK private figures) energy R+D is $7-8 billion annually. Exxon made $40 billion last year. I’d like to think when you earn money, you do it in a way that doesn’t destroy Earth. But I’m from Winnipeg, not Calgary.

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It’s a shame our government didn’t give some of that bailout money to people who lost their homes because of a mortgage they were tricked into. 450 million for coal is a waste when it can be put towards renewable energy.

I dont know where this will all end.  The coporate giants and governments are working together to bring this planet to its knees and is there anything the little guy can do about it?  I wish to god they would put the planet before their own greed just once to prove their is hope.  Micky from instant decision loans.

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Compared to the first quarter of 2008, the profit for the first quarter of 2009 of JP Morgan Chase bank has become lower.  However, JPM, along with other large banks, takes it as a good sign because they are making a profit.  They announced that with their return to profitability, they will begin paying back all the TARP funds that they received from the government, and treat it as a short term loan.  This is a good move for them. Other large banks are following suit.  This may mean fewer banks needing JPM, and returning to health like JPM.

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For the poorest developing countries in the world the bank’s assistance plans are based on poverty reduction strategies; by combining a cross-section of local groups with an extensive analysis of the country’s financial and economical situation the World Bank develops a strategy pertaining uniquely to the country in question. The government then identifies the country’s priorities and targets for the reduction of poverty, and the World Bank aligns its aid efforts correspondingly. If you want to Stop Repossession, you best choice is that of selling your house quickly and renting it back for as long as you want at an agreed rate.

The World Bank has dual roles that are often contradictory: that of a political organization and that of an action-oriented organization. As a political organization, the World Bank must meet the demands of donor and borrowing governments, private capital markets as well as other international organizations. As an action-oriented organization, it must fulfill the role of a neutral organization specialized in delivering development aid, technical assistance, and loans. These dual roles are often inconsistent with one another. The World Bank’s obligations to donor countries and private capital markets have caused it to adopt policies and programs that endorse liberal economic theory which dictates that poverty is best alleviated by the implementation of market-oriented policies.sell and rent back is far more discreet than selling your home on the open market.

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What’s desperately needed is funding for new research, I agree.
It is also sad to see that most of the big money world is led by greed.
And sad to see that our planet is facing major issues, and the greed is making too many people turn a blind a eye .
I think there is a little too much unbalance in the world.
We have to all do our part together to help.
And just live by the golden rule - and just treat people, animals, our enviroment and our planet the way we would like to be treated.

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The $450-million loan from the International Finance Corporation, a branch of the World Bank, with the Asian Development Bank, Korea, and other backers, was for a planned $4 billion, 4,000 megawatt coal-burning power plant in Gujarat state.
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David Suzuki

This is a guest post by David Suzuki

Those who don’t outright deny the existence of human-caused global warming often argue we can’t or shouldn’t do anything about it because it would be too costly. Take Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who recently said, “No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country.”

But in failing to act on global warming, many leaders are...

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