Bloomberg, Weixin Zha, Brian Parkin: By 2030, the eastern German town of Poedelwitz will likely be razed to get at the rich veins of coal beneath its half-timbered houses. The reason: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s effort to steer Germany toward greener energy, which has unexpectedly meant booming demand for dirty coal. “This is unparalleled destruction of the environment,” says Jens Hausner, a farmer who has seen 17 of his 20 hectares consumed by digging equipment that looks like something out of a Mad Max movie. In a bit more than a decade, the hulking machines are expected to claw through the town’s 13th-century church and 40 or so remaining homes. None of this will lead to a significant reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide. From a scientific point of view, none of this matters. Its all politics, pure politics.
Bloomberg, Weixin Zha, Anna Shiryaevskaya: Not far from the Hanseatic town of Greifswald Chancellor Angela Merkel wants a $10 billion pipeline expansion built to increase the amount of Russian natural gas imported from Siberia, more than 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles) away. The project, led by Russia’s state-run Gazprom PJSC, is intended to bolster German confidence that it has enough gas to underpin an unprecedented transition from the coal and nuclear plants, which are being closed, to a future dominated by renewable energy.
India is set to overtake China as the biggest importer of power-station coal. Indian thermal-coal imports will surpass China’s by 2017 or sooner, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts William Foiles and Andrew Cosgrove said in a report.
China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, is cutting down on coal use to fight pollution. India and its regional peers including Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan and South Korea plan to increase their combined coal-fired generating capacity by more than 204 gigawatts, or 60%, through 2019, as per the report.