The Institute of Public Affairs, a public policy think tank based in Melbourne, recently released “The life saving potential of coal: How Australian coal could help 82 million Indians access electricity”. The report looks into the value of Australian coal, not just in Australia itself but also further afield, as solutions to global energy poverty continue to be sought.
The report begins by demonstrating the progress that has been made globally in terms of poverty reduction over recent years. Affordable energy has led to great advancements in fields such as technology, medicine and infrastructure, all improving people’s lives. Coal, as the most affordable and reliable source of energy, has been at the forefront of this movement. Between 1990 and 2010 some 830 million people gained access to electricity for the first time thanks to coal-fired generation, many in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
The report points out that coal consumption around the world continues to increase and is projected to do so over the next 25 years, before looking at India and China and how coal has changed the landscape of these two developing nations. China, in particular, is shown as an example of the power of coal and its ability to bring people out of poverty, with the report highlighting coal’s role in the country’s rapid economic development.
The report points out that the priority for the Indian and Chinese governments is to pursue policies which will increase the quality of life for their citizens, identifying coal as a legitimate means of doing so.
A full copy of the report can be found here.