Sweltering India Turns to Superheating Coal for Cooling – by Benjamin Storrow and Sara Schonhardt (Scientific American/E&E News – June 2, 2022)


CLIMATEWIRE | India has experienced a series of unusually early and prolonged heat waves this year. To cool off, the country has leaned on the fuel most responsible for the blazing temperatures.

Coal generation is surging to meet the demands of cooling systems like fans and some air conditioning, prompting a scramble by the Indian government to reopen mines and secure tons of coal imports to produce electricity as temperatures reach as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But the carbon-intense fuel also contributes to the initial problem. Scientists say that as the planet warms, heat waves are becoming more frequent and severe.

The dynamic drives home the dangers of relying on energy sources that push temperatures to the bounds of human livability. It also illustrates the challenge of transitioning to less-polluting electricity, especially when vast quantities of power and green building and design are needed to keep people cool in dangerously hot temperatures, according to Indian climate advocates.

And it underscores the global inequities that have hampered climate efforts for decades, with poorer nations arguing they are suffering the effects of warming created by richer ones.

For the rest of this article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sweltering-india-turns-to-superheating-coal-for-cooling/