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03/16/2012 12:58 PM     print story email story  

Coal Isn't a Good Investment, Says Tata News

India's biggest utility, Tata Power, says it's giving up on new coal plants and focusing on renewable energy instead.

"Why would anyone want to invest at this stage in a coal project?" asked S. Padmanabhan, Tata Power Executive Director in an interview with Bloomberg."Investment has stopped." 

Coal plants have become"impossible" to develop in the US and Europe, he says, because concerns regarding climate change threaten to close those plants at any time. A coal plant operating 25-30 years from now is far from guaranteed.

And in India, Tata's 1050 MW coal plant can't run at full capacity because of coal shortages.

Tata recently participated in a renewable energy auction in South Africa, where bidders competed for 3725 megawatts of capacity development.  The country is targeting 20% renewables by 2020.

It sees renewable energy as the path to growth because they projects require smaller investments, they are built faster, and cost about the same globally.

Tata owns stakes in two geothermal projects in Australia and Indonesia with Sydney-based Origin Energy (ASX:ORG).

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