China and India Lack Water for Coal Plant Plans, GE Director Says

China’s and India’s plans to build more coal-fired power plants to meet electricity needs aren’t feasible because of a lack of water needed to cool the plants, General Electric Co. (GE)’s global strategy director said.

The two countries have not adequately considered the water needs of their proposed coal plants in their plans, Peter Evans, GE’s director of global strategy and planning, said yesterday at a seminar in Tokyo.

“They have not introduced a water constraint on their model,” Evans said. “They assume the water is there. So my view is that they actually will not be able to build as many coal plants as the projections suggest.”

China’s coal demand will increase 70 percent to 3.71 billion metric tons coal equivalent by 2035 from 2009, under the country’s energy policy, while India’s demand will increase 188 percent to 1.15 billion tons equivalent over that time, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy (MERENER) Outlook for 2011.

China’s water consumption for power generation is set to increase to 250 billion gallons (947 billion liters) a day in 2025 from 141 billion gallons in 2011, according to GE’s calculations.