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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #750 on: June 15, 2017, 02:02:24 AM »
According to BP Plc’s annual review of global energy trends.

World Coal Production Just Had Its Biggest Drop on Record
U.S. demand for coal fell by 33.4 million tons of oil equivalent last year to 358.4 million, the biggest decline in the world in absolute terms, BP data show.

Global consumption dropped 1.7 percent last year compared with an average 1.9 percent yearly increase from 2005 to 2015, according to BP. China, which accounted for about half of the coal burned in the world, used 1.6 percent less of the fuel, compared with an average 3.7 percent annual expansion in the 11 preceding years.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-13/coal-s-era-starts-to-wane-as-world-shifts-to-cleaner-energy
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #751 on: June 16, 2017, 08:14:46 PM »
For this large, historic university in coal-rich central Pennsylvania, switching to natural gas last year was a big deal.

One year later: Reflecting on Penn State’s switch from coal to natural gas
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — One year ago, Penn State’s University Park campus officially switched from coal to natural gas to power and heat the buildings on campus. The “Last Day of Coal” celebration in March of 2016, which beckoned in a new era for Penn State, also recognized the major role coal played in the history of the University. ...
http://news.psu.edu/story/460837/2017/04/17/campus-life/one-year-later-reflecting-penn-state’s-switch-coal-natural-gas
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #752 on: June 16, 2017, 09:29:17 PM »
The global coal boom finally seems to be winding down
As the annual BP Statistical Review of World Energy reveals, global demand for coal has fallen for the second year in a row. ...
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/16/the-global-coal-boom-finally-seems-to-be-winding-down.html
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #753 on: June 18, 2017, 06:54:21 PM »
No wonder India does not need any new coal-fired electricity generating plants

Found this graph of the amount of India's additional coal fired capacity per year, a picture says it so much better than words.



They seem to have seen the light, planning to overachieve their Paris INDC, although coal usage will still increase somewhat due to the need to power very rapid economic growth.

"An energy blueprint released this week by the Indian government predicts that 57 percent of total electricity capacity will come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2027—exceeding the Paris Agreement’s target of 40 percent by 2030. Currently, almost 33 percent of the country’s total energy comes from non-fossil fuel, which makes the Paris target relatively unambitious—it looks like India is almost three-and-a-half years ahead of schedule."

https://www.citylab.com/tech/2017/05/will-india-ever-need-another-coal-plant/528111/
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 07:00:23 PM by rboyd »

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #754 on: June 18, 2017, 08:12:37 PM »
Global wind and solar costs to fall even faster, while coal fades even in China and India

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Report (you can download the exec summary for free)

"This year’s forecast from BNEF sees solar energy costs dropping a further 66% by 2040, and onshore wind by 47%, with renewables undercutting the majority of existing fossil power stations by 2030.

New Energy Outlook 2017, the latest long-term forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, shows earlier progress than its equivalent a year ago towards decarbonization of the world’s power system – with global emissions projected to peak in 2026 and to be 4% lower in 2040 than they were in 2016.

In the U.S., the Trump administration has voiced support for the coal sector. However, NEO 2017 indicates that the economic realities over the next two decades will not favor U.S. coal-fired power, which is forecast to see a 51% reduction in generation by 2040. In its place, gas-fired electricity will rise 22%, and renewables 169%."

Let's hope that emissions are a lot more than 4% lower in 2040 than now, otherwise we will already have blown well through 2 degrees centigrade. Seems Bloomberg has to keep updating its forecasts to be more bullish, so some hope there.

https://about.bnef.com/blog/global-wind-solar-costs-fall-even-faster-coal-fades-even-china-india/

Bob Wallace

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Re: Coal
« Reply #755 on: June 18, 2017, 09:44:47 PM »
This year’s forecast from BNEF sees solar energy costs dropping a further 66% by 2040, and onshore wind by 47%

Unsubsidized PV solar in the US is averaging $0.05/kWh or less.  (That was the 2015 average and installed solar dropped 20% from 2015 to 2016.)

A 66% drop would take the price of solar to $0.017.  Less than two cents per kWh.

Unsubsidized onshore wind in the US is averaging $0.03/kWh or less.  (2016 prices have not yet been released.)

A 47% drop would take the price of wind to $00.16/kWh.  Also less than two cents per kWh.

I suspect neither will go that low as their operating costs are close to a penny.  But getting to two cents per kWh would mean abundant, cheap energy.    I do suspect we'll see those two cent prices well before 2040.

TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #756 on: June 19, 2017, 03:36:15 AM »
Bob
Does it strike you as odd that we place very high tariffs on imported PV panels, even as we subsidize their use?


AFAIK no large North American PV panel manufacturers are still in business. The idea that high tariffs could help them compete perished with them, so the only effect that the tariffs have now is to raise the cost of renewable electricity in both countries.


I'm unsure how much the price of panels affects the "all in" costs of an installed system, but if it's a low percentage of the final cost, then the tariffs are ineffective as well as a hindrance to free trade. If, as I suspect, the cost of panels does make up a substantial portion of the bottom line, then PV tariffs are directly responsible for whatever CO2 is emitted by the dirty energy that it would have replaced.


There is much talk about the need to halt subsidizing fossil fuels, this is always countered by very well heeled lobbyists. Speaking out against tariffs and trade restrictions on renewable energy systems might not raise such deep pocketed opposition.


Terry

Bob Wallace

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Re: Coal
« Reply #757 on: June 19, 2017, 05:23:52 AM »
Sunpower and First Solar are a couple of US panel manufacturers. 

I haven't been able to figure out where I stand on the tariff on Chinese panels.  If China is engaging in unfair pricing in order to force other countries to stop manufacturing then we pretty much have to do something about that. 

Utility fixed mount solar fell to $0.99/kWh in the first quarter of 2017.  I would guess paned are a bit less than half the total cost.  If the tariff is hurting installed prices then it's not hurting a lot.  Prices are down about 20% from a year ago. 

And that's 99 cents before the subsidy.  69 cents if the solar farm takes the 30% ITC. 

My big question is why we aren't seeing installation rates several times what they now are.  This is solar cheaper than the fuel cost for CCNG plants.  And a fixed price for 20 years.

There's a big market ahead for panels.  I don't know that we want to let China force us out of the business.  We can manufacture as cheaply as they can, I think.  Or at least very close and then save on shipping costs.

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #758 on: June 19, 2017, 05:42:03 AM »
With electricity demand pretty much static in the US, any additional renewable capacity ends up replacing in-place capacity. So, for incumbent utilities it only really makes sense to replace close to economic end of life (i.e. fully depreciated) assets. Otherwise, they will have to take a one-time write-down of the none depreciated amount.

The exception would be if the operating losses were so great as to force the closure of a facility, or the profitability of the replacement was so much higher that it offset the depreciation write-off considerations.

These considerations must have some limiting effect on the rate of new renewables installations.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Coal
« Reply #759 on: June 19, 2017, 05:53:31 AM »
Something like 34 out of 61 US nuclear plants are no longer competitive.  Wind, solar and natural gas have undercut over half of all US nuclear plants.  Coal is probably doing a little better but a lot of coal is going to be shut because it would be too expensive to comply with air quality standards.

That said, I suspect any nuclear or coal plant that runs into a large repair bill is cooked.  Margins are very thin and if a repair bill is added it may make sense to just close down and replace with RE.

Utilities and energy companies are already writing off perfectly operable plants.  You can't take a daily loss in order to keep a plant open in hopes of recovering investment.  Expected profits are toast.

I remember my grandfather talking about what people did with their horse drawn buggies when Ford T Models became affordable.  They pulled very high quality buggies in the the field and set them on fire.  You couldn't sell a buggy, no one wanted one. 

My grandfather apparently had a very nice buggy that the family used to go to church on Sundays.  Once they got a car no one was ever going to ride in a buggy again.  And they needed the shed space for the car.

numerobis

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Re: Coal
« Reply #760 on: June 19, 2017, 01:01:53 PM »
Nuclear plants are ruinously expensive to decommission. The single plant in Quebec is costing over a billion to stop running it (the previous government decided to shut it down rather than refurbish it).

So even if you're losing money with each kWh coming out of the plant, it can make accounting sense to keep it running and delay taking that charge until the next CEO's term.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #761 on: June 19, 2017, 03:38:48 PM »
...
AFAIK no large North American PV panel manufacturers are still in business. The idea that high tariffs could help them compete perished with them, so the only effect that the tariffs have now is to raise the cost of renewable electricity in both countries.
...
Terry


Don't forget Tesla's "Gigafactory 2" (formerly Solar City) near Buffalo, New York:

Tesla is gearing up for production of traditional solar panels at its Gigafactory 2 plant in Riverbend, New York, to begin later this summer.

Tesla Energy’s solar business currently represents a quarter of the nation’s residential rooftop solar market in the United States acquired through the former SolarCity banner. Tesla’s super low-profile solar panels will be the majority of production at the $900 million Buffalo factory. In parallel to the start of production of traditional solar panels in New York, Tesla has announced plans to begin production of its newest Solar Roof tiles at its Fremont factory by the end of June. The company will eventually ramp production of the glass solar roof tile at Gigafactory 2 which is expected to be the dominant product at the facility.
...
http://www.teslarati.com/tesla-gigafactory-2-ny-solar-panel-tile-production/
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Coal
« Reply #762 on: June 19, 2017, 03:44:56 PM »
I didn't include Tesla because I'm not sure what is going to happen now that Tesla has released their solar roof tile.  It kind of sounds, in your quote, that panel production could be rolled back with tiles taking their place.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #763 on: June 19, 2017, 03:46:46 PM »
Utilities in the western U.S. abandon coal because it costs too much
“It’s all about the economics,” the expert said. “Technologies have improved to make other forms of energy less expensive than coal.”

One might figure sure, that’s some tree-hugging environmentalist arguing for solar and wind energy. But in fact, that’s the largest utility in the state of New Mexico, PNM, putting the dagger into the heart of inflexible and expensive coal generation. In April, PNM announced plans to shut the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station outside Farmington decades ahead of schedule.

And it’s not the only one. PNM’s neighboring utility in Arizona, Salt River Project, plans to pull the plug on the West’s largest coal-fired power plant, Navajo Generating Station, for the same fundamental reason – coal costs too much. One of the largest customers of Navajo’s coal-fired electricity is the Central Arizona Project, which powers massive pumps to move water hundreds of miles from the Colorado River to Phoenix. The utility figured it could have saved $38.5 million last year buying power on the open market rather than expensive electricity generated by coal from Navajo Generating Station.

We are surrounded by utilities abandoning coal faster than rats escaping the Titanic. In Colorado, Xcel Energy has dropped its coal portfolio by half in the last decade. In Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico, all the big utilities are fleeing coal.

There are many arguments against coal – including the climate-change impacts of burning coal and how the local economy could benefit from renewable energy generated right here at home. But for these utilities, it is a bottom-line, dollar-and-cents question – coal has rapidly become the most expensive source of electricity.

What about our own electric generation source, Tri-State, which powers our local La Plata Electric Association? As we watch PNM, Salt River Project and Xcel all dump coal simply because it is too expensive, what’s different with Tri-State? Tri-State claims it has better deals for its coal and power plants than these other utilities, arguing that new solar and wind is still slightly more expensive than old coal.

Just a few years ago, in 2013, Tri-State and its member electric cooperatives, railed against a requirement to generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Tri-State and its coal suppliers argued 20 percent by 2020 was an “unreasonably difficult” goal and created an unprecedented “government-generated crisis.”

Some of Tri-State’s member co-ops claimed renewable energy would cost billions of dollars and literally make reliable, affordable electricity impossible.

Guess what? Today, Tri-State touts the fact it obtains 25 percent of its power from renewable sources, easily besting the standard. Clearly, not at all difficult to achieve, and it certainly hasn’t affected affordability. But Tri-State still prohibits local co-ops like LPEA from generating more than 5 percent of energy from local sources.
...
https://durangoherald.com/articles/165644
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #764 on: June 19, 2017, 03:50:50 PM »
I didn't include Tesla because I'm not sure what is going to happen now that Tesla has released their solar roof tile.  It kind of sounds, in your quote, that panel production could be rolled back with tiles taking their place.

Musk has said that while solar roofs make sense for people replacing their roofs, or new roofs... folks with roofs that do not need replacing will want to install good-looking solar panels -- which Tesla* has designed and will also make.  :)

  https://www.tesla.com/solarpanels

Edit:  *Tesla/Panasonic
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 12:06:22 AM by Sigmetnow »
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Bob Wallace

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Re: Coal
« Reply #765 on: June 19, 2017, 04:59:45 PM »

Musk has said that while solar roofs make sense for people replacing their roofs, or new roofs... roofs that do not need replacing will want to install good-looking solar panels -- which Tesla has designed and will also make.  :)

  https://www.tesla.com/solarpanels

That is a much better look than typical panels with their aluminum frames.

I wonder how the air flow is behind them.  Will the panels get hotter and produce less?

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #766 on: June 20, 2017, 02:07:46 AM »
John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show on coal, coal jobs, Trump, and Bob Murray. ;D
(Caution: Language)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aw6RsUhw1Q8&utm_content=buffer8d6d9
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #767 on: June 22, 2017, 03:40:03 PM »
Mississippi Regulators Veto Any More Money for Southern Company's Kemper 'Clean Coal' Plant in Stunning Vote
In a historic vote this morning, Mississippi state regulators slammed the brakes on the Kemper coal power plant, saying it will refuse to ask utility customers to pay anything for Kemper's non-functional multi-billion dollar “clean coal” gasification technology and will re-designate the plant as a natural gas facility.

In a joint press release explaining their unanimous decision, the three Mississippi Public Service commissioners said they seek a solution that “eliminates ratepayer risk for unproven technology and assures no rate increase to Mississippi Power customers,” and that they want Mississippi Power, the Southern Company subsidiary that built Kemper, to consider rolling back existing rates.

“I think it's high time we finally turn the corner on this project and also strongly protect our ratepayers, who should only have to pay for what actually delivers electricity,” said PSC chairman Brandon Presley in an interview. Presley was, until recently, the lone opponent of a bloated, runaway project that saw costs jump from $2.3 billion in 2010 when work began to $7.5 billion now. ...
https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/06/21/mississippi-regulators-veto-any-more-money-southern-company-s-kemper-clean-coal-plant-stunning-vote

Electrek says:
A $7.5B experiment with tax payer money to create ‘clean coal’ has failed. Now, regulators are telling the company to convert to gas from coal and that no more costs overruns will be passed onto electricity rate payers. Clean coal doesn’t exist. We’ve been trying to clean it since the beginning of the industrial revolution. There’s a coal plant that pumps the CO2 underground – but is this really a smart policy?
https://electrek.co/2017/06/22/egeb-clean-coal-kemper-doe-perry-study/
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #768 on: June 22, 2017, 06:53:40 PM »
Now, if only Saskatchewan would do the same with their "clean coal" experiment

SaskPower spending more to capture carbon than expected

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/saskpower-carbon-capture-1.3896487

Sask. carbon capture plant doubles the price of power

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/carbon-capture-power-prices-1.3641066

There's quite a lot of wind on the Canadian Prairies, and lots of hydro to provide load balancing.



Bob Wallace

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Re: Coal
« Reply #769 on: June 22, 2017, 06:59:14 PM »
Canada should rebrand themselves as the "Land of Water and Wind" and put all that other foolishness behind them.

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #770 on: June 22, 2017, 07:15:09 PM »
The "Renewables Superpower" sounds so much better, but maybe a bit brash for Canada's sensibilities.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Coal
« Reply #771 on: June 22, 2017, 07:46:57 PM »
Perhaps "Renewables, eh?"

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #772 on: June 22, 2017, 07:50:42 PM »
Oh god, please no! I would have to emigrate.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #773 on: June 23, 2017, 02:32:48 AM »
Cross-post from India thread.  Seems we can't help but mention renewables when talking about coal these days.  :)

World's biggest coal company closes 37 mines as solar power's influence grows
The largest coal mining company in the world has announced it will close 37 mines because they are no longer economically viable.

Coal India, which produces around 82 per cent of India's coal, said the mines would be decommissioned by March 2018.

The closures, of around 9 per cent of the state-run firm's sites, will reportedly save around 8,000,000,000 rupees (£98m).

India's solar sector has received heavy international investment, and the plummeting price of solar electricity has increased pressure on fossil fuel companies in the country.

The government has announced it will not build any more coal plants after 2022 and predicts renewables will generate 57 per cent of its power by 2027 – a pledge far outstripping its commitment in the Paris climate change agreement.

Plans for nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations – about the same as the total amount in the UK – were scrapped in May, signalling a seismic shift in the India's energy market.
...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/coal-india-closes-37-mines-solar-power-sustainable-energy-market-influence-pollution-a7800631.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #774 on: June 23, 2017, 04:16:27 AM »
John Oliver's Last Week Tonight show on coal, coal jobs, Trump, and Bob Murray. ;D
(Caution: Language)
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=aw6RsUhw1Q8&utm_content=buffer8d6d9


 Found myself checking three times to be sure this article wasn't satirical. ;D  It is not:

John Oliver sued by coal CEO claiming 'character assassination'
http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/22/media/john-oliver-coal-king-murray-lawsuit/index.html?
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wili

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Re: Coal
« Reply #775 on: June 23, 2017, 04:24:46 AM »
Wow.

My wife and I had just watched that john oliver segment.

Things are getting more and more surreal.

I guess we're about to see whether fossil-death-fuel interests 'trump' free speech...or not?
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