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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1450 on: July 12, 2019, 01:03:16 AM »
India's coal plants in the pre-construction pipeline have declined by 83% from 2018.

https://endcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/BoomAndBust_2019_r6.pdf

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Planned new coal capacity has fallen particularly rapidly
in China and India. At the end of 2015, China had
plans to construct 515 GW of new coal power capacity.
That figure now stands at 70 GW, an 86% decline. In
India, the pre-construction pipeline has shrunk 83%,
from 218 GW in 2015 to 36 GW today

Quote
In 2018, 50.2 GW of new coal capacity was commissioned:
34.5 GW in China, 7.7 GW in India, and 8 GW
in the rest of the world (primarily Indonesia, Japan,
Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey,
and Vietnam).
Retirements totaled nearly 31 GW in 2018, making
it the third highest year for global coal plant retirements.
Retired capacity was led by the US with
17.6 GW—the second-highest year for US coal retirements
after 2015, which had 21 GW of retirements.

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Retired capacity in China and India totaled 9 GW,
and is set to increase in the future. India has proposed
48 GW of coal plant retirements through 2027,

mainly subcritical coal plants ill-equipped to meet
new pollution standards. China plans to close small
coal plants under 300 MW that cannot meet new
standards for environmental protection, efficiency,
and safety, as well as plants concentrated within 15
kilometers of a power plant size 300 MW or above.

Unless my math is wrong, it looks like India is planning to retire more coal power (48GW) than it added in 2018 (7.7GW) and is currently projected to build (36GW).  And given that renewables with battery storage are now cheaper than operating coal power plants, the number of new coal power plants should decrease and the number of retirements could increase.

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1451 on: July 12, 2019, 05:51:55 PM »
Relatively New Coal Plants and The Inertia of Depreciation Accounting

When a company invests in a large capital asset, the investment is placed on its balance sheet and depreciated over the deemed economic life of the asset. In the case of a coal-fired power station that assumption would have been decades - lets say 30 years (quite possibly more). So on the company's balance sheet the asset is reduced in value by 1/30th (this is simplistic as there are more complex depreciation schedules) of the amount that it was first placed on the balance sheet at. This annual depreciation amount is taken as a charge against earnings (i.e. reducing earnings) and also reduces shareholder equity.

In the case that it is found that the asset will have an economic life much shorter than assumed the annual depreciation has to be increased to match the shorter life - increasing the hit to profits and shareholder equity. In the case of immediate closure, the remaining non-depreciated book value has to be written off against current year earnings and shareholder equity. The amounts involved may be so large as to endanger the ongoing operation of the company, and/or break loan covenants etc. that could force liquidation.

In the US, and much of Europe, most coal plants are very old and fully/heavily depreciated and therefore the issue is minimal. In many other countries, such as China and India, the majority of coal plants are about, or less than, 10 years old. So there is a big problem that either needs to be subsidized by the government or the public and private utilities will not replace these plants until a much greater level of their cost has been depreciated.With many of these plants under-utilized, they may actually burn more coal if possible to utilize the asset more economically at the margin.

Any new coal plants add to this problem. Assuming a multi-decade life for a fossil fuel asset may seem somewhat insane to many of us on this forum, but that is what these providers' accountants and executives are doing.So we get an increasing level of depreciation accounting lock in. Government policies to force much shorter depreciation schedules for new fossil fuel plants would stop new builds dead. If retroactive,such a policy would help force a more rapid move to renewables (and probably bankrupt quite a few utilities).

« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 08:28:23 PM by rboyd »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1452 on: July 12, 2019, 11:33:26 PM »
Indiana shutting down coal plants early because they'll save billions.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2019/07/02/mike-pences-indiana-chooses-renewables-over-gas-as-it-retires-coal-early/#3a2961a443b4

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Renewables are so cheap, said Mike Hooper, the senior vice president of the Northern Indiana Service Company (NIPSCO), that the utility can close its coal plants early and return $4 billion to its customers over the next 30 years.

"It ends up being a really big number, somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion for our customers, and clearly a lot of that comes from the fact that there’s hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel every year from a marginal standpoint that you're not spending, that the customer gets the advantage of through the check they write us every month."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1453 on: July 15, 2019, 09:13:59 PM »
”Natural gas is on the rise, but that increase isn’t enough to offset coal’s decrease, as natural gas is less carbon-intensive than coal.”

US energy-related CO2 emissions expected to fall this year, almost solely due to a drop in coal use
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After an increase in 2018, energy-related CO2 emissions in the US are expected to decrease this year, and a drop in coal consumption is far and away the biggest reason for the change.

The estimates come from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which forecasts a 2.2% decrease in US energy-related CO2 emissions for 2019, after a 2.7% increase last year:

Nearly all of the forecast decrease is due to fewer emissions from coal consumption. Forecast natural gas CO2 emissions increase and petroleum CO2 emissions remain virtually unchanged.

The first three months of 2019 and 2018 were roughly equal in CO2 emissions — the first quarter of each year typically has the highest emissions. However, the EIA expects that mild temperatures will keep energy demand lower for the rest of the year. …
https://electrek.co/2019/07/15/us-co2-emissions-coal-2019/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1454 on: July 16, 2019, 12:04:01 AM »
Coal retirements are happening so fast that the agencies in charge with predicting US energy consumption can't keep up.

https://electrek.co/2019/07/09/egeb-us-coal-retirements/

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Energy Infrastructure Update for April 2019, released last month, revealed that renewable capacity in the US surpassed coal for the first time. And the newest update reveals a large increase in expected coal plant retirements, just a month later.

Whereas the previous report revealed that 13,992 megawatts of coal capacity were set to be retired by May 2022, the newest FERC update now expects 17,054 MW of coal to be retired by June 2022. That’s a 3,000+ MW expected decrease in coal capacity, in an extra month’s time.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1455 on: July 16, 2019, 07:53:27 PM »
U.S.:  Coal communities aren’t prepared for their all-but-certain fiscal collapse, new findings show
Quote
Between 2007 and 2017, coal production fell by a third, a decline that is set to continue even under current policies with a pro-coal federal government. But even a “moderately stringent climate policy,” the researchers note, could lead the industry to plummet by around 75% into the 2020s.

That would likely be disastrous for unprepared communities. School districts and other systems in these areas rely on coal-dependent revenue and local economies are heavily intertwined with the industry. Historically, the study argues, “the rapid decline of a dominant industry” has led to the fiscal collapse of local governments, threatening their long-term well-being.
...
New data similarly indicates that the administration’s efforts aren’t shifting coal’s trajectory, even short-term. S&P Global reported Monday that despite the ACE rule, several coal plant operators are still going ahead with scheduled retirements.

Those operators argue that even despite the rule change, the “dynamics” within the industry will not shift, such as the rising popularity of renewables and natural gas. Notably, more coal plants shuttered during Trump’s first two years in office than during the entire first term of the Obama administration. ...
https://thinkprogress.org/trump-coal-data-just-transition-green-new-deal-8718ce39df7f/
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

DrTskoul

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1456 on: July 17, 2019, 12:51:45 AM »
How could they be? They were told Coal is coming back....
“You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts.”
― Richard P. Feynman

TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1457 on: Today at 08:25:21 AM »
Now we need to ban coal exports.


Should be much easier to leave it in the ground now that the electrical producers won't be throwing their lobbyists into the fray.


Can a Democratic congress pull it off?

Terry