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edmountain

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1600 on: November 20, 2019, 06:19:51 PM »
The UNEP Prodution Gap Report released today throws cold water on the idea that the world is somehow in the process of slowing down fossil fuel production. Coal production in particular is projected to be completely misaligned with GHG emission targets.

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This analysis shows that:
  • In aggregate, countries’ planned fossil fuel production by 2030 will lead to the emission of 39 billion tonnes (gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide (GtCO2). That is 13 GtCO2, or 53%, more than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway, and 21 GtCO2 (120%) more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway. This gap widens significantly by 2040.
  • This production gap is largest for coal. By 2030, countries plan to produce 150% (5.2 billion tonnes) more coal than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway, and 280% (6.4 billion tonnes) more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.
  • Oil and gas are also on track to exceed carbon budgets, as countries continue to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure that “locks in” oil and gas use. The effects of this lock-in widen the production gap over time, until countries are producing 43% (36 million barrels per day) more oil and 47% (1,800 billion cubic meters) more gas by 2040 than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway
Source: https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/report/production-gap-report-2019

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1601 on: November 20, 2019, 06:20:24 PM »
China's basically building a bunch of stranded assets to keep construction workers employed (and to prevent the oligarchs who run the coal companies from promoting political opponents to the current regime).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/years-after-freezing-new-projects-china-is-back-to-building-coal-power-plants/2019/11/20/b9075baa-0b38-11ea-8054-289aef6e38a3_story.html

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In a departure from earlier speeches, Premier Li Keqiang last month urged the coal industry to play a role in securing the country’s energy supply. Weeks earlier, top officials said they would relax air quality controls this winter, perhaps to buoy important but dirty drivers of economic activity, such as steel mills and construction. And at least 40 new coal mines have been approved this year, China’s energy administration told reporters last month.

Researchers who examine Chinese policy say a vigorous debate is taking place behind the scenes. The country’s Communist Party rulers are consulting industry and academia to formulate a comprehensive development blueprint, known as the five-year plan, to take effect in 2021.

“The coal industry’s propaganda is stressing that it’s imperative to maintain coal’s primary position in China’s energy mix, and that narrative is now back in favor,” said Yixiu Wu, a researcher at Chinadialogue, an environmental nonprofit in Beijing. “The trajectory is worrying because we’re right in the window when China is shaping its 14th five-year plan.”

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Propaganda officials these days produce books and classroom materials to promote Xi's “Ecological Civilization” concept with collections of his thoughts and sayings, often accompanied by imagery of lush mountains and blue rivers.

The picture on the ground is murkier. To be sure, China’s coal consumption peaked in 2013 and gradually declined, although it has ticked upward again since 2017.

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Elsewhere in the province, other coal projects roared ahead. By the time a central government environmental protection team inspected Shandong in 2018, it found a local company that had, in the space of five years, illegally built 45 coal power facilities that produced the equivalent of Australia’s coal-fired capacity. That disclosure forced the company to lay off 180,000 workers.

Shearer, from Global Energy Monitor, said Chinese local officials were under tremendous pressure to meet economic targets and often looked the other way if coal facilities were generating jobs.

“These are massive projects,” she said. “Once a coal plant has been permitted, there’s momentum and political pressure to let that plant go through to commissioning.”




Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1602 on: November 20, 2019, 06:28:28 PM »
While China keeps adding coal capacity, they run the plants less frequently.  The capacity factors of China's coal plants are around 50%.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/06/04/china-is-using-this-not-renewable-energy-to-replac.aspx

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China can't use renewable energy to replace coal overnight, because wind and solar power are much less efficient. For instance, Chinese coal-fired power plants boasted capacity factors (the rate at which a generation asset produces at its installed capacity) of 48% in 2017. That's very low, hinting at a glut of coal capacity, but it's significantly better than the country's renewables. In 2017 Chinese wind and solar had capacity factors of just 21.3% and 10.7%, respectively.

And the coal plants are already unprofitable.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-china-coal/china-coal-fired-power-capacity-still-rising-bucking-global-trend-study-idUSKBN1XU07Y

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“Over 40% of China’s existing coal fleet is already estimated to be loss making,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, chief executive of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.


Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1603 on: November 20, 2019, 06:36:41 PM »
While carbon emissions in China continue to climb (due to increased natural gas use), emissions from coal have already peaked and are declining.  And carbon emissions from all sources in China (and since China is by far the biggest emitter, and the only large emitter still increasing emissions, the total global carbon emissions) are projected to peak in 2022.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-coal-carbon/china-co2-emissions-from-energy-sector-still-on-rise-researchers-idUSKBN1XO0QL

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EnvironmentNovember 13, 2019 / 11:05 PM / 6 days ago
China CO2 emissions from energy sector still on rise - researchers

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s emissions of the climate-warming greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from its energy sector are expected to increase this year and next, driven by rising oil and gas consumption instead of by coal, a team of industry experts warned on Thursday.

The oil and gas sectors could add more than 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide to China’s total emissions, meaning overall greenhouse gas from energy use would still rise 2% this year and 1.2% in 2020, said researchers with the “China Coal Cap Research Project” at a Thursday briefing.
 
Meanwhile, emissions from coal are expected to fall 75.6 million tonnes in 2020 after a concerted effort to switch to cleaner energy sources, they said.

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China lowered the share of coal in its energy mix to 59% last year, from 68% in 2012, and the researchers said it was expected to fall to 55.3% by 2020.

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A government researcher has also suggested China could meet a 2030 target to bring its emissions to a peak as early as 2022.

That would be 8 years earlier than their Paris commitment.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1604 on: November 20, 2019, 06:48:23 PM »
edmountain:
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In aggregate, countries’ planned fossil fuel production by 2030 will lead to the emission of 39 billion tonnes (gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide (GtCO2). That is 13 GtCO2, or 53%, more than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway, and 21 GtCO2 (120%) more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway. This gap widens significantly by 2040.
So that would be roughly 5 GtCO2 more than consistent with a 2.5˚C pathway? So we're not even heading for as "low" as that? And it's even much worse a decade later?
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1605 on: November 20, 2019, 06:51:32 PM »
The UNEP Prodution Gap Report released today throws cold water on the idea that the world is somehow in the process of slowing down fossil fuel production. Coal production in particular is projected to be completely misaligned with GHG emission targets.

Quote
This analysis shows that:
  • In aggregate, countries’ planned fossil fuel production by 2030 will lead to the emission of 39 billion tonnes (gigatonnes) of carbon dioxide (GtCO2). That is 13 GtCO2, or 53%, more than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway, and 21 GtCO2 (120%) more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway. This gap widens significantly by 2040.
  • This production gap is largest for coal. By 2030, countries plan to produce 150% (5.2 billion tonnes) more coal than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway, and 280% (6.4 billion tonnes) more than would be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway.
  • Oil and gas are also on track to exceed carbon budgets, as countries continue to invest in fossil fuel infrastructure that “locks in” oil and gas use. The effects of this lock-in widen the production gap over time, until countries are producing 43% (36 million barrels per day) more oil and 47% (1,800 billion cubic meters) more gas by 2040 than would be consistent with a 2°C pathway
Source: https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/report/production-gap-report-2019

A few interesting nuggets in that report:

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Many countries appear to be banking on export markets to justify major increases in production (e.g., the United States, Russia, and Canada) while others are seeking to limit or largely end imports through scaled up production (e.g., India and China). The net result could be significant over-investment, increasing the risk of stranded assets, workers, and communities, as well as locking in a higher emissions trajectory.

The suppliers planning to increase exports while the consumers plan to decrease imports implies that some of those projections are wrong.  But the report assumes that both will occur, as the last sentence in the paragraph implies.

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Alternatives to high-carbon development are now more abundant. In two thirds of the world, wind or solar technologies are now the least expensive option for adding new power-generating capacity. Combined with battery storage, they are poised to outcompete even existing gas and coal in most of the world by 2030 (Bloomberg New Energy Finance 2019). More broadly, as emphasized by past Emissions Gap Reports, “technologies and institutional innovations are available to bridge the emissions gap, and at reasonable cost”, while simultaneously providing many benefits for other important environmental, social, and economic goals (UNEP 2017, p. 9).

The first chapter of the report acknowledges that renewables are cheaper than fossil fuels, yet then seems to ignore that fact in the remainder of the report.

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But when such government plans and projections do not align with climate ambitions, too much fossil fuel infrastructure — too many platforms, pipelines, ports, and mines — gets built. Once built, this infrastructure is difficult to turn away from; it decreases fossil fuel prices, hooks consumers on fossil fuels, and deeply entangles many parts of society — including workers and communities — in a fossil fuel economy. In short, overbuilding fossil fuel infrastructure makes a low-carbon transition less likely. And from another perspective, it renders a low-carbon transition even more disruptive to those dependent on fossil fuels.

Nope, wrong, not even close to reality.  Fossil fuel prices actually increase because they lose the economies of scale in drilling, mining, refinining and shipping them to the power plants.  In the market economies (US, Western Europe), the stranded assets are retired.  In India and China, the power plants just sit idle.  It's already happening and will just increase in the future as China and India continue to keep construction workers busy on plants that wont be used.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1606 on: November 20, 2019, 08:10:35 PM »
Keep in mind that the UNEP gap report is based on Government projections, not on reality.  For the US, we have no national energy plan, so the UN report would have to rely on EIA projections, which are basically fossil fuel company propaganda. 

Individual utility companies are closing coal plants as soon as they can build solar or wind or sign a PPA with renewable energy provider because they can save a lot of money by doing so.  Individual states have goals to cut emissions to net zero by 2050 (for Washington) or sooner (New York, California).

And if you made a similar projection in 2010, you'd have over-estimated the amount of new coal fire powered plant capacity by more than 1.4 million mega-watts.   Because with renewables being cheaper than coal, more than 1.4 million mega-watts of planned new coal power plants have actually been cancelled during the past decade. 

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?action=post;topic=347.1600;last_msg=237605

And that list is from July of this year, so it missed out on still more cancellations:

https://cleantechnica.com/2019/10/11/two-new-coal-plants-cancelled-in-botswana/

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Two New Coal Plants Cancelled In Botswana
October 11th, 2019

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11512-Bangladesh-may-suspend-new-power-plant-approvals

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Bangladesh may suspend new power plant approvals
11.09.2019

Chinese firms investing in overseas coal projects should take note of a potential power glut in Asian nations

In fact, we're close to the point when more coal capacity is being retired than new capacity added.

https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-08-19/how-plans-for-new-coal-are-changing-around-the-world/

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How Plans for New Coal are Changing Around the World
By Christine Shearer, originally published by Carbon Brief
August 19, 2019

The global coal fleet continues to grow in 2019 but the pipeline shrank again, putting a peak in total operating capacity on the horizon.

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Around the world, 12.7 gigawatts (GW) of new coal capacity has been proposed so far in 2019 – less than 3GW above the amount that has retired (10GW). These trends mean the global coal fleet will soon decline, because only a third of proposed capacity has actually been developed since 2010.

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In 2019 to date, about 12.7GW of coal power capacity has been newly proposed across eight countries and 12GW of new construction has started across five countries.These developments are concentrated in China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Bangladesh. China also resumed construction on nearly 9GW of capacity that had been postponed under central government restrictions.

Conversely, 132GW of planned new capacity was cancelled in 2019, mainly from lack of activity. The largest numbers of cancellations were in China, India, Myanmar and Turkey.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1607 on: November 20, 2019, 08:34:27 PM »
Although this is the coal forum, it's interesting to look at the US projection for oil used to develop the 2030 emissions gap report.  Again, here's the link to the report:

http://productiongap.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Production-Gap-Report-2019.pdf

Table 3.1 on page 25 shows the projections for 2030 based on national production goals and compared to the IEA's New Policy Scenario (NPS).  Looking at the entries for the United States, it projects that oil production will be 22 million barrels per day according to the US projection (EIA) or 18 million barrels per day under the IEA's NPS. 

Current US oil production is at an all-time record of 12.8 million barrels, most of which is from fracked shale wells.  Fracked shale wells decline rapidly, with production declines ranging from 75% to 90% in the first year.  So to increase production, you need to replace the decline and then add new wells over and above the replacement wells.

Since most oil companies in the past few years burned through their cash to try to capture market share, they've lost money.  And investors are no longer pumping money into fracking companies (much of that money is going into renewable energy projects instead).  As a result, rig counts have been declining rapidly over the past year.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/producers-are-putting-the-brakes-on-the-shale-boom-heres-what-that-means-for-oil-prices-2019-11-01

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Producers are putting the brakes on the shale boom — here’s what that means for oil prices

Published: Nov 1, 2019 4:03 p.m. ET

U.S. shale oil, which was viewed as a key reason the U.S. became the world’s top oil producer last year, has seen a slowdown in production growth since late 2018. That may contribute to a rise in crude prices as other major oil producers look to adjust production levels to better balance the market.

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There’s been a “gradual” slowdown from the historical peak in shale oil production growth of about 1.8 million barrels a day year-over-year in the third quarter of 2018, says Teodora Cowie, an analyst at Rystad Energy. Shale production is likely to grow by about one million barrels a day year-over-year for the fourth quarter of this year, she says.

Cowie attributes the slowdown to the “significant expansion in well activity during 2017-2018,” which came at the “cost of a steeper base decline.” So-called young wells produce large amounts of oil in their first few quarters, then see output rapidly decline, she explains.

Also, once oil prices started to drop at the end of 2018, investors pressured public exploration and production companies to adopt more “disciplined” spending and focus on cash flow generation. That led to a decrease in investments and fewer wells drilled, she says.

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However, among the bullish price factors is “the potential for shale to disappoint faster than the industry thinks,” she says. U.S. shale has driven global oil supply growth for several years, Kim says. Nothing else out there that can match U.S. shale’s production growth rate of a million or a million and a half barrels of oil a day, and it’s a “consistent level of growth,” she says.

So “if shale slows down much faster than people think, then that would leave the market searching for other sources of big supply,” says Kim.

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1608 on: November 20, 2019, 09:07:32 PM »
While carbon emissions in China continue to climb (due to increased natural gas use), emissions from coal have already peaked and are declining. 
According to China's national statistics, coal use declined in 2017. In 2018 a very small increase. As at October 2019 coal use has increased by more than 4 % over 2018.

http://data.stats.gov.cn/english/easyquery.htm?cn=A01
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1609 on: November 20, 2019, 09:21:00 PM »
Once China peaks, global coal consumption will peak.  If you were to take all of the countries other than China, global coal capacity has declined.

https://endcoal.org/2019/11/new-report-out-of-step-china-is-driving-the-continued-growth-of-the-global-coal-fleet/

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Report: Out of Step – China Is Driving the Continued Growth of the Global Coal Fleet
Posted November 20, 2019 by Ted Nace

Today, Global Energy Monitor released Out of Step: China is driving the continued growth of the global coal fleet. The report, based on plant-by-plant research by the Global Coal Plant Tracker, finds that from 2018 through June 2019, countries outside of China decreased their total coal power capacity by 8.1 gigawatts (GW), due to steady retirements and an ongoing decline in the commissioning of new coal plants. Over the same period China increased its coal fleet by 42.9 GW, and as a result the global coal fleet overall grew by 34.9 GW.



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China’s proposal to continue growing its coal fleet through 2035 comes as 31 countries have proposed phasing out coal power by 2030. Of the countries that continue to develop coal, China is financing over a quarter (102 GW) of all proposed coal plants outside its borders, including most coal power capacity under development in South Africa, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, among others. Combined with domestic proposals, Chinese financing is behind over half of all global coal power capacity currently under development.

“China’s proposed coal expansion is so far out of alignment with the Paris Agreement that it would put the necessary reductions in coal power out of reach, even if every other country were to completely eliminate its coal fleet,” said Christine Shearer of Global Energy Monitor. “Instead of expanding further, China needs to make significant reductions to its coal fleet over the coming decade.”

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The report concludes: “China’s continued expansion of its coal fleet is not inevitable: the central government could strengthen its existing policies discouraging coal plant building, continue incentivizing low-carbon power over coal, and begin a transition toward clean energy. The path that China’s central government chooses could make or break Paris climate goals.”

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1610 on: November 20, 2019, 09:47:14 PM »
It is perhaps an oddity and ironic that a private sector dominated USA is quuckly killing off its coal industry against the will of the Government, while a country such as Germany with Government fully supporting Paris 2015 is  a laggard.
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TerryM

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1611 on: November 21, 2019, 07:16:33 AM »
Ken
What makes you believe that China would act in such a frivolous manner?
hint - read a few of rboyd's posts
Terry

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1612 on: November 22, 2019, 09:04:34 AM »
It is perhaps an oddity and ironic that a private sector dominated USA is quuckly killing off its coal industry against the will of the Government, while a country such as Germany with Government fully supporting Paris 2015 is  a laggard.

The US has a very old, very inefficient coal fleet so it makes financial sense - at least as much with natural gas as with renewables due to the fracking revolution. Overall, US carbon emissions jumped last year.

Germany is shutting down all its nuclear plants by 2022, which leaves a big hole in their energy supply. They also plan to close all their coal plants within the next 19 years (yep thats until 2038), another big hole - they have a very politically strong coal mining sector. Renewables plus natural gas is their answer. They also need the natural gas for space heating. Then there is also the "I don't want a high voltage line near me" folk, plus the big energy conglomerates trying to stretch out the life of their assets.

The government does not seem to be "fully supporting Paris 2015", maybe in words but not in deeds - it will miss its "40% below 1990" target and will be closer to 32% below - there has been no progress in the transportation (emissions up), space heating and industrial sectors outside electricity generation.

Then again thats the same for most of the countries "fully supporting Paris" in words, Climate Action Tracker does not show a pretty picture.



Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1613 on: November 23, 2019, 06:49:31 PM »
Appalachia’s Strip-Mined Mountains Face a Growing Climate Risk: Flooding
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...Straddling the state line between West Virginia and Kentucky, the Big Sandy watershed could see up to a 25 percent increase in stream flow by 2040 and 35 percent by the end of the century from climate change alone, according to the Army Corps, making hazardous flooding conditions even worse.

The other eight watersheds in the analysis, containing more than 900 square miles of mining-altered landscapes, could see stream flow increases of up to 15 percent by 2040, and one could be as high as 25 percent by then. Six of those watersheds could see increases up to 25 percent by the end of the century, the new analysis shows.

The findings suggest that long after the coal mining stops, its legacy of mining could continue to exact a price on residents who live downstream from the hundreds of mountains that have been leveled in Appalachia to produce electricity.

"We have lost the forest that helps retard the rapid runoff that comes from surface-mined lands," said Jack Spadaro, a former top federal mine safety engineer who works as a consultant for coalfield residents, workers and their lawyers. "And the coal that is sold from most of these mines goes into coal-fired power plants, further contributing to the negative effects of climate change.

"These things together don't bode well for this region. It's going to have an effect for hundreds of years." ...
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/21112019/appalachia-mountains-flood-risk-climate-change-coal-mining-west-virginia-extreme-rainfall-runoff-analysis
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1614 on: November 24, 2019, 08:39:08 AM »
Reminds me of the slag heap disaster at Aberfan in Wales in the 1960's, wiped out a junior school. Handled very well in an episode of Netfix's The Crown.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 09:48:33 PM by rboyd »

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1615 on: November 25, 2019, 11:03:26 PM »
India's carbon emission growth is slowing as coal plants are being curtailed.

https://qrius.com/indias-co2-emissions-show-lowest-increase-in-20-years/

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India’s CO2 Emissions Show Lowest Increase in 20 years

While the world grapples with the threat of global warming, India is poised to lead the world in adoption of renewables, registering its lowest emissions increase in decades

In the first eight months of 2019, growth in India’s CO2 emissions slowed down sharply, putting the country on track to its lowest annual increase in nearly 20 years.

Our analysis, based on data from various ministries responsible for electricity, coal, oil, gas and foreign trade, shows that emissions increased by 2% in the first eight months of the year, a lower rate than any annual increase since 2001.

The main reason was a slowdown in the expansion of coal-fired electricity generation, the analysis shows, with renewable output surging and demand growth slowing.

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Electricity generation from coal slowed markedly in the first eight months of 2019, putting the country on track to its slowest power-sector emissions increase in three decades. This was due to a surge in renewable power generation and a slowdown in demand growth, which means the share of fossil fuels in meeting power demand growth will be the lowest in the past 30 years

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In recent years, however, rapid growth in renewable generation has seen coal meet a shrinking share of the increase in overall demand. In the first six months of 2019, wind (top right), solar (bottom left) and hydro (top centre) met a record 70% of the increase in electricity demand, according to our analysis of data compiled from Central Electricity Authority monthly reports.

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This year’s slowdown in electricity demand and coal-based electricity generation underscores a long-term issue of grossly overestimated power demand growth, dating back to at least 2011, during the preparation of the country’s 18th Electric Power Survey.

Demand growth during the past decade has been significantly lower than expected, particularly in industry, which has led to overbuilding of coal-fired capacity and fewer running hours for coal plants.

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Since 2009, overcapacity and weaker than expected demand growth has pushed Indian coal plant load factors from close to 80% down to around 60%, as the chart below shows.

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Slowing demand for coal-fired power generation has resulted in a run of announcements about new coal plant construction plans being stopped. The first to make such an announcement was Gujarat, the Indian state with the second-largest coal-fired capacity in the country, which said it would aim to meet power demand growth by scaling up renewables.

A similar announcement followed from Chhattisgarh, the largest coal-mining state. The country’s largest power generator has also NTPC said it would not undertake new coal-power projects, while announcing investment in a major solar park.

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1616 on: November 26, 2019, 05:24:47 PM »
Meanwhile, back in the USA, since the year 2000...
- US consumption of coal has almost halved .
- Natural Gas consumption has increased by about 30%.

BUT in energy terms (monthly consumption in trillions of BTU)
- coal reduced by circa 750,
- natural gas up by about 600.

Natural Gas consumption is also about 160 percent higher than coal. Excluding methane leakage etc, they say natural gas produces about 50% of CO2 per unit of energy compared with coal.

This suggests that in the USA Natural Gas consumption is now more important than coal in terms of CO2 pollution.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1617 on: November 26, 2019, 06:32:26 PM »
With leakage, certainly more important for CO2e.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1618 on: November 26, 2019, 08:29:08 PM »
Solar, wind and hydro will soon be producing more power than coal in the US.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/26/business/renewable-energy-coal/index.html

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Solar, wind and hydro power could soon surpass coal

By Matt Egan, CNN Business

Updated 12:26 PM ET, Tue November 26, 2019

New York (CNN Business)Coal, long the king of America's electric grid, will soon get toppled by renewable energy.

Solar and wind power are growing so rapidly that for the first time ever, the United States will likely get more power in 2021 from renewable energy than from coal, according to projections from the Institute for Energy Economic and Financial Analysis.

This milestone is being driven by the gangbusters growth for solar and wind as well as the stunning collapse of coal. And it comes as the United Nations warned on Tuesday that countries are not doing enough to keep the planet's temperature from rising to near-catastrophic levels.

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Coal provided about half of America's power generation between 2000 and 2010. However, coal usage started to fall sharply late in the last decade because of the abundance of cheap natural gas. Coal was dethroned by natural gas in 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

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US power plants are expected to consume less coal next year than at any point since 1978, according to the EIA. That will cause coal's market share to drop below 22%, compared with 28% in 2018. That shrinking market share makes existing coal plants even less profitable.
"It's a negative feedback loop," said Greentech's Deschenes.

This trend is playing out overseas as well. Global electricity production from coal is on track to fall by a record 3% in 2019, according to CarbonBrief. That drop is being driven by record declines from Germany and South Korea as well as the first dip in India in at least three decades.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1619 on: November 26, 2019, 09:04:02 PM »
Electricity generated by coal is projected to decline by 3% through the end of this year.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-global-coal-power-set-for-record-fall-in-2019

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25 November 2019 0:01
Analysis: Global coal power set for record fall in 2019

Global electricity production from coal is on track to fall by around 3% in 2019, the largest drop on record.

This would amount to a reduction of around 300 terawatt hours (TWh), more than the combined total output from coal in Germany, Spain and the UK last year.

The analysis is based on monthly electricity sector data from around the world for the first seven to 10 months of the year, depending on data availability in each country.

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In the past three and a half decades, only two other years have seen declining coal power output: a fall of 148TWh in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis; and a 217TWh cut in 2015 following a slowdown in China.

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The reasons for the historic projected drop in coal-fired generation in 2019 vary from country to country, but include increased electricity generation from renewables, nuclear and gas, as well as slowing or negative power demand growth.

Across the developed countries that make up the OECD, there has been strong growth in wind and solar generation in 2019, as well as reductions in electricity demand related to slower global economic growth and trade (top left panel in the chart, below).

Falling demand is particularly clear in Japan and South Korea (part of OECD Asia Oceania, bottom left), where exports have dropped sharply. In both countries, nuclear generation increased substantially, pushing down coal use. In North America, about 60% of the fall in coal came from switching to gas, as coal plants closed and new gas plants opened (top right).

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Over the preceding two years 2017-2018, reductions in coal generation in the US and EU have been offset by increases elsewhere, particularly in China.

This year, however, the fall in developed economies is accelerating, while coal generation in India and China is slowing sharply, precipitating a global reduction.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1620 on: November 27, 2019, 07:30:20 PM »
India predicts that its shiny new coal plants will be running less and less as new renewables come online.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/coal-fired-plants-may-have-to-scale-down-utilisation-to-35-by-2022-kpmg/articleshow/72200926.cms

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Coal-fired plants may have to scale down utilisation to 35% by 2022: KPMG
“Even a scenario with 130 GW of renewables instead of the planned 175 GW by 2022 could result in plant load factor (PLF) dropping to 35-40 per cent for many coal plants,” KPMG said in a recent report.

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Kolkata: One of the Big Four, KPMG, has predicted that capacity utilisation for many coal-fired power plants in India will drop to 35-40% by 2022 as renewable power generation sources rise. Average capacity utilisation of coal fired power plants are around 51% at present and some plants may have to be seasonally shut or mothballed, KPMG has predicted.

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Flexible operation of conventional coal-fired plants was for a while resisted by existing operators on the premise that cycling and stop-start operations impair asset life and reliability. According to KPMG, if the option is between mothballing the plants versus operating It is possible to typically reduce the minimum technical limits to 40% in Indian conditions.

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Flexibilisation of coal plants involves retrofitting of components and modifying operational processes for increasing cycling flexibility of thermal power plants so as to achieve lower technical minimum, reduce the start-up time, increase ramp rates and enable multiple cycles of start-up and shut down of plants in a day. Going substantially below 40%, as is done in Germany where plants go down to 20-25%, would require coal quality to be improved and controlled and would also require significantly more capex.

In many cases, the overall costs of retrofit may not be justified, especially for assets in the later parts of their life cycle.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1621 on: December 05, 2019, 09:21:48 PM »
China is requiring five big utilities to reduce coal-fired power capacity by 25% to 33% by the end of 2021.

https://www.reuters.com/article/china-coal-debt/update-1-china-to-slash-coal-fired-power-capacity-at-big-utilities-by-merging-assets-document-idUSL4N28C1Y9

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UPDATE 1-China to slash coal-fired power capacity at big utilities by merging assets -document
Muyu Xu, Dominique Patton

BEIJING, Dec 2 (Reuters) - China plans to slash coal-fired power capacity at its five biggest utilities by as much as a third in two years by merging their assets, according to a document seen by Reuters and four sources with knowledge of the matter.

The move to shed older and less-efficient capacity is being driven by pressure to cut heavy debt levels at the utilities. China, is, however, building more coal-fired power plants and approving dozens of new mines to bolster a slowing economy.

The five utilities, which are controlled by the central government, accounted for around 44% of China’s total coal-fired power capacity at the end of 2018.

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Some of their coal-fired power stations have filed for bankruptcy in recent years as Beijing promotes the use of renewable energy and opens up the state-controlled power market.

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The utilities - China Huaneng Group Co, China Datang Corp, China Huadian Corp, State Power Investment Corp and China Energy Group - did not respond to faxes requesting comment.

Together, they had 474 coal-fired power plants with combined power generation capacity of 520 gigawatts (GW) at the end of last year.

So that's a minimum of 130 GW capacity that will be retired in two years.

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1622 on: December 05, 2019, 10:02:51 PM »
China is requiring five big utilities to reduce coal-fired power capacity by 25% to 33% by the end of 2021.

BEIJING, Dec 2 (Reuters) - China plans to slash coal-fired power capacity at its five biggest utilities by as much as a third in two years by merging their assets,

So that's a minimum of 130 GW capacity that will be retired in two years.
The key phrase is "by merging their assets". The utilities are forced to shut the oldest and least used plants so that their newer plants can operate at much closer to capacity.

So while 130 GW of capacity might be shut, generation & coal consumption is just switched to other under-utilised plants.

Meanwhile....
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1623 on: December 06, 2019, 07:03:48 PM »
^^^

I noticed you left 2019 off that chart.  We have the information for 2019.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-global-coal-power-set-for-record-fall-in-2019

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Analysis: Global coal power set for record fall in 2019

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Global electricity production from coal is on track to fall by around 3% in 2019, the largest drop on record.

This would amount to a reduction of around 300 terawatt hours (TWh), more than the combined total output from coal in Germany, Spain and the UK last year.

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1624 on: December 06, 2019, 09:07:32 PM »
^^^

I noticed you left 2019 off that chart.  We have the information for 2019.

https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-global-coal-power-set-for-record-fall-in-2019

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Analysis: Global coal power set for record fall in 2019

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Global electricity production from coal is on track to fall by around 3% in 2019, the largest drop on record.

This would amount to a reduction of around 300 terawatt hours (TWh), more than the combined total output from coal in Germany, Spain and the UK last year.
Not my graph - only went to 2018
Graph is actual coal production. Yr post is about coal used for electricity and is an estimate.

Apples and pears. I will wait for actual 2019 coal production - it will be lower I am sure, but by how much?

"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)