Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: Coal  (Read 330171 times)

edmountain

  • New ice
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 18
  • Likes Given: 3
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.

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

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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

Quote
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.”

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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

Quote
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

Quote
“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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 2282
    • View Profile
    • Planet Mazanec
  • Liked: 491
  • Likes Given: 89
Re: Coal
« Reply #1604 on: November 20, 2019, 06:48:23 PM »
edmountain:
Quote
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?
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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:

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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/

Quote
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

Quote
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/

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7444
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2210
  • Likes Given: 24
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
"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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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/

Quote
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.



Quote
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.”

Quote
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

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7444
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2210
  • Likes Given: 24
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.
"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)

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5766
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 742
  • Likes Given: 5
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

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 221
  • Likes Given: 50
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

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 16579
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 263
Re: Coal
« Reply #1613 on: November 23, 2019, 06:49:31 PM »
Appalachia’s Strip-Mined Mountains Face a Growing Climate Risk: Flooding
Quote
...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
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

rboyd

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 221
  • Likes Given: 50
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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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/

Quote
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.

Quote
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

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7444
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2210
  • Likes Given: 24
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.
"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)

Tom_Mazanec

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 2282
    • View Profile
    • Planet Mazanec
  • Liked: 491
  • Likes Given: 89
Re: Coal
« Reply #1617 on: November 26, 2019, 06:32:26 PM »
With leakage, certainly more important for CO2e.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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).

Quote
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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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

Quote
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.

Quote
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.

Quote
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

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7444
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2210
  • Likes Given: 24
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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
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

Quote
Analysis: Global coal power set for record fall in 2019

Quote
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

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7444
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2210
  • Likes Given: 24
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

Quote
Analysis: Global coal power set for record fall in 2019

Quote
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)

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1625 on: December 13, 2019, 07:51:28 PM »
Another one (coal mine) bites the dust.  This time in Indiana.  And the local paper isn't sad to see it go.

https://www.indystar.com/story/opinion/columnists/james-briggs/2019/12/04/coal-dying-indiana-no-matter-who-you-vote-2020/2600559001/

Quote
Briggs: The coal industry is dying. Indiana should let go.
James Briggs, Indianapolis Star Published Dec. 4, 2019

Indiana is about to lose a substantial chunk of its coal mining jobs in one fell swoop — a reminder that, despite the political forces propping it up, the coal industry is much less important to the state’s economy than you might think.

Gibson County Coal, which operates a mine in southern Indiana, recently gave notice to the state that it plans to lay off 184 workers in January. Parent company Alliance Resource Partners attributed the impending job losses to a decline in demand.

"A substantial portion of production from the Gibson Complex has been dedicated to supplying the international coal markets," Alliance CEO Joseph W. Craft III said in a statement. "The export markets have deteriorated over the last seven months and have contributed to an over-supplied domestic market."

Quote
Those 184 Gibson County workers amount to 6.3% of all coal mining jobs (2,923) in Indiana, according to year-end figures for 2018. To put that in perspective, Indiana has 35 individual employers that each account for more jobs than the state’s entire coal mining industry, according to Indianapolis Business Journal data.

If all of the state’s coal mining jobs were combined under a single company, that employer would rank just below the Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (a utility that just so happens to be in the process of shutting down coal-fired plants) and far below the nearly 40,000 workers that No. 1 employer Walmart has in the state.

Quote
Indiana is a perfect example of why future industry growth is extremely unlikely. The aforementioned Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) has accelerated plans to retire its five coal-fired plants by 2028 — a plan that couldn’t be stopped earlier this year by Trump's former EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, who lobbied state lawmakers to slow down that process.

Quote
Coal has faced no adversary in Indiana except for its own obsolescence. That is proving too much for the industry to overcome.



Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1626 on: December 13, 2019, 07:54:41 PM »
Australia's Energy Market Operator is resisting new coal plans pushed by pro-coal politicians because renewables are cheaper.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/12/almost-two-thirds-of-australias-coal-fired-generation-will-be-out-by-2040-aemo-says

Quote
Almost two-thirds of Australia's coal-fired generation will be out by 2040, Aemo says
Rooftop solar capacity to double or even triple to replace existing thermal generation, new assessment by the energy market operator predicts

Australia’s ageing coal-fired power plants could be shuttered earlier than expected if competition from renewable generators and carbon budgets render them uneconomic, according to a new assessment by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

Aemo will, on Thursday, publish a new draft integrated system plan which snapshots the unfolding revolution underway in Australia’s energy market. The energy market operator predicts rooftop solar capacity will double or even triple, providing up to 22% of total energy by 2040.
It says 63% of Australia’s coal-fired generation will be out of the system by 2040, and more than 30 gigawatts (GW) of large-scale renewable energy will be needed to replace existing thermal generation.

While some in the Morrison government continue to campaign for new coal-fired power, Aemo is clear about the future. It says “due to the already low cost of renewables and their firming options, and their projected future reductions” the lowest-cost replacements for emissions-intensive generation is a “portfolio” of renewable, storage, gas-powered generation, demand management and network resources.

Quote
With Australia’s energy market transitioning to large-scale renewable energy, and to distributed energy such as rooftop solar, Aemo says between 5 and 21GW of dispatchable resources will be needed to support renewables.

That transition will require more utility-scale pumped hydro and battery storage, demand management and distributed batteries participating as virtual power plants. There could also be a role for flexible gas generators “if gas prices materially reduce”.

Note that the writing is already on the wall for gas.  Gas prices need to come down to compete with renewables plus storage.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1627 on: December 18, 2019, 06:54:46 PM »
Germany's reduction in coal use and replacement by renewables has edged them closer to achieving their 2020 emissions reduction goals.

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/drop-coal-use-pushes-germany-closer-2020-climate-target

Quote
News
18 Dec 2019, 14:05
Julian Wettengel
Drop in coal use pushes Germany closer to 2020 climate target



Quote
Germany’s primary energy consumption has declined by 2.3 percent in 2019 and a “particularly strong decline” in coal use and rising renewables production has significantly pushed down greenhouse gas emissions for the second year in a row, according to preliminary calculations by energy research group AG Energiebilanzen (AGEB).

Quote
The data suggests Germany is edging closer to fulfilling its 2020 climate target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, compared to 1990 levels. By 2018, Germany had reduced emissions by 30.8 percent. The government has been criticised for years as projections saw the country widely missing the target, with the latest official estimate by the environment ministry putting the 2020 reduction at about 33 percent without further action.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1628 on: December 18, 2019, 07:01:02 PM »
Spain recorded its first coal-free day of power generation this week.

https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2036179-mainland-spain-registers-first-coalfree-day?backToResults=true

Quote
Mainland Spain registers first coal-free day

Published date: 17 December 2019

Spain has registered its first full day without any coal-fired power generation in its peninsular system, as wind output hit a record high, grid operator REE said today.

Mainland Spain went coal free from 23:50 local time on 13 December until 21:20 on 15 December, Preliminary data show — making 14 December the first day of no coal burn since REE records began.

Quote
Wind power generation in peninsular Spain reached its highest daily volume on 13 December, at an hourly average of 16.41GW, with strong output continuing into the morning of 14 December.

Coal-fired generation on 14 December was originally forecast at 252MWh in hour 1, 251MWh in hour 2 and 180MWh in hour 3 on the PBF day-ahead basic schedule, but was later dropped to zero for all hours in the final schedule for the day.

Output from coal-fired plants only returned on 21:30 on 15 December, REE data show.

Spain registered periods of very low coal-fired generation last summer, but did not go coal free in any single hour because of technical constraints in the distribution network in the northern region of Asturias.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1629 on: December 20, 2019, 09:52:45 PM »
US weekly coal production is down 18.4% from the same week last year.  On an annual basis, the decrease is 6.4%.

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/coal/121919-weekly-us-coal-production-totals-127-million-st-down-184-on-year-eia

Quote
Weekly US coal production totals 12.7 million st, down 18.4% on year: EIA

Quote
Weekly US coal production was estimated to be 12.7 million st in the week ended December 14, down 0.1% from the previous week, Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday.

From the year-ago week, production dropped 18.4%.

Through 50 weeks, production was estimated to be about 678 million st, down 8.4% from the year-ago period, and on an annualized basis total US output will be nearly 705 million st, down 6.4% year on year.

The five-year average for week 50 is over 16.5 million st, leaving the most recent week at a 23.1% deficit.

gerontocrat

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7444
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2210
  • Likes Given: 24
Re: Coal
« Reply #1630 on: December 27, 2019, 01:26:59 PM »
US Coal

November 2019 production is the lowest November production since 1973. It is also thethird lowest monthly production - the lowest two being at the bottom of the 2016 slump  in April and May.
At this time of year, production used to increase for the winter. But this year the last three months have seen a 13% fall.

The graph attached shows a more gradual fall - as it is the 12 month trailing average to eliminate seasonal variation. However, one might say that in the last 5 years you can see the Obama / Paris 2015 effect (production down) followed by the Trump effect (production up), followed by the economic reality effect (production down).

Australian Coal

The current price is low, but not as low as in mid-2016. (See graph attached)
Despite this the loonies in charge of Australia won't give up - instead doubling down on expansion plans.
Note how the Guardian have spun the headline in this article.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/27/price-of-australian-thermal-coal-slumps-to-lowest-in-more-than-a-decade
Australian miners hit by lowest thermal coal price in more than a decade
Quote
Drop comes as usage in Europe and the US declines and China tightens use of imported coal[/b]
Australian coal exporters have experienced the biggest annual drop in thermal coal prices in more than a decade during 2019, raising doubts about industry projections that demand will continue to grow.

The spot price of thermal coal, which is burned to generate electricity, was US$66.20 ($95) last week, down more than a third from US$100.73 ($145) a year earlier.

According to the government’s latest resources and quarterly energy report, it is expected to cut export earnings from the industry from last year’s record A$26bn to A$20.6bn this year and A$18.8bn next year.

The drop in price came as China increased its reliance on domestic coal stocks and tightened its use of imported coal, particularly from Australia.

Matthew Canavan, the resources minister, recently told The Australian that Australia would “need more than Adani” to keep up with the expected growth in demand from developing Asian countries. He said that would likely lead to the opening of not just the Carmichael mine being developed by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, but further coal mines in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 01:38:50 PM by gerontocrat »
"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

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1631 on: December 30, 2019, 07:12:56 PM »
Warren Buffet's utilities are ditching coal for renewables, not gas.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/Why-Is-Warren-Buffett-Ditching-His-Coal-Plants.html

Quote
Why Is Warren Buffett Ditching His Coal Plants?

Warren Buffett, probably the world’s most successful investor, a man noted for the conservatism of his investment policy and aversion to high tech, wants out of coal? Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway controls a string of electric utilities that, in the past, burned plenty of coal.

One of his largest utility holdings, PacifiCorp controls coal burning utilities throughout the west. It wants to phase out coal-burning power stations in Wyoming. Reason: according to a PacifiCorp official, a combination of renewables and energy storage is “really lower-cost than continuing to operate some of our existing fleet.” Notice the wording. The official did not say that the renewable package is cheaper than building a new coal station. He said that is was cheaper than running their largely depreciated coal plant built at low costs decades ago. “Our customers would… save money… by pursuing these… alternatives…” the executive added.

The announcement came in recently filed integrated resource plan (IRP), a long range planning document. Typically, no surprises in these documents. But not this time. Furthermore, PacifiCorp did not propose the usual utility solution: to replace the coal units with gas-fired stations. The company intends to shutter 8,100 MW of coal generation and replace them with wind, solar and battery storage. The IRP claims that continuing to burn coal is “inconsistent with reliable, low cost service.” We don’t think reliability was the main concern, here. Simply stated, coal is no longer competitive with renewables. That would be an astounding conclusion because PacifiCorp operates mine mouth stations located at low cost mines. No railroad transport costs for the coal., which made a big difference. If those stations are no longer competitive with renewables plus storage, where can coal compete as a boiler fuel?

Quote
But there is a big difference between lower fuel costs, like mine mouth coal, and zero fuel costs, like wind and solar. Once the capital costs between the competing technologies becomes even close, the lifetime operating savings or renewables become impossible to ignore. And if the capital cost of renewables continues to decline, the economics simply become even more compelling.

Quote
In a funny way, the surprise, here, is what is missing, by which we mean the absence of “greenwashing”, or any environmental pretense whatsoever. They are closing the coal stations, in some instances two decades sooner than planned, in the heart of coal country. And not one word about decarbonization as a justification.

BeeKnees

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 137
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 28
  • Likes Given: 50
Re: Coal
« Reply #1632 on: January 02, 2020, 11:57:40 PM »
US retired 13GW of coal in 2019.
A further 2GW were converted to use gas.

Third largest reduction in US coal capacity ever.

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5766
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 742
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Coal
« Reply #1633 on: January 03, 2020, 08:38:01 PM »
^^
Do you have a source?
What I'd like to check is what percentage of coal generation that 13 GW represents. This might be wonderful, or it might mean that we need to speed up these closures ASAP.


I think the tonnage mined might be a more important metric, but if we are eliminating coal generation at a high rate that would be good news.


Thanks
Terry

BeeKnees

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 137
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 28
  • Likes Given: 50
Re: Coal
« Reply #1634 on: January 04, 2020, 02:49:23 AM »

gerontocrat

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 7444
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 2210
  • Likes Given: 24
Re: Coal
« Reply #1635 on: January 04, 2020, 08:54:22 PM »
I think the tonnage mined might be a more important metric,

The production figure for December should come from the EIA monthly data due in the week before the end of January. Will be interesting to have a good look at it.

This is from my post on 27 Dec...
Quote

US Coal

November 2019 production is the lowest November production since 1973. It is also the third lowest monthly production - the lowest two being at the bottom of the 2016 slump  in April and May.

At this time of year, production used to increase for the winter. But this year the last three months have seen a 13% fall.
"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)

James Lovejoy

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 160
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 5
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Coal
« Reply #1636 on: January 05, 2020, 05:56:17 AM »
^^
Do you have a source?
What I'd like to check is what percentage of coal generation that 13 GW represents. This might be wonderful, or it might mean that we need to speed up these closures ASAP.


I think the tonnage mined might be a more important metric, but if we are eliminating coal generation at a high rate that would be good news.


Thanks
Terry

According to Wikipedia, in 2017 their was 256 GW capacity.  That would have shrunk some in 2018, so somewhat more than 5% of capacity was removed.

As for production date, https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/coal.php EIA expects US coal production of 697 Million tons in 2019, and a further decrease to 601 Million tons in 2020.  This compares with 1,000 Million tons in 2014 according to Wikipedia.
It looks like coal is dead man walking in the US.  It's the other fossil fuels that are the problem.  Can renewables and conservation do to natural gas and petroleum what renewables and natural gas did to coal?  Definitely.  Fast enough?  I hope so, but I fear not.

TerryM

  • First-year ice
  • Posts: 5766
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 742
  • Likes Given: 5
Re: Coal
« Reply #1637 on: January 05, 2020, 09:05:29 PM »
So, good news indeed!


Leaving coal in the ground may not solve our problems, but it damn sure won't hurt.


Shipping an ounce of cocaine will land you in jail for life, but shipping K tonnes of coal is BAU.
Perhaps a little equity is due? ::)
Terry

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1638 on: January 06, 2020, 11:20:51 PM »
The first week of 2020 hasn't ended yet and we already have two large coal plants closed in the US.

https://www.smart-energy.com/industry-sectors/energy-grid-management/us-2020-coal-closures-start-with-a-bang-with-two-units-closed-in-montana/

Quote
US 2020 coal closures start with a bang with two units closed in Montana
January 6, 2020

The closure of coal-powered stations in the US has started with a bang in 2020, with the announcement of the closure of two units at Montana's Colstrip Power Plant, signalling the end of one of the Western United State’s largest coal-fired plants.

Colstrip Unit 1 ceased operating in the first days of January, with the closure of the plant's Unit 2 on 04 January, according to Puget Sound Energy, which shared ownership of the units with Talen Energy.


P-maker

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 250
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 26
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Coal
« Reply #1639 on: January 06, 2020, 11:57:26 PM »
Ken, please keep up the good work.

Within the year, this speed will lead to > 100 closed down coal plants. That's the way to go.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1640 on: January 07, 2020, 08:51:59 PM »
US coal fired electricity decreased by 18% last year, leading to an overall decrease in US emissions of 2.1 percent.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/us-greenhouse-gas-emissions-fell-slightly-in-2019/2020/01/06/568f0a82-309e-11ea-a053-dc6d944ba776_story.html

Quote
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell slightly in 2019
Jan. 7, 2020

U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell 2.1 percent last year almost entirely because of a sharp drop in coal consumption, according to the Rhodium Group, a private data research firm.

Coal-fired electric power generation, which had rebounded slightly in 2018, fell by a record 18 percent to the lowest level since 1975, the Rhodium study said. Coal burning produces carbon dioxide, which fuels climate change.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1641 on: January 07, 2020, 09:14:06 PM »
Spain almost doubled the US reduction.

https://elpais.com/elpais/2020/01/06/inenglish/1578314036_180989.html

Quote
Greenhouse gas emissions drop in Spain as power plants ditch coal
Energy produced at coal-fired thermal stations made up less than 5% of all electricity generated in 2019, as natural gas and renewables become more profitable options
Manuel Planelles
Madrid 6 JAN 2020

Spain has taken just one year to reach a goal that was expected to require a decade. The government had predicted that by 2030 coal would no longer be used in power plants to generate electricity, yet this objective was all but achieved last year. The country has dramatically reduced its reliance on coal-fired power, and as a direct result, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electricity generation fell 33.3% in 2019, according to figures that Red Eléctrica de España (REE), the national power grid operator, advanced to EL PAÍS.

Quote
Coal mining in Spain came to an end on January 1, 2019, when Spain stopped providing state aid to its flailing coal mines in observance of European Union regulations and due to the poor profitability of national coal deposits. But it was expected that Spanish thermal plans that use imported coal – those which are located along the coast and have coal shipped in – would continue operating for some years to come. Indeed, the owners of these mines had invested millions of euros in adapting to the new EU standards on polluting emissions that came into effect this year.

But coal-fired electricity dropped dramatically in 2019 to its lowest point since REE began keeping records in 1990. Last year coal-powered thermal plants contributed less than 5% of all electricity generated in Spain – 85.6% less than in 2002, when coal power was at its peak. What’s more, there were five days (December 14, 21, 22, 24 and 25) when Spain did not need any coal-powered electricity at all.

Quote
The drop in the cost of natural gas and the introduction of renewable energy have also contributed to the fall in coal-powered electricity. Green energy installations jumped by 10% in 2019. According to REE, 36.8% of the country’s electricity came from renewable energy sources, and 58.6% was free of carbon dioxide emissions (from both renewable and nuclear power).

Thanks to these factors, the Spanish power sector ended 2019 having released just over 43 million tons of carbon dioxide – 33.3% less than the 64.5 million tons released into the atmosphere in 2018.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1642 on: January 07, 2020, 09:29:56 PM »
Another one bites the dust.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2020/01/07/pacificorp-close-generator-cholla-power-plant-northern-arizona/2829342001/

Quote
Arizona coal generator to close in 2020, while another given lifeline as decline of plants across West continues
Ryan Randazzo, Arizona Republic Published 8:00 a.m. MT Jan. 7, 2020

One of the three generators at the Cholla coal-fired power plant off Interstate 40 in northern Arizona will close this year, Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp announced Monday.

Quote
The remaining two units at the coal plant are scheduled to close in 2025.

Quote
PacifiCorp, which provides power in Oregon, Washington, California, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, was considering a natural-gas conversion for its unit at the Cholla plant, or a shutdown, by 2025.

But it's cheaper to just close the plant this year, a PacifiCorp spokesman said.

"Both the 2017 and 2019 PacifiCorp (resource plans) showed continued operation of Cholla Unit 4 is no longer economic for PacifiCorp customers beyond 2020 when compared to other energy resource alternatives," PacifiCorp spokesman Spencer Hall said Monday.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1643 on: January 10, 2020, 01:26:05 AM »
Another day, another coal plant retirement.

https://www.denverpost.com/2020/01/09/tri-state-coal-plants-closing/

Quote
Under fire for use of coal, Tri-State to accelerate closure of plants, mine in Colorado and New Mexico
Tri-State says closures of 2 plants, 1 mine are part of its new energy plan; critics want to see more

By Judith Kohler | The Denver Post
PUBLISHED: January 9, 2020

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, increasingly under pressure from its members and renewable energy advocates for its reliance on coal, plans to close two of its coal-fired power plants and a coal mine in Colorado and New Mexico.

Tri-State said Thursday that it will close the Escalante Station in northwest New Mexico by the end of this year. It intends to close its operations at the Craig Station plant in Craig and at the Colowyo Mine in northwest Colorado by 2030.

The earlier-than-planned closures are part of the utility’s larger Responsible Energy Plan, Tri-State CEO Duane Highley said in a call with reporters. He said Tri-State will release details Jan. 15 about adding more renewable energy to its system and meeting state goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Quote
Proposals for new renewable projects are coming “in at such a low rate” that Tri-State might be able to offset some of the costs of closing down the coal plants and mine, Highley added.

Last year, the Westminster-based wholesale power provider shut down its Nucla coal plant in western Colorado, ahead of plans to close it in 2022. It previously had said it will close one unit of the Craig plant by the end of 2025.

Quote
The original closing dates for the plants were: Craig Unit 2, 2038; Craig Unit 3, 2044; and Escalante, 2045.






Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1644 on: January 10, 2020, 01:31:50 AM »
Indonesia is slashing coal production in an attempt to keep prices from falling too low.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-09/indonesia-plans-to-cut-coal-output-to-bolster-prices-revenue

Quote
Indonesia Plans to Cut Coal Output to Bolster Prices, Revenue
By Eko Listiyorini
January 9, 2020

Indonesia ordered coal miners to slash output after record production and exports from the world’s largest shipper last year weighed on prices and state revenue.

The government has set the production target at 550 million metric tons this year, 9.8% below the 610 million tons in 2019, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday. Domestic consumption of the fuel is seen jumping 12% to 155 million tons, he said.

Quote
Coal prices in Indonesia slumped 28% last year, tumbling for a third year, as a global economic slowdown curbed demand. The decline in prices also hurt government revenue and contributed to a widening trade deficit in the Southeast Asian nation as coal remains the largest export earner.

No mention of renewables in that article.  Blamed the decline on natural gas in the US, climate change concerns in Europe and a global economic slowdown.

Sigmetnow

  • Multi-year ice
  • Posts: 16579
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 621
  • Likes Given: 263
Re: Coal
« Reply #1645 on: January 14, 2020, 10:11:10 PM »
U.S.:  Kentucky.  Pike County miners are blocking a train loaded with coal from leaving a mine in Kimper.

"Somebody's gotta stand up": Miners block coal from leaving Pike County after weeks without pay
Jan 13, 2020 Updated Tuesday
KIMPER, Ky.
Quote
About a dozen miners are still on the tracks in Kimper Tuesday, enduring the rainy weather as they demand the pay they are owed.

About 50 employees claim they have not been paid since mid-December.

"I'm starving. I about lost everything I own and I'm tired of it," said one miner. "Somebody's gotta stand up to these guys and I guess it's us."
https://www.wymt.com/content/news/Miners-block-coal-from-leaving-Pike-County-mine-after-weeks-without-pay-566949851.html
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1646 on: January 16, 2020, 01:17:04 AM »
Kansas has given up plans to build a new coal plant.  I believe this was the last new coal-fired power plant being planned in the US.

https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article239319253.html

Quote
Kansas energy company abandons plans for $2.2 billion coal power plant
By Chance Swaim and Jonathan Shorman
January 15, 2020

Two companies that battled for more than a decade to expand coal power in Kansas say they’ve abandoned their plans to build a $2.2 billion coal-fired power plant.

Sunflower Electric Power Corp., based in Hays, announced Wednesday that it will let its air permit for a proposed coal-fired plant in Holcomb expire in March, signaling an end to a project that drawn criticism from environmentalists. It was first blocked by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in 2007 and then cleared for construction by the Kansas Supreme Court in 2017.

But during that time, coal fell out of favor for environmental and economic reasons. It has been on a decline nationwide for at least a decade as public concerns about coal’s contribution to climate change have risen. At the same time, competing energy sources, such as cheaper natural gas and heavily-subsidized solar and wind energy, have taken off. The Kansas plant would have been the first one brought online in the United States since 2015.

Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 3267
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 521
  • Likes Given: 230
Re: Coal
« Reply #1647 on: January 16, 2020, 04:25:48 AM »
Quote
heavily-subsidized solar and wind energy,
really?
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

kassy

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1212
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 647
  • Likes Given: 492
Re: Coal
« Reply #1648 on: January 16, 2020, 02:45:26 PM »
What narrative do you think the Kansas press would usually push?

Nice block by Sebelius though.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Ken Feldman

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 985
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 129
  • Likes Given: 110
Re: Coal
« Reply #1649 on: January 17, 2020, 01:16:15 AM »
Yes, it's interesting how some news articles still push the myth that wind and solar are more heavily subsidized than fossil fuels or nuclear.  However, the utilities that have to supply the power know the real economic situation, and increasingly they're retiring coal plants and building new solar or wind to replace them.

Even when they don't retire the coal power plant entirely, they're idling them more and using the free power from wind and solar.

https://www.eenews.net/stories/1062072877

Quote
Many utilities have a 'must-run' policy. One broke the rule
Benjamin Storrow, E&E News reporter Climatewire: Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Xcel Energy Inc. once ran its coal plants regardless of whether they made money. In the past, the practice made sense. Coal plants were usually in the black. But these days, the Minneapolis-based power company has so much wind, it is planning to idle some of its coal plants for large parts of the year.

The change has the potential to provide a rare win for climate hawks: a move that promises significant consumer savings and immediate emissions reductions. Xcel estimates that idling two Minnesota coal units in the spring and fall will save $55 million over the next three years and cut carbon emissions by about 5 million tons annually.

"This is the emissions equivalent of shutting down a few years early," said Joe Daniel, a power sector analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. "I don't want to say this is the destination. But this helps create a track to a smooth transition and ramp down some of these power plants."

Quote
Ameren Corp., a St. Louis-based utility, told regulators there that it didn't make sense to shut down a coal plant one day and turn it on the next to reflect daily fluctuations in power prices. Turning coal plants on and off is time-consuming, costly and taxing on equipment. It's better, Ameren reasoned, to keep the plant running through a period of low pricing to capture higher prices later.

A similar story has unfolded in Minnesota, where regulators asked power companies for three years of self-commitment data. Xcel initially defended the practice, telling the state Public Utility Commission that market revenues exceeded production costs by more than $500 million in recent years (Energywire, June 11, 2019).

But in a filing last month, the company struck a different tone. Xcel said it would no longer classify two of its coal units as must run, and would instead operate them only when it made financial sense. The company then went a step further. Since it is not economically sound to operate the plants for much of the year, it proposed that regulators allow Xcel to idle the units in the spring and fall.

Quote
Those two units emitted a combined 8 million tons of carbon in 2018, according to EPA data. Moving to seasonal operations would cut emissions by about 5 million tons annually, according to Xcel's projections, a roughly 60% reduction in carbon dioxide levels.

Xcel also expects the move would save $35 million in fuel costs, $13 million in operations and maintenance, and $7 million in capital spending between 2020 and 2023.