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gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1650 on: January 17, 2020, 01:59:30 PM »
Germany phasing out coal

Is half a loaf better than none?


You read the headline and think - super!
You read on and see maybe coal phased out by 2035.
You read on and wonder if there is a plan and the resources committed to expand wind and solar and battery storage to do it.
It feels more like the stately progress of Government than a response to an emergency/crisis.

If this announcement was 10 years ago with 10 year earlier dates, then yes, great.
But as the frog in the saucepan of hot water said, " I would rather you switched the heat off than just boiling me more slowly".

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/16/germany-will-pay-billions-to-speed-up-coal-fired-power-plant-shutdowns
Germany will pay billions to speed up coal-fired power plant shutdowns
In fight against climate crisis, operators will be compensated for early switch-offs

Quote
The government said reviews will be carried out in 2026 and 2029 to determine whether Germany can exit coal-fired electricity generation in 2035, three years before the final deadline.

Environmental campaigners criticised the decision, though, noting that the agreement will still mean a new coal-fired plant – Datteln 4 – goes online this year and allow for the expansion of the Garzweiler opencast mine in western Germany, although a nearby forest that has been the target of long-running protests will be spared.

Eric Schweitzer, who heads the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, said a key question is how the electricity currently coming from coal-fired power plants will be replaced. The government has set a target of generating 65% of Germany’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 08:04:05 PM by gerontocrat »
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kassy

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1651 on: January 17, 2020, 02:14:33 PM »
You can´t always Wir schaffen es on everything...  ::)

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

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1652 on: January 17, 2020, 07:01:24 PM »
How strong are the coal miner unions in Germany?  Do corporate donations to election campaigns play as big a role in German elections as they do in the US?

You see some states in the US (Ohio for example) where crass political considerations lead to subsidies to keep coal (and nuclear) power plants running when they would otherwise be replaced by cheaper renewables as they are in neighboring states (like Indiana).  What's the excuse in Germany?

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1653 on: January 17, 2020, 08:10:58 PM »
You can´t always Wir schaffen es on everything...  ::)
But what we need is less "Wir schaffen es" (we can do it) and more" Wir werden es tun" (we will do it)

Don't blame me if the translation is crap (mist?).
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
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GrauerMausling

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1654 on: January 18, 2020, 08:31:23 AM »
How strong are the coal miner unions in Germany?  Do corporate donations to election campaigns play as big a role in German elections as they do in the US?

You see some states in the US (Ohio for example) where crass political considerations lead to subsidies to keep coal (and nuclear) power plants running when they would otherwise be replaced by cheaper renewables as they are in neighboring states (like Indiana).  What's the excuse in Germany?

Tricky question...
The union is the IG BCE, which is industry union (Industrie Gewerkschaft) for mining (Bergbau), energy (Energie) and chemical industry (Chemie). This is a fairly influential union as such, but the number of miners is fairly small. On the other hand they are very well organized and have seats on the board of the companies. Ages ago I worked in the coal mining industry and attended some contract negotiations between the company and the union as a works council member. This was quite an experience.

I rather blame it on the electrical energy oligopoly with 4 major player in Germany where at least for one of those (RWE) the state (the cities) hold a lot of the shares - this was founded by the cities in the Ruhr area. RWE is the company running the lignite plants in western Germany. They are struggling to get their business model adjusted to renewables as they always relied on centralized huge power plants. Also, these companies offer a lot of well paid positions for retired politicians....

 

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1655 on: January 18, 2020, 08:56:57 AM »
You can´t always Wir schaffen es on everything...  ::)
But what we need is less "Wir schaffen es" (we can do it) and more "Wir werden es tun" (we will do it)

Don't blame me if the translation is crap (mist?).
"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 #1656 on: January 21, 2020, 08:23:55 PM »
Projections for coal use for electrical generation in the US are between none (with carbon taxes) and 11%.

https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/56496107

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     13 Jan, 2020
US power generators set for another big year in coal plant closures in 2020

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"I would say, overall, utilities seem pretty keen to retire coal … sooner rather than later," Scotia Capital (USA) Inc. analyst Andrew Weisel said in a Jan. 8 phone interview. "I think that a lot of companies, from an investor perspective, they are very focused on [environmental, social and governance]. So, there is a generic interest, not to mention it is what their customers want."

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC forecast in a December 2019 report that about 70,000 MW to as much as 190,000 MW of coal-fired generation is "economically at risk" from the deployment of a "second wave of renewables" in the U.S. The research firm said these projections exclude about 24,000 MW of coal generation already set to shut down.

"[W]e believe that carbon-heavy utilities that have not historically led the pack in clean energy deployment will accelerate their earnings growth by pursuing a 'virtuous cycle': shutting down expensive coal plants and investing in cheap renewables," the analysts wrote.



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Moody's Investors Service projected coal could make up as little as 11% of U.S. power generation by 2030 based on scheduled and likely coal retirements alone. Similarly, Morgan Stanley projected under a base-case scenario that coal-fired electricity will decline from 27% of the total U.S. power mix in 2018 to just 8% by 2030.

If lawmakers roll out policies to limit carbon dioxide emissions, coal plant retirements could even outpace analysts' current projections.

"The big dynamic, but this would likely require a Democrat Senate as well as a Democrat president, would be carbon pricing," Morgan Stanley analyst Stephen Byrd said in a December 2019 interview. "That was one thing, I guess it surprised me a little bit, but when we ran the numbers even at a price of say, $20 a ton, that would cause [almost] every coal plant in our model to screen uneconomic."


rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1657 on: January 26, 2020, 12:33:48 AM »
A variable here is the future of the fracking revolution in the US, as we may be reaching the limit of investor patience in the never-going-to-make-money fracking industry. If that happens, then US gas production could fall and raise the historically low gas prices. That could spur a short-term switch from gas to coal based on price, especially for coal plants with low utilization rates. May be short-term (2-3 years) until renewables offset it, but could produce another hiccup in the transition.

The Great American Shale Oil & Gas Bust: Fracking Gushes Bankruptcies, Defaulted Debt, and Worthless Shares

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/01/22/the-great-american-shale-oil-gas-bust-fracking-gushes-bankruptcies-defaulted-debt-and-worthless-shares/

If Bernie wins, and follows through with his promise to ban fracking the immediate result would be a jump in domestic NG prices and a jump in coal use. The road of good intentions is through a minefield it seems sometimes ....

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/climate-change/fracking-ban/


Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1658 on: January 27, 2020, 06:45:57 PM »
The soonest that a new Administration will take office will be January 20, 2021.  Even if they issue an Executive Order to ban fracking on that day, it would take months for the Federal Agency to publish the new rules and then it will be years for the courts to resolve the issues.  (Notice that very few of the current President's proposed regulations has taken effect yet as most are still mired in the courts).

And in the meantime, wind and solar continue to get cheaper.  The fossil fuel plants run less frequently as the new renewables come on line.  With the lower capacity factors, the utilities decide to retire the coal and natural gas plants as soon as the new renewables can be built.

I don't see a new Presidential Administration changing that cycle, however much the fossil fuel moguls wish that it were so.

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1659 on: January 27, 2020, 08:53:00 PM »
The fossil fuels (oil and gas) moguls will hate a ban on fracking, as it will require a massive write down of their assets. The coal industry is small vs oil and gas, so the overall impact of a fracking ban will be very bad for the FF industry (including all the oil and gas services companies).

I see this as a "hiccup" for the energy transition, not a derailment. Life is full of such "hiccups" that slow things down.

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1660 on: January 27, 2020, 09:10:34 PM »
If Bernie wins, and follows through with his promise to ban fracking the immediate result would be a jump in domestic NG prices and a jump in coal use. The road of good intentions is through a minefield it seems sometimes ....
When a coal mine is shut, the machinery is taken away (sold as scrap?), probably (for mines not open-cast) even the pumps that keep water and methane out and pump clean air in.

Chances of re-opening a coal mine low.

Probably the same for retired coal powered electricity generation plants.

No fracking must mean imported LNG - much of it produced by fracking (not in the USA). It would save the international market as Bloomberg is predicting a massive surge in world LNG production.

And if fracking is banned,say goodbye to domestic Oil Production. Anyway, Corporate Democrats wouldn't let domestic Oil & Gas production be squashed.
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1661 on: January 27, 2020, 10:24:39 PM »
I think that you are right about the corporate democrats gerontocrat, it would take two Bernie terms for him to be able to get a democratic party that would be an ally rather than an enemy.

On coal-fired generating plants, I think that the big variable is utilization rates. Like the ones in India and China, if they have low utilizations rates then a lot more coal can be burnt without adding a single new plant.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1662 on: January 27, 2020, 10:56:02 PM »
About 70% of the coal burned in US power plants is shipped from the mines by rail.  Railroad companies are already making plans for reducing the amount of coal cars in their fleets.  They're hoping that an overseas buyer will take them.

https://www.railwayage.com/freight/class-i/is-saving-coal-a-fools-errand/

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January 27, 2020
Is Saving Coal a Fool’s Errand?
Written by Jim Blaze

There is a great deal of passion about coal as a railroad commodity. Some suggest that the railroads have been in denial about coal’s decline as a business sector. Yet, I bore witness to an awareness of the risks of the coal decline a long time ago.

Coal’s declining role was seen by two railroads about 25 years ago. It was a footnoted statistical analysis that only a few strategic rail planners saw as prudent due diligence.



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If we look closely at Figure 1, we can see a small change in the slope of actual coal traffic growth. It occurred roughly between 1988 and 1995. It wasn’t very big. It was later offset by a rapid upslope pattern into 2006. The temporary slowing could easily be dismissed since the rate of growth then increased. In other words, it was easy to ignore the change. But for a long-life-asset sector like railroading, the return to higher growth from areas like the Powder River Basin seemed reassuring. Why worry?

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Jumping ahead in time, prior to about 2010, several things were occurring. Little of this was front-page news. In 2000, coal-fired power plants generated more than half of U.S. electricity. Why worry in 2000? After all, new coal-fired plants were on the drawing board, and coal was usually the cheapest source of energy when converted to price per kilowatt hour of domestic electricity. But across the U.S., electric power companies began to slowly move away from coal. Who foresaw that coal-fired electricity would drop from about 52% in 2000 toward less than 25% by 2020?

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For the railroads, the impact is that customers are shifting away from coal-fired, rail-supplied power stations. Between 2010-2019, some estimate that more than 500 coal-fired power stations were closed or announced as closing soon. Most were or are supplied with coal by rail. The drop translates to the range of 100 gigawatts of electric generating power that was at one time powered by rail-delivered coal.

Rail-hauled coal probably will not recover those market location losses. One reason is that once a power station converts its boilers to natural gas (or even to oil), it is too expensive to redesign and/or replace those modernized units—not without a subsidy or a radical and unexpected coal technology breakthrough (i.e. so-called “clean coal”).

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The volume of coal hauled by rail is unlikely to return to pre-2010 levels. No one is predicting that. This has a continuing impact upon the railroad car fleet and its replacement rate. The Big Seven Class I railroads have managed to survive the coal losses, and even improve their financial results, mostly by rationalizing their physical assets, storing locomotives and coal hopper and gondola cars, and cutting the size of their workforces. The decline in coal has created a virtual parking lot of used coal gondolas hoppers that are in good condition. These excess railcars are a potential bargain for international coal shippers that could use the railcars on foreign standard-gauge railroads. For a little more the scrap price, plus shipping charges, a foreign railway can buy railcars with perhaps 25 years of remaining life. That’s a great deal, since new railcars cost more than $100,000 each.


gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1663 on: January 28, 2020, 08:18:23 PM »
The  US Monthly Energy Review from the EIA is here, mostly data to October 2019

https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/

COAL production (but not consumption) data to December 2019

The 12 month trailing average of monthly production is attached. The acceleration in closure of mines and coal fired electricity generation is recent, so the 12 month trailing average does not fully reflect the 15% drop in coal production in December 2019 compared with December 2018.

But it looks like the Trump effect is now totally dissipated - the only way now is DOWN.
 
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1664 on: January 31, 2020, 05:25:24 AM »
With natural gas prices near 10 year lows this could accelerate even faster downwards. Nothing like a not so cold winter and fracking production to drive down NG prices.

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1665 on: February 02, 2020, 06:08:57 PM »
The coal industry fights back....


https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/coal-is-not-going-anywhere/
Coal is not going anywhere
in Commodity News 31/01/2020
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The coal sector is living under the constant threat of being blamed by environmentalists as being responsible for a world disaster called global warming.

Cliques are telling industry and government to change and adopt the ‘new energy economy’ or as America’s infamous politician and activist Alexandra Ocasio Cortez calls it, ‘The New Energy Deal’.

She states that the only solution to avoid devastation to the world is to accept that renewable energy is the way to go for all energy needs, given that it is becoming so cheap, and so fast that the move to a world that no longer needs oil, natural gas, or coal is unavoidable.

By Xavier Prévost, senior coal analyst at XMP Consulting

The industry’s answer is, as Lars Schernikau puts in:

• Coal’s importance will further increase in absolute and relative terms for decades to come
• Man-made CO₂ has no effect on global temperatures and combustion of fossil fuels does not influence the weather
• We cannot stop the advance of coal; we can only make this process as environmentally sustainable as humanly possible


The Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) in “The Future of Coal” 2007 states:

“Coal is likely to remain an important source of energy in any conceivable future energy scenario. Accordingly, our priority actions are to reduce the CO₂ emissions that coal use produces.”

But the price of Australia's Thermal Coal drops some more last December......
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1666 on: February 03, 2020, 09:18:43 PM »
Raw Data: Coal and Renewable Energy Production in China - Mother Jones

China's coal production is five times that of the US, and hit a new peak in 2019. The US reducing coal use by about 5% a year can be offset by a 1% increase in Chinese coal use.

Quote
That’s likely a new record for 2019. China also produces about one-third of the world’s total of solar and wind power, but it’s still a drop in the bucket compared to coal. China’s coal production in 2019 was more than five times that of the next biggest country: the United States, at 0.36 billion tonnes of oil equivalent.

There's a nice graph in the Mother Jones article.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/01/raw-data-coal-and-renewable-production-in-china/


Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1667 on: February 03, 2020, 10:50:09 PM »
Another one bites the dust.

https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2020/feb/03/tva-shutters-last-unit-kentucky-coal-plant/514736/

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TVA shutters last unit at Kentucky coal plant
February 3rd, 2020 | by Dave Flessner

The Tennessee Valley Authority shut down the last operating unit at its Paradise Fossil Plant in Western Kentucky over the weekend, ending nearly 57 years of coal-fired generation at was once one of the largest coal plants in TVA's fleet.

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Despite opposition from President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the TVA board voted 5-2 last February to retire the last Paradise unit, along with the Bull Run Steam Plant near Oak Ridge by 2023.

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TVA has already shut down 32 of the 59 coal-fired units it once operated, cutting the share of its power generated by burning coal from nearly two-thirds of TVA's generation in the 1980s to less than 20 percent today.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1668 on: February 03, 2020, 11:02:04 PM »
Indonesia will remove all coal plants 20 years and older and replace them with renewables. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-power-coal/indonesia-plans-to-replace-old-coal-power-plants-with-renewable-plants-minister-idUSKBN1ZT17N

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January 30, 2020
Indonesia plans to replace old coal power plants with renewable plants: minister

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian government plans to remove old coal-fired power plants with plants using renewable energy, the country’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif said on Thursday.

He said the country will replace coal power plants aged 20 years and older.

“Perusahaan Listrik Negara is taking inventory of those plants that will be replaced by renewable energy plants,” Tasrif said, referring to state electricity utility company.

He said the government may replace up to 69 units of coal-fired power plants and coal gas-fired power plants, with a combined power capacity of over 11,000 megawatts of electricity, he said.

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1669 on: February 03, 2020, 11:16:02 PM »
Indonesia will remove all coal plants 20 years and older and replace them with renewables. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-power-coal/indonesia-plans-to-replace-old-coal-power-plants-with-renewable-plants-minister-idUSKBN1ZT17N

Quote
January 30, 2020
Indonesia plans to replace old coal power plants with renewable plants: minister

JAKARTA (Reuters) -
He said the government may replace up to 69 units of coal-fired power plants and coal gas-fired power plants, with a combined power capacity of over 11,000 megawatts of electricity, he said.

Indonesia has about 60,000 MW of electricity capacity overall, so replacing 11,000 MW of coal with renewables would be a big deal.

edmountain

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1670 on: February 03, 2020, 11:41:14 PM »
^Colour me skeptical: later on in the same article it also says "Coal, however, is still expected to make up the majority of Indonesia’s power mix, at least up until 2028." So much for starting today.

Also, just the day before Reuters described how the very same Indonesian minister was busy incentivizing the coal industry:

Quote
Indonesia to set cheaper coal prices for future gasification plants - minister

JAKARTA, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Indonesia plans to set cheaper prices for coal to be sold to future gasification facilities as part of incentives for investors, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif told reporters on Thursday.

The government is promoting the development of the coal gasification industry to take advantage of Indonesia’s large coal output and is offering incentives to attract investments.

...

https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL4N29Z396

edmountain

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1671 on: February 04, 2020, 08:11:47 PM »
A New York Times article released yesterday describing Japan's move towards coal instead of away from it has been widely picked up.

Quote
Japan to build up to 22 new coal power plants despite climate emergency

Just beyond the windows of Satsuki Kanno’s apartment overlooking Tokyo Bay, a behemoth from a bygone era will soon rise: a coal-burning power plant, part of a buildup of coal power that is unheard of in an advanced economy.

It is one unintended consequence of the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost a decade ago, which forced Japan to all but close its nuclear power program. Japan now plans to build as many as 22 new coal-burning power plants - one of the dirtiest sources of electricity - at 17 different sites in the next five years, just at a time when the world needs to slash carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

...
Source: The New York Times via The Independent
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-new-coal-power-plant-climate-change-tokyo-a9316271.html

BeeKnees

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1672 on: February 05, 2020, 08:46:29 PM »
UK are looking to move phase out of coal a year earlier to 2024.
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/end-of-coal-power-to-be-brought-forward-in-drive-towards-net-zero.

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The deadline for the phase-out of coal from Britain’s energy system is planned to be brought forward a year to 1 October 2024, the Prime Minister has announced today (4 February 2020) in a speech to launch COP26.

The government will consult on bringing the deadline for ending unabated coal forward from 2025 to 2024, part of its drive to go further and faster on decarbonising the power sector, as it works towards net zero by 2050.


be cause

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1673 on: February 05, 2020, 09:47:20 PM »
^^ really .. an hour ago  Ch 4 news report on plans to open a mine in Cumbria , employing 500 miners and 2000 support and other jobs . Claiming carbon neutrality is one bizarre variation from the coal mining norm . b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 + 2 = 2021 
 (phew)

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1674 on: February 05, 2020, 10:16:25 PM »
There are only four coal fired generating plants left in the UK, producing less than 1% of the electricity.

Two of them are at Drax, where four ex coal fired units now burn "renewable" wood pellets, so perhaps they will just convert the remaining two to wood pellets - which may very well be worse for climate change than burning coal.

https://www.ft.com/content/73fb5f9e-4665-11ea-aeb3-955839e06441

BeeKnees

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1675 on: February 06, 2020, 12:04:21 AM »
^^ really .. an hour ago  Ch 4 news report on plans to open a mine in Cumbria , employing 500 miners and 2000 support and other jobs . Claiming carbon neutrality is one bizarre variation from the coal mining norm . b.c.

The mine is for coke in the production of steel. 

The sooner the hydrogen powered foundries become mainstream the better

Drax has already applied to convert remaining coal to gas.
https://www.energylivenews.com/2019/10/07/uk-government-approves-drax-gas-conversion-plans-in-yorkshire/

bluice

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1676 on: February 08, 2020, 09:09:12 AM »
A New York Times article released yesterday describing Japan's move towards coal instead of away from it has been widely picked up.

Quote
Japan to build up to 22 new coal power plants despite climate emergency

Just beyond the windows of Satsuki Kanno’s apartment overlooking Tokyo Bay, a behemoth from a bygone era will soon rise: a coal-burning power plant, part of a buildup of coal power that is unheard of in an advanced economy.

It is one unintended consequence of the Fukushima nuclear disaster almost a decade ago, which forced Japan to all but close its nuclear power program. Japan now plans to build as many as 22 new coal-burning power plants - one of the dirtiest sources of electricity - at 17 different sites in the next five years, just at a time when the world needs to slash carbon dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

...
Source: The New York Times via The Independent
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/japan-new-coal-power-plant-climate-change-tokyo-a9316271.html
This is the real Fukushima disaster: a massive recarbonization of a large and relatively low carbon economy.
In PIOMAS we trust

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1677 on: February 10, 2020, 09:26:13 PM »
As some posters have noted, I've been pretty optimistic about the rate of coal's decline.  However, I didn't see this coming.  (Cross posted from the oil & gas thread with a different emphasis).

Natural gas prices have been very low, which means that gas producers can't make money and bankruptcies have been increasing in the gas industry.  However, a lot of the gas is produced as a by-product from fracked oil wells, so the oil producers are going to keep producing it, no matter how low the gas price goes, because they need to sell oil to pay off their investors.

That means, the price of natural gas will continue to decrease.  This is not good news for coal.

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Gas-Prices/Gasmaggedon-Sweeps-Over-Global-Gas-Market.html

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“Gasmaggedon” Sweeps Over Global Gas Market
By Nick Cunningham - Feb 05, 2020

Quote
LNG prices have already plunged to their lowest levels in a decade in Asia as the ramp up of supply in 2019 came at a time when demand has slowed. That was true before the outbreak of the coronavirus. But the quarantine of around 50 million people and the shutdown of huge swathes of the Chinese economy has sent shockwaves through commodity markets.

Quote
Prices were already in the dumps. JKM prices recently fell to 10-year lows. But they have continued to decline, approaching $3/MMBtu for the first time in history. Just a few weeks ago, JKM prices were trading at around $5/MMBtu, itself an incredibly low price for this time of year.

LNG exports from the U.S. are uneconomical at these price levels. Many exporters have contracts at fixed, higher prices. But shipments can be cancelled for a fee. And any spot trade would be hit hard. The question now is whether shipments will come to halt. “Forward prices for summer are now at levels where U.S. LNG shut-ins begin to seem viable,” Edmund Siau, a Singapore-based analyst with energy consultant FGE, told Bloomberg. “There is usually a lead time before a cargo can be canceled, and we expect actual supply curtailments to start happening in summer.”

Quote
The investment bank calls the U.S. Midwest power sector is the “true market of last resort,” which means that U.S. gas prices have to fall to such low depths that coal-fired power plants are forced offline in their last redoubt – the Midwest.

“We believe the US cannot sustain reduced LNG exports this summer,” Bank of America warned. “Therefore, US natural gas prices might have to go low enough to stimulate sufficient Midwest power sector natural gas demand to balance the entire global gas market.”


vox_mundi

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1678 on: February 10, 2020, 10:32:53 PM »
Silver lining? ...

Mongolia Suspends Coal Exports to China Until March 2 Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/02/10/coronavirus-latest-updates-china-hubei.html

Mongolia has suspended deliveries of coal across its southern border into China until March 2, Reuters reported Monday, citing the country's National Emergency Commission.

The move is designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, with the commission also recommending the country suspend its Tsagaan Sar Lunar New Year celebrations later this month.

Mongolia has not yet reported any cases of the coronavirus.

---------------------------

I expect Australia will be taking the next hit.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1679 on: February 13, 2020, 04:34:26 PM »
U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions lowered in 2019: report
February 11, 2020
Quote
Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. fell 2.9 percent last year, according to a report published Tuesday.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) found that the U.S. decline was the largest, at 140 million tonnes, of any country. It also noted that since 2000, U.S. emissions have decreased nearly one gigatonne.

"A 15% reduction in the use of coal for power generation underpinned the decline in overall US emissions in 2019," the report said.

Globally, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions flatlined at about 33 gigatonnes following two years of increases.

The IEA attributed that to fewer emissions from the power sector in advanced economies because of "the expanding role of renewable sources" as well as "fuel switching from coal to natural gas and higher nuclear power output."
https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/482601-us-energy-related-carbon-dioxide-emissions-lowered-in-2019-report
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1680 on: February 14, 2020, 02:33:21 AM »
Coal industry closures were a surprise to Wyoming legislators.  Their attempted solution:  require fossil fuel use and penalize renewables.

Bill to penalize utilities for renewable energy returns to Wyoming Legislature, quickly fails
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Wyoming lawmakers proposed a bill this week that would have penalized utility companies for using renewable energy sources to supply electricity to ratepayers.

Sponsored by the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senate File 125 would have required energy utilities to provide 95 percent of their electricity from a restricted list of energy sources by 2021 and 100 percent by 2022. The list included coal, oil and natural gas — the state's primary economic engines — but notably omitted utility-scale wind and solar power. Under the bill, if a utility had chosen to invest in renewable energy sources, the state could have penalized the company with a fine for each megawatt of energy not produced from the sources deemed acceptable.

“Essentially there's a penalty if you’re relying on renewable energy,” said Shannon Anderson, an attorney with Powder River Basin Resource Council, a landowners group supporting the expansion of solar energy in the state.

The bill did not receive sufficient votes Thursday morning to advance. But it's one of several bills drafted during the first week of the Equality State's session in an attempt to inject more life into the state's coal industry and beat back utilities' steady divestment away from coal.

“The bill is a statement of support for our (coal) industry,” University of Wyoming economist Rob Godby said. “We are now looking at significant disruption of local communities based on coal-fired power plant closures."

It's not the first time the bill has been in the spotlight. In 2017, Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs, sponsored a similar bill, but his draft legislation quickly flopped.

In October, the state’s largest utility company forecast a somber future for its two dozen coal units pumping out electricity. The company, PacifiCorp, plans to retire two-thirds of its coal fleet by 2030, including units at Naughton in Kemmerer, Jim Bridger near Rock Springs and Dave Johnston in Glenrock.

"To be honest, the state of Wyoming was kind of caught flat-footed when those closures were announced," Godby said. "It just hadn’t been something that had ever been imagined here.”
...
https://trib.com/business/energy/bill-to-penalize-utilities-for-renewable-energy-returns-to-wyoming/article_aafdd7cd-5012-5b8d-bf94-28341cea657f.amp.html
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1681 on: February 15, 2020, 09:12:57 PM »
Nifty animated graph of Great Britain Electricity Sources, 1920 to 2019 at the link.
The rapidity of change is striking.
https://twitter.com/ainekoskitten/status/1228727547854229504
Image below.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1682 on: February 16, 2020, 06:58:45 PM »
Wyoming lawmakers proposed a bill this week that would have penalized utility companies for using renewable energy sources to supply electricity to ratepayers.

We are too stupid to avoid extinction. My only regret is we are driving a huge number of species to extinction as well and they have done nothing to deserve their fate.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1683 on: February 18, 2020, 04:46:37 PM »
coal consumption in China is currently 1/2 what it was before the 'holidays' . If this continues the missing pollution may add to this summer's heat 'up north' . b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 + 2 = 2021 
 (phew)

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1684 on: February 19, 2020, 10:11:16 PM »
Renewables are making a dent in India's demand for coal.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/productline/power-generation/indias-annual-coal-power-output-falls-for-first-time-in-a-decade/articleshow/74187767.cms

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India's annual coal power output falls for first time in a decade
While greater adoption of renewable energy contributed to lower output from coal-fired utilities, weak economic growth added to a slowdown in overall demand for electricity, economists say.
Reuters|
Last Updated: Feb 18, 2020

BAMBOLIM, Goa, India: India's annual electricity generation from coal-fired utilities fell in 2019 for the first time in a decade, government data showed, amid a broader economic slowdown and increased use of renewable energy.

Quote
Seeking to expedite clean energy as some coal-fired power plants face closure, Asia's third-largest economy has set a target to raise renewable energy capacity to 175 gigawatts by 2022.

Solar energy output rose by over a quarter while wind energy generation rose 5 per cent, the data showed. The contribution of solar and wind energy to India's overall energy generation rose to 8.8 per cent, more than double their share of 3.6 per cent in 2015.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1685 on: February 19, 2020, 10:19:34 PM »
In the US, utilities can make money by building new renewables and shutting down operating coal.  Investment firm Morgan Stanley has found 47 GW of coal power production in the US that is expected to be uneconomic by 2024.

https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/morgan-stanley-64b-capex-upside-for-utilities-replacing-coal-with-renewables-56987725

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Morgan Stanley: $64B capex upside for utilities replacing coal with renewables

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC sees a $64 billion spending opportunity on top of double-digit earnings accretion for more than a dozen utilities that decide to retire uneconomic coal plants and replace them with cheaper renewables by 2025.

"We compared the costs of operating each coal plant against our state-by-state forecasts of renewables costs across 13 stocks and identified [47,000 MW] of coal capacity that will become more expensive than renewables by 2024," Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a recent research report. "We estimate this represents a capex opportunity of [$64 billion] and earnings accretion for the stocks we cover of up to 14% in 2025."

Quote
AEP has the "largest capex opportunity" at $17.2 billion with 14% earnings accretion in 2025, or $16 per share, the analysis shows.

While AEP owns 12,400 MW of regulated coal generation across 26 units, the Ohio utility is not expected to retire any additional capacity in the near to medium term. However, Morgan Stanley's estimates show AEP has 11,700 MW of coal that will be "uneconomic by 2024" given the economics of wind generation in Indiana, Ohio, Texas and West Virginia.

"We see an opportunity for the company to accelerate the transition away from coal given the utilities' service territory, which benefit from favorable renewable energy economics," analysts wrote in the Jan. 29 report.

Quote
Morgan Stanley pointed out that it is likely utilities such as Ameren, Dominion, CenterPoint Energy Inc. and Pinnacle West will outline accelerated coal plant retirements and increased renewable investments when they file integrated resource plans with state regulators in the coming months.


Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1686 on: March 11, 2020, 01:55:41 PM »
U.S. Coal-Fired Power Plants Hit a Milestone in Reduced Operation
Quote
Coal-fired power plants are retreating from the market in at least two big ways. One is hard to miss: Many plants are closing. The other is more subtle: Remaining plants are running much less often than before.

Newly released figures from the Energy Information Administration show that coal plants in the United States had a "capacity factor" of 47.5 percent in 2019, the first time it's been below 50 percent in decades of available records. This means that the total electricity production from the country's roughly 310 remaining coal plants was less than half of what it would have been, had every plant operated every hour at full capacity.

The percentage is remarkably low considering that coal plants also are closing at a rapid rate, which means the plants still operating are some of the most efficient and profitable. The fact that even these plants are being used less than they were shows fundamental changes in the economics of generating electricity, with coal losing ground even more than might be apparent from just looking at plant closings.

It also raises questions about why utilities aren't being more aggressive in closing coal plants. At least some of that reluctance is because companies are still paying off the costs of building the plants or of environmental retrofits, an obstacle some states are looking to address. ...
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07032020/coal-plant-closings-eia-clean-energy-transition
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FrostKing70

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1687 on: March 11, 2020, 03:12:36 PM »
Interesting.   Looking at the data at each end a little differently,

312,100 MW * 0.64 Utilization = 199,744 MW Generated

235,500 MW * 0.48 Utilization = 113,040 MW Generated.

113,040 / 199,744 = 56.6% generated last year compared to the first year in the chart

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1688 on: March 16, 2020, 09:03:28 PM »
Financial models show that by 2030 it will be uneconomic to run any coal power plant.

https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2020/3/14/21177941/climate-change-coal-renewable-energy

Quote
4 astonishing signs of coal’s declining economic viability
Coal is now a loser around the world.
By David Roberts
March 14, 2020

There has been no more dramatic story in the world of energy over the last 20 years than the rise and fall of coal.

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The results reveal that in the US and across the world, coal power is dying. By 2030, it will be uneconomic to run existing coal plants. That means all the dozens of coal plants on the drawing board today are doomed to become stranded assets.

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4 remarkable facts about coal’s declining health

So let’s walk through the four big findings.

1. It is already cheaper to build new renewables than to build new coal plants, in all major markets.

Just two years ago, in 2018, Carbon Tracker did a similar analysis and concluded that new renewable energy would undercut new coal in all major markets by 2025. “Using updated data from publicly available sources,” it concludes in this year’s report, “we now believe these conclusions are too conservative.”

In fact, they say, new renewables are cheaper than new coal plants in all major markets ... today.



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2. Over half the existing global coal fleet is more expensive to run than building new renewables.

Quote
3. By 2030, it will be cheaper to build new renewables than to run existing coal — everywhere.

This is the real mind-blower: even in laggard markets, Carbon Tracker projects that coal power will cross the second threshold by 2030 at the latest.

In other words, within ten years, virtually every coal plant in the world will be uneconomic, producing power more expensive than what could be generated by new renewables. (And Carbon Tracker doesn’t even take into account the enormous costs of decommissioning and cleaning up after dead coal plants.)

There's a lot more detail in the article.  It's well worth reading.

blumenkraft

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1689 on: March 16, 2020, 09:13:51 PM »
I've read this Vox article yesterday and notices a very odd thing. They spend so many words but never mentioned subsidies... How can you possibly tell this story without doing this?
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Stephen

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1690 on: March 17, 2020, 04:11:41 AM »
Quote
By 2030, it will be cheaper to build new renewables than to run existing coal — everywhere.

This is the real mind-blower: even in laggard markets, Carbon Tracker projects that coal power will cross the second threshold by 2030 at the latest.

In other words, within ten years, virtually every coal plant in the world will be uneconomic, producing power more expensive than what could be generated by new renewables

I would question the logic here.  While renewables may become cheaper to build that does not mean that coal will be more expensive to buy.  For many old coal fired power stations the build cost has been paid for and written off therefore the owners only need to consider the running costs.  And if it's too expensive to decommission a coal fired power station then the owners might just decide that it is easier to keep it running.

Of course if CO2 producers had to pay the price of their emissions via a carbon tax then that changes everything.
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Re: Coal
« Reply #1691 on: March 17, 2020, 04:59:37 AM »
Quote
By 2030, it will be cheaper to build new renewables than to run existing coal — everywhere.

This is the real mind-blower: even in laggard markets, Carbon Tracker projects that coal power will cross the second threshold by 2030 at the latest.

In other words, within ten years, virtually every coal plant in the world will be uneconomic, producing power more expensive than what could be generated by new renewables

I would question the logic here.  While renewables may become cheaper to build that does not mean that coal will be more expensive to buy.  For many old coal fired power stations the build cost has been paid for and written off therefore the owners only need to consider the running costs.  And if it's too expensive to decommission a coal fired power station then the owners might just decide that it is easier to keep it running.

Of course if CO2 producers had to pay the price of their emissions via a carbon tax then that changes everything.

The running costs of a coal plant are higher than building renewables and operations costs in many markets. That is what they are saying. It is already the case in every market that building renewables and operations are cheaper than building coal and operations.

Stephen

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1692 on: March 17, 2020, 12:47:24 PM »

The running costs of a coal plant are higher than building renewables and operations costs in many markets. That is what they are saying. It is already the case in every market that building renewables and operations are cheaper than building coal and operations.

I wonder if those estimates of renewables costs also include the cost of new transmission infrastructure?  Here is Australia we have the huge problem, probably shared by many countries, that the transmission lines radiate out from the old coal fired power station locations.  In the state of Victoria that location is the Latrobe Valley in the south east where all the brown coal is. They transmit power directly west to the state capital where most of it is used then smaller lines take it north and west.

 But the big solar plants are being built in the 500 klm away in the north west (where the sun shines most) and most of the wind farms are in the south west near the coast (where the wind never stops).  There is at least one solar plant in the north west that can only deliver one third of its power because the transmission lines capable of taking the load just aren't there.  The state of NSW  has similar problems.  Meanwhile the state of South Australia, which has the most advanced renewable generation are busy building inter-connectors with Victoria and NSW to get their power to the eastern states.  Tasmania already have one undersea cable that can deliver Hydro power to the national grid under Bass Strait.  But poor old Western Australia is going to have to go it alone.  The Nullabor Plain is just too wide to cross.

So who pays for new distribution infrastructure? 
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blumenkraft

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1693 on: March 17, 2020, 12:58:26 PM »
big solar plants

This is the core problem with politics and the energy sector today.

Renewables are supposed to be decentralized. Those die-hard reactionaries can only think in 'big energy' terms.

Unless you need the power for an aluminum plant or something like that, there is no need for such big plants.
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bluice

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1694 on: March 17, 2020, 02:41:48 PM »
Fossil fuels enjoy large built-in inertia in the energy system. That's why it's not sufficient to generate a little bit cheaper electricity by wind or solar compared to coal or oil or gas. It has to be significantly cheaper to have an effect on emissions.

If we started from scratch today, I suppose nobody would suggest the massive upfront infrastructure investments needed to mine, transport, store and burn coal or oil. Unfortunately for decarbonization these things do exist giving FFs huge head-start against renewables. Power grids radiate from massive power plants which are located to maximize efficient fossil fuel logistics. The energy economy is designed to be load-following instead of generation-following. etc.

That's why we have absurd discussions about not having enough EV chargers which would enable to handle fuel logistics by copper wire instead of transportation by pipeline, tanker vessel, refinery, truck and the service station.
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FrostKing70

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1695 on: March 17, 2020, 04:42:26 PM »

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1696 on: March 17, 2020, 08:52:02 PM »

The running costs of a coal plant are higher than building renewables and operations costs in many markets. That is what they are saying. It is already the case in every market that building renewables and operations are cheaper than building coal and operations.

I wonder if those estimates of renewables costs also include the cost of new transmission infrastructure?  Here is Australia we have the huge problem, probably shared by many countries, that the transmission lines radiate out from the old coal fired power station locations. <snip>

So who pays for new distribution infrastructure? 
I don't follow Australia very closely but as I understand it the power grid isn't in very good shape now. It sounded to me like it needs the infrastructure upgrades either way. I suspect blaming renewables is just a deflection from the true source of the problem.


Though I agree with Blumenkraft generation at or near the source makes the most sense.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1697 on: March 20, 2020, 06:36:53 PM »
New York's last coal fired power plant is closing this month.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/nyregion/coal-energy-ny.html

Quote
New York’s Last Coal-Fired Power Plant Is Closing

The community is fearful of what will happen once it shutters.

By Anne Barnard
March 20, 2020

BARKER, N.Y. — It is the last coal-fired power plant in New York State. White steam trails from its smokestack like a banner flying in the wind, visible for miles across flat farm fields near Lake Ontario. But not for long.

Sometime this month, the 44 remaining workers at the Somerset Operating Company will power it down for the last time. They have long planned to gather ceremonially in a cavernous hall, beside the plant’s roaring turbine, as it goes quiet, but now coronavirus restrictions may deny them that moment of closure.

Quote
The plant’s closure is also an early test of the state’s new climate law, one of the most ambitious in the nation, and whether it can get buy-in from some of the most affected New Yorkers.

The law, passed last year, is supposed to transform the state’s energy grid to carbon-free by 2040, something officials say cannot be done without eliminating coal power. The state has separately committed to eliminating it this year.

Quote
The climate law is also supposed to create thousands of new jobs, including high-paying union jobs like the ones the Somerset plant employees are losing.

But state officials say the bulk of those jobs will be in retrofitting — updating home-heating systems, for instance — and will be more plentiful in more populous areas downstate.

That means prospects are slim for the people who will lose or have already lost jobs at the Somerset plant, which at its peak two decades ago employed several hundred people.

Quote
To help implement its ambitious goals, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently issued rules that would make it easier to get permission to build renewable energy sites, including wind turbines and solar- panels, allowing applicants to bypass zoning rules and other local regulations.

But that, too, rankles in Barker and neighboring towns, where a local group called Save Ontario Shores used environmental and aesthetic arguments to head off a proposed wind turbine project. Sign saying “No to industrial solar” signal suspicion of proposals to build large installations of solar panels on farm fields.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1698 on: March 20, 2020, 07:08:04 PM »
CountourGlobal, a US company that builds and operates powerplants overseas, is cancelling a coal-fired power plant under construction in Kosovo.  They have announced that they'll no longer build or acquire coal fired power plants.

https://balkaninsight.com/2020/03/17/construction-of-coal-fired-power-plant-in-kosovo-halted/

Quote
Construction of Coal-Fired Power Plant in Kosovo Halted
Xhorxhina Bami and Eve-anne Travers

March 17, 2020

Environmental campaigners welcomed a decision by US company ContourGlobal to halt construction of a new coal-fired power plant in Kosovo.

US power generation company ContourGlobal has halted plans to build the 500-megawatt coal-fired Kosova e Re (New Kosovo) power plant, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

Kosovo had a 1.3 billion euro contract with ContourGlobal to build the plant, which would have satisfied around half of the electricity demand in a country that suffers from power shortages.

Quote
With Kurti now in office as prime minister, ContourGlobal announced it was halting construction of the plant “as a result of the political situation in Kosovo”.

It also said that the US company, which operates over 100 power plants in Europe, Latin America and Africa, “will not develop or acquire coal power plants in the future”.

Concerns had been raised in Kosovo that the environmental impact of building the new coal-fired power plant was too high.

The project had met with fierce resistance from the Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development, KOSID, an alliance of NGOs including BIRN Kosovo.

Their campaign led to the World Bank withdrawing its support for the plant in October 2018.

Quote
Kosovo is currently working on building a 170-million-euro wind farm, which has raised hopes of increasing the production of renewable energy in the country.

Stephen

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1699 on: March 23, 2020, 03:53:59 AM »
Fossil fuels enjoy large built-in inertia in the energy system. That's why it's not sufficient to generate a little bit cheaper electricity by wind or solar compared to coal or oil or gas. It has to be significantly cheaper to have an effect on emissions.

If we started from scratch today, ...

If, if, if......actually many African countries with poor infrastructure will have that chance, but the rest of us have to deal with the world as it is.

Quote

That's why we have absurd discussions about not having enough EV chargers which would enable to handle fuel logistics by copper wire instead of transportation by pipeline, tanker vessel, refinery, truck and the service station.

OTOH, if we turn that solar/wind power to Hydrogen at the source then we can still use pipelines and tankers.  Bockris proposed this about 50 years ago.  I attended one of his public lectures in 1976.  Although I he went a bit off course in his later years (crazy even) with his claims of Cold Fusion and transmutation.  But some of his ideas about Hydrogen as fuel remain valid.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bockris

Also Hydrogen does not necessarily have to be transported as H2 gas.  Ammonia is NH4, so 4 Hydrogen atoms just sitting there waiting to be plucked out.  CSIRO scientists have come up with one possible method.

https://www.csiro.au/en/News/News-releases/2017/Membrane-for-hydrogen-fuel-cells
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 08:27:17 AM by Stephen »
The ice was here, the ice was there,   
The ice was all around:
It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd,   
Like noises in a swound!
  Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge