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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1700 on: March 26, 2020, 09:21:43 PM »
Construction of new coal power plants decreased for the fourth consecutive year in 2019.  And the Covid-19 outbreak is delaying completion of plants under construction.  China continues to buck the trend though.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-coal-power/global-coal-plant-development-fell-for-fourth-year-running-in-2019-research-idUSKBN21D015

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March 25, 2020

Global coal plant development fell for fourth year running in 2019: research
Nina Chestney

LONDON (Reuters) - Global coal power plant development declined for the fourth year running in 2019, while a total of 13 gigawatts (GW) of capacity construction has been delayed so far this year due to the coronavirus, research by environmental organizations shows.

The annual survey of the global coal plant pipeline by Global Energy Monitor, Greenpeace International, the Sierra Club and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air showed a 16% drop last year in capacity under construction and development.

This year, 15 plants with a total capacity of 13 GW have so far been delayed by workforce or supply chain issues related to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, China’s approval of permits for coal plants has increased in an effort to stimulate its economy. From March 1 to 18 this year, China approved more coal-fired capacity for construction (6.6 GW) than during all of 2019 (6.3 GW).

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1701 on: March 28, 2020, 09:36:44 PM »
The US EIA have done their monthly spreadsheet updates @ https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/

So here is a pre-covid graph to Dec / Jan showing continuing decline + projections. Of couse who knows what will happen during the covid-19 epidemic and afterwards.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1702 on: April 03, 2020, 01:08:48 AM »
Reduced electricity demand during the Covid-19 response will accelerate the demise of the coal industry in the US.

https://qz.com/1829534/coronavirus-is-accelerating-the-demise-of-coal-power-in-the-us/

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Coronavirus is accelerating the demise of coal power in the US
April 1, 2020
By Michael J. Coren

First, it was oil and gas. Now coal is facing a financial cataclysm.

As the coronavirus crushes energy demand around the world, the bottom has fallen out from under an already weak coal industry. Moody’s Investors Services recently warned coal firms are facing a wave of bankruptcies—with few ways out.

The article describes the decline of the coal industry over the past decade due to cheap natural gas and renewable.  Exports haven't come close to matching the loss of domestic coal powered plants.

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That combination, said Moody’s in a March 26 research report, “will likely push a significant amount of coal capacity into bankruptcies and lead to new closure announcements over the next year or two.” Since 2016, at least 11 coal companies have already declared bankruptcies.

As the virus dims the industry’s prospects, Moody’s gave three-quarters of US coal companies negative outlooks. Moody’s now believes its original forecast of a 15% to 20% drop in US coal production due to the virus was overly optimistic. It expects even steeper declines amid falling electricity demand.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1703 on: April 03, 2020, 01:27:52 AM »
Coal use in India has plummeted due to the nation-wide lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19.

https://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/power-generators-shut-capacity-as-covid-19-hits-demand-upends-normal-life-120032901062_1.html

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Power generators shut capacity as Covid-19 hits demand, upends normal life
State entities shutting costlier units and turning to short-term power purchase

Shreya Jai & Amritha Pillay  |  New Delhi/Mumbai  Last Updated at March 30, 2020

 With normal life thrown out of gear with a nationwide lockdown, the power sector is witnessing an unprecedented amount of generation capacity being shut.

In a month, the demand for power has gone down by 31 per cent. And, there has been a 68 per cent increase in capacity which has been backed down.

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Discoms in Maharashtra are now looking to buy cheaper power and burn less coal. “Our demand right now is 14,500 to 15,000 Mw; the peak was 21,000 Mw in February. We are going by the merit order dispatch and closing down the costly government-run plants to reduce generating capacity.

We are backing down more of thermal, to not burn coal,” said an official of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. Maharashtra has also shifted its loyalties to short-term power purchase. The official said, “We opened our portal on Thursday to buy short-term (one to three months) from the market, as it is cheaper today and our demand is lower. We are also buying from the exchanges, as it is reasonable at this point of time.”

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1704 on: April 03, 2020, 07:48:05 AM »
https://www.eia.gov/coal/production/weekly/
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U.S. year-to-date coal production totaled 145.4 MMst, 16.8% lower than the comparable year-to-date coal production in 2019

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1705 on: April 03, 2020, 08:13:51 AM »

34.3% is a big drop in electricity produced by coal and I don't think it has anything to do with covid19 since in January the us government was ignoring the problem.  Their has been a 14.6% drop in heating degree days but most of it is a switch to natural gas.
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                                                                      January 2020           % Change from January 2019
Total net generation (thousand MWh)      339,320               -5.2%
Residential retail price (cents/kwh)            12.79                    2.5%
Retail sales (thousand MWh)                     309,544               -4.3%
Heating degree-days                                      741                -14.6%
Coal consumption (thousand tons)             36,697                -34.3%
Natural gas consumption (Mcf)               952,082                  10.7%
https://www.eia.gov/electricity/

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1706 on: April 07, 2020, 10:08:30 PM »
Here's a good overview of the state of coal fired power plants before the Covid-19 pandemic began.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/04/01/us-coal-fired-power-plants-stumbled-into-2020.aspx

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U.S. Coal-Fired Power Plants Stumbled Into 2020
Electricity generation from coal fell 35% in January 2020 from the year-ago period.

America's coal-fired power plants sank to new lows in 2019. Investors hoping last year marked a bottom won't find any relief in the latest electricity data.

The nation's coal fleet generated only 65 terawatt-hours of electricity in January 2020, according to numbers compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). That marked a 35% decline from the year-ago period and the first time in decades that coal-fired power plants failed to deliver more than 100 terawatt-hours of electricity in January.

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What the heck just happened? A mild winter, lower natural gas prices, and increasingly stringent environmental policies at the state level all contributed to the poor performance of coal-fired power plants in January. The confluence of factors is pressuring coal on two fronts: total operating capacity and utilization rates.

Many coal-fired power plants are being sent to an early retirement. While the United States had a relatively large 229,000 megawatts of coal-fired power capacity in January 2020, that was about 13,000 megawatts lower than the operating capacity in January 2019. That may not seem like a significant reduction, but it's not the whole story.

The coal fleet that remains operational is increasingly being idled. Numbers aren't yet available for January 2020, but the nation's coal-fired power plants recorded a full-year 2019 utilization rate of only 47.5%. Ten years ago, the figure was over 67%.

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Coal's collapse continues to outpace most projections -- and create opportunities for natural gas, onshore wind, and solar to grab market share. Here are several other highlights from the January 2020 data:

    The country's total electricity consumption declined 5% year over year.
    Natural gas-fired power plants kept their momentum going. After generating a record amount of electricity in 2019, the nation's fleet grew year-over-year electricity generation 11% in January 2020.
    Nuclear power plants are bracing for a wave of reactor retirements but managed to deliver a record level of electricity in 2019. They're also beginning to outperform coal. The nation's nuclear fleet has only ever outproduced the nation's coal fleet in three months: April 2019, December 2019, and January 2020.
    The United States typically sees its wind resource peak in April and October, but a wave of capacity additions in late 2019 led to a surge in electricity generation. Onshore wind power generated a January-record 28 terawatt-hours of electricity this year.

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American coal-fired power plants kicked off 2020 with one of the worst operational performances ever. Some of this is already penciled into short-term outlooks. For instance, the EIA estimates that coal will provide just 21% of the nation's electricity in 2020, down from 23.5% in 2019.

However, investors should consider that the fall of coal and the rise of renewables have both been consistently underestimated in projections. As recently as 2017, the EIA expected coal to provide 22% of the nation's electricity at midcentury.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1707 on: April 16, 2020, 09:11:07 PM »
While demand destruction in the oil markets has been big news, the demand destruction in the coal markets is hurting coal exporting countries.

https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/coal/041420-thermal-coal-demand-declining-globally-driving-fewer-imports-production-analysts

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14 Apr 2020
Thermal coal demand declining globally, driving fewer imports, production: analysts

Houston — Thermal coal demand is declining globally and forcing cutbacks of imports and production, driven by lower power-sector coal demand resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, analysts said Tuesday.

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China further restricted coal imports in Guangxi, S&P Global Platts reported April 8, and Platts Analytics "[expects] China will implement import port quotas, limiting seaborne thermal coal imports for the remainder of 2020," they wrote in a report released Tuesday.

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In India, Perret added, "it now seems likely that the restrictions are set to be extended."

Overall, "the import demand is worsening in the medium term from significant countries such as India and Japan," Perret said. "We remain negative across the board."

In the EU, coal demand is being hampered by the combined impact of stronger carbon price, weak electricity demand and low gas prices, Platts Analytics said, adding that CIF ARA prices are expected to experience limited further downside since prices are already below the costs of supplying the region.

Additionally, demand in Egypt will drop with the indefinite postponement of it 6.6 GW Hamrawein coal plant. In the announcement April 9, Platts Analytics said the decision "[cited] overcapacity in the power markets and a preference for renewables."

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Platts Analytics added that although US mines started shutting down in March, due to low domestic demand, high stockpiles allowed a quick response to international demand.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1708 on: April 20, 2020, 03:53:46 PM »
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Coal - GB Grid (@UK_Coal) 4/20/20, 8:02 AM
GB Grid: #Coal is generating 0.00GW (0.00%) out of 32.42GW
Continuous time without coal: 10 days 13 hours

https://twitter.com/uk_coal/status/1252205900187787264
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kassy

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1709 on: April 20, 2020, 04:41:06 PM »
Japan's megabanks, taking heat for climate inaction, vow not to finance new coal plants

TOKYO - Japan's megabanks have announced commitments, of varying degrees, to stop financing new coal power projects as global pressure ramps up on the world's third largest economy for stronger climate action.

Mizuho Financial Group, the second-largest lender, unveiled its pledges last Wednesday (April 15), followed by the third-largest Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC) one day later.

They join Japan's largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), which decided last year that it will stop providing new investments and loans to coal power plants in principle, and is expected to announce tighter policy revisions in this regard within the next month

For details see:
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/japans-megabanks-taking-heat-for-climate-inaction-vow-not-to-finance-new-coal-plants
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1710 on: April 22, 2020, 08:05:57 PM »
Sweden has gone coal free, two years earlier than planned.

https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/04/22/sweden-exits-coal-two-years-early/

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Sweden exits coal two years early

The Nordic nation is now the third European country to have waved goodbye to coal for power generation. Another 11 European states have made plans to follow suit over the next decade.
April 22, 2020 Marian Willuhn

Sweden has joined Europe’s scramble to decommission coal. Power utility Stockholm Exergi has announced the permanent closure of coal-fired co-generation plant KVV6, in Hjorthagen, eastern Stockholm.

The Scandinavian country had planned to rid itself of coal by 2022 but appears to have decommissioned its facilities two years early.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1711 on: April 28, 2020, 01:30:05 AM »
As expected, coal use has decreased dramatically during the Covid recession as other forms of electricity generation are preferred during times of decreased demand.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/global-electricity-slump-coal-big-120003929.html

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In Global Electricity Slump, Coal Is the Big Loser
Will Wade, Chris Martin and Mathew Carr
April 27, 2020

(Bloomberg) -- As silent factories and deserted offices hobble demand for electricity worldwide, the biggest loser is coal.

In the U.S., coal’s share of power generation has dropped more than 5 percentage points since February on the nation’s biggest grid while output from natural gas plants and wind farms held steady. In Europe, it’s down 2 points. Even in China and India, where coal still dominates, it’s losing market share during the pandemic.

It comes down to cost. Coal power is more expensive than gas and renewables in many places and, hence, is the first fuel priced out of the market when demand falls. Its plunging use amid the lockdowns is a boon for efforts to fight climate change, hastening a shift that was already underway to weed out the dirtiest fossil fuel.

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In the U.S., coal is now supplying just 14% of power on the grid serving 65 million people from Illinois to New Jersey. That’s down from almost 20% in February, according to a Bloomberg analysis of data from the grid operator, PJM Interconnection LLC. It’s the only major fuel to slump.

Coal miners are already feeling the pain. While output has been sliding for years, the decline has been exacerbated since states began shutting down wide swaths of their economies.

Production at mines has plunged 21% in the past three weeks. On Thursday, Arch Coal Inc., the second-biggest U.S. miner, reported its biggest quarterly loss since 2016, suspended its 2020 forecast and said it initiated a “voluntary separation” program to slash staff by 30%.

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In Europe, coal’s share of power generation has dipped to 12%, from 14% a year ago, according to data from Wartsila Oyj, the Finnish energy technology company.

The decline is particularly sharp in Germany, where electricity from hard coal and lignite,  sometimes called brown coal, plunged to 18% of net generation in the first two weeks April. One year ago, they accounted for 35%.

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In India, coal’s share of the power mix slipped to 65% from 71% in the month since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced lockdowns to contain the outbreak. The country's coal imports for power plants in March fell 28% from a year earlier. The share from from renewables, nuclear and hydropower rose. And in China, thermal power output, which is mostly from coal, slumped 8.2% in the first quarter while solar and wind gained.

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1712 on: April 28, 2020, 03:12:46 PM »
A last look at pre-COVID coal production in the USA. Even with the smoothing from using a 12 month trailing average it looked  in bad shape.
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FrostKing70

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1713 on: April 28, 2020, 04:38:32 PM »
I wonder if the consumption curve will follow the projection, going to zero in ~2027, or if it will bend and flatten out due to reluctance to close some of the newer coal fired plants.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1714 on: April 28, 2020, 08:51:58 PM »
UK Coal
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Coal - GB Grid (@UK_Coal) 4/28/20, 2:02 PM
GB Grid: #Coal is generating 0.00GW (0.00%) out of 34.64GW
Continuous time without coal: 18 days 19 hours
https://twitter.com/uk_coal/status/1255195599198130181

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Coal - GB Grid (@UK_Coal) 4/28/20, 12:51 AM
The current #Coal free run is now a record for Great Britain, surpassing the previous record set in June 2019.

An update will be provided once coal units are generating again.
https://twitter.com/uk_coal/status/1254996536582385675
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Re: Coal
« Reply #1715 on: April 28, 2020, 11:08:20 PM »
I wonder if the consumption curve will follow the projection, going to zero in ~2027, or if it will bend and flatten out due to reluctance to close some of the newer coal fired plants.
In the US I expect most of them to close by then, maybe even sooner. I expect a handful of them to be completely shielded from economics and stay open longer.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1716 on: April 29, 2020, 12:10:22 AM »
I wonder if the consumption curve will follow the projection, going to zero in ~2027, or if it will bend and flatten out due to reluctance to close some of the newer coal fired plants.

If the coal companies can convince the Government to give them a bail-out or subsidies, it may flatten out.  Otherwise it will go to zero because utilities will want cheaper alternatives.  It's currently cheaper to close operating coal plants and build new renewables than to continue operating coal in the US.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1717 on: May 02, 2020, 05:47:58 AM »
Fossil Fuel Firms Linked to Trump Get Millions in Coronavirus Small Business Aid
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/01/fossil-fuel-firms-coronavirus-package-aid

US fossil fuel companies have taken at least $50m in taxpayer money they probably won’t have to pay back, according to a review of coronavirus aid meant for struggling small businesses by the investigative research group Documented and the Guardian.

A total of $28m is going to three coal mining companies, all with ties to Trump officials, bolstering a dying American industry and a fuel that scientists insist world leaders must shift away from to avoid the worst of the climate crisis.

The other $22m is being paid out to oil and gas services and equipment providers and other firms that work with drillers and coal miners

... Among the coronavirus aid recipients is Hallador Coal, an Indiana-based coal mining company that hired Donald Trump’s former environment chief Scott Pruitt as a lobbyist. The company’s former government relations director now works at the energy department. Hallador is taking $10m to fund two months of payroll and other expenses.

Coal mining company Rhino Resources, which was formerly run by Trump’s Mine Safety and Health Administration head, David Zatezalo, is receiving $10m.

Coal firm Ramaco Resources, whose CEO, Randy Atkins, is on the energy department’s National Coal Council, is getting $8.4m.

Trump campaigned on putting coal miners back to work, and his agencies have unsuccessfully explored ways to bail out coal companies, which are seeing their lowest employment levels in modern history. The Trump administration has also rescinded nearly all of the environment and climate protections the fossil fuel industry has opposed.

Fossil fuel companies can also take advantage of tax benefits under the coronavirus legislation, including deferring payment of social security and medicare taxes.

The Missouri-based Peabody Energy coal company has said it will speed up collecting an alternative minimum tax refund of $24m to 2020 and defer $18m of owed taxes.

US taxpayers already subsidize the fossil fuel industry at roughly $20bn a year, according to conservative estimates.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1718 on: May 02, 2020, 03:32:04 PM »
UK Coal
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Coal - GB Grid (@UK_Coal) 5/1/20, 8:02 PM
GB Grid: #Coal is generating 0.00GW (0.00%) out of 21.48GW
Continuous time without coal: 22 days 1 hour
https://twitter.com/uk_coal/status/1256373360604393477
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1719 on: May 02, 2020, 09:39:33 PM »
Analysis: Will China build hundreds of new coal plants in the 2020s?

https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-will-china-build-hundreds-of-new-coal-plants-in-the-2020s

sidd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1720 on: May 04, 2020, 07:05:42 AM »
Screw the customers: Duke, IPL burn coal at a loss

" IPL spent about $1.55 million more than it should have ... Duke lost $6.9 million over three months"

" utilities across the country are costing ratepayers billions of dollars by running these plants uneconomically"

"the facility must be designated "must-run" because it's difficult to cycle off and on, and it doesn't want to lose its specialized work force."

"Every single argument that they make around why it makes sense to continue to operate this plant has nothing to do with economics and is totally them just basically trying to grasp at straws,"

"[utilities] can ignore marketplace economics, label their plants as 'must run' and dispatch those plants, and effectively ignore marketplace signals related to how much it costs to generate that energy and send it to the grid"

" IPL had mechanisms in place to avoid running its units when they were not economic, said Fisher, but elected not to use them "

"while the Company appears to have a reasonable process in place to forecast its net margins at Petersburg, it does not appear to actually use those forecasted net margins in a prudent or reasonable manner to inform its commitment decisions,"

https://www.utilitydive.com/news/duke-ipl-face-indiana-scrutiny-as-ngos-detail-coal-plant-practices-costing/576692/

sidd

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1721 on: May 04, 2020, 07:30:15 PM »
Coal power generation has suffered the most of all electricity sources due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

https://renewablesnow.com/news/coal-power-generation-falls-in-locked-down-markets-solar-rises-697373/

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Coal power generation falls in locked-down markets, solar rises

May 4 (Renewables Now) - Coal is definitely the loser as lockdowns in different countries lead to lower electricity demand, according to market research company IHS Markit.

In five markets analysed by IHS teams -- China, Italy, India, South Korea and PJM in the US -- coal-fired power generation in the lockdown periods dropped. A year-on-year decrease of 9% has been seen in China in January-February. Тhere was a 20% drop in India in March and the first half of April. Тhe plunge in PJM coal power has reached 40% in March and April.

In these same five markets, solar generation volumes increased, in some by up to 45%. In three, natural gas-fired power generation was also higher than a year earlier as gas is outcompeting coal.


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Re: Coal
« Reply #1722 on: May 08, 2020, 03:39:33 AM »
UK Coal
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Coal - GB Grid (@UK_Coal) 5/7/20, 9:02 PM
GB Grid: #Coal is generating 0.00GW (0.00%) out of 20.40GW
Continuous time without coal: 28 days 2 hours
https://twitter.com/uk_coal/status/1258562787476934663
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rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1723 on: May 08, 2020, 03:30:56 PM »
New coal projects are getting underway despite financial losses and low utilisation of existing plants, writes Gao Baiyu

Some thoughts on this:
- Local officials see big projects as a quick way to bolster growth
- The new power plants have high efficiency and scrubbers (fixing local air pollution)
- In a crisis the CCP could mandate taking public transport, replacing a significant amount of oil imports.
- The coal-fired spare capacity can be used to fuel the higher intensity of electrified transport, replacing imported oil with domestically produced coal.

It seems that the CCP is quietly getting things in place to forestall any US energy embargo during a crisis

https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11966-China-relaxes-restrictions-on-coal-power-expansion-for-third-year-running


Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1724 on: May 08, 2020, 07:16:05 PM »
While China keeps workers employed building coal plants that are used more infrequently and losing money, Europe is shutting down its remaining coal plants earlier than expected.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90502628/europe-is-getting-off-coal-even-faster-than-expected

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05-08-20

Europe is getting off coal even faster than expected
Austria and Sweden recently closed their last coal plants—ahead of schedule.

By Kristin Toussaint

Across Europe, countries are making strides toward a fossil-free future. In April, Austria and Sweden closed their last coal plants—the latter nearly two years ahead of schedule—officially eliminating coal from their countries’ energy production. Last week, Great Britain hit a milestone when England, Scotland, and Wales went past the 18-day mark without generating any coal-fired power, the longest period of time for such a record since the Industrial Revolution (and still going). This week, Portugal celebrated 52 days without using coal-based electricity.

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The current COVID-19 pandemic and the world’s precarious economic situation may actually help toward that goal. Across the world, it’s become cheaper to invest in renewable energy than in coal, and many experts think the coronavirus pandemic will reinforce the importance of a renewable-powered future, especially as leaders look for ways to bounce back better while stimulating economic growth.


Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1725 on: May 08, 2020, 07:20:35 PM »
Renewables are doing so well in India now that coal use is expected to peak much earlier than expected.

https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/05/07/coronavirus-lockdown-speeds-indias-shift-coal-solar-power/

Quote
Coronavirus lockdown speeds India’s shift from coal to solar power
Published on 07/05/2020

Renewable energy sources are proving resilient in the Covid-19 crisis, while analysts say coal power capacity could peak this decade

By Chloé Farand

Travel restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus are speeding the switch from coal to renewable energy in India.

The world’s second largest coal consumer has seen its energy demand collapse by nearly 30% during the lockdown which started on 25 March, with coal generators bearing the brunt.

In 2018, the International Energy Agency forecast Indian coal demand would more than double by 2040 – a major challenge to international efforts to prevent climate breakdown.

With the right policy framework in place, coal generation in India could peak much sooner, analysts have told Climate Home News.

Quote
The cost of adding solar electricity stands at about 2.5 rupees per unit generated, compared with around 4.5 rupees for new coal capacity, according to analysts. Even coupled with more expensive batteries to store electricity for after dark, solar energy was auctioned at a cheaper price than new coal earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the coal sector has been faced with cash flow issues over the past few years, with most plants running well under capacity.

An analysis by Ieefa found that renewables delivered more than two-thirds of India’s new generating capacity additions in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1726 on: May 12, 2020, 09:01:00 PM »
North Dakota announced retirement of its largest coal-fired power plant.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/11/north-dakotas-largest-power-plant-set-to-close-as-owner-bets-on-wind.html

Quote
North Dakota’s largest power plant looks set to close as the owner bets on wind energy
Published Mon, May 11 2020
Anmar Frangoul

A 1,151-megawatt (MW) coal power station in North Dakota is set to be retired after it was deemed to have “lost value compared to other alternatives in recent years.”

Quote
Looking ahead, Great River Energy, which operates as a not-for-profit cooperative, is aiming to purchase over 1,100 MW from new wind energy projects by late 2023, an investment of more than $1.2 billion. Among other things, it is also planning to modify a coal and natural gas-based power plant so that it’s fueled solely by natural gas.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1727 on: May 13, 2020, 01:12:41 AM »
GB Grid continually without coal generation now for over a month!
Quote
Coal - GB Grid (@UK_Coal) 5/12/20, 7:02 PM
GB Grid: #Coal is generating 0.00GW (0.00%) out of 23.49GW
Continuous time without coal: 33 days
https://twitter.com/uk_coal/status/1260344528449478656

Quote
Coal - GB Grid (@UK_Coal) 5/9/20, 6:38 PM
The ongoing #Coal free run has now passed 30 days. #CoalFreeMonth

Demand during this time has been met by: Gas 32%, Nuclear 22%, Wind 14%, Imports 12%, Biomass 9%, Solar 9%, Large Hydro 1%, Storage <1% 
https://twitter.com/uk_coal/status/1259251357204262912
Images below.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1728 on: May 20, 2020, 12:20:33 AM »
The Covid-19 lockdowns have pretty much ended the coal industry.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/17/coal-industry-will-never-recover-after-coronavirus-pandemic-say-experts

Quote
Coal industry will never recover after coronavirus pandemic, say experts
Crisis has proved renewable energy is now a safer investment, and accelerated the shift

Jonathan Watts and Jillian Ambrose
Published on Sun 17 May 2020

The global coal industry will “never recover” from the Covid-19 pandemic, industry observers predict, because the crisis has proved renewable energy is cheaper for consumers and a safer bet for investors.

A long-term shift away from dirty fossil fuels has accelerated during the lockdown, bringing forward power plant closures in several countries and providing new evidence that humanity’s coal use may finally have peaked after more than 200 years.

Quote
As demand for electricity has fallen, many utilities have cut back on coal first, because it is more expensive than gas, wind and solar. In the EU imports of coal for thermal power plants plunged by almost two-thirds in recent months to reach lows not seen in 30 years. The consequences have been felt around the world as well.

Quote
Rob Jackson, the chair of Global Carbon Project, said the pandemic was likely to confirm that coal will never again reach the global peak seen in 2013: “Covid-19 will slash coal emissions so much this year that the industry will never recover, even with a continued build-out in India and elsewhere. The crash in natural gas prices, record-cheap solar and wind power, and climate and health concerns have undercut the industry permanently.”

Quote
More importantly, in India – the world’s second-biggest coal consumer – the government has prioritised cheap solar energy rather than coal in response to a slump in electricity demand caused by Covid-19 and a weak economy. This has led to the first year-on-year fall in carbon emissions in four decades, exceptional air quality, and a growing public clamour for more renewables.

Quote
The elephant in the room is China, which burns half of the world’s coal and is the biggest financier of mines and power plants in Asia and Africa – largely to provide an export market for its domestic manufacturing and engineering firms. A few years ago, domestic coal consumption fell, prompting hopes that president Xi Jinping was committed to a shift away from dirty, high-emitting power production. But after the lockdown, the political priority is to jumpstart the economy. Provincial governments are now working on a slew of new thermal plants. But they are running at less than half of capacity because demand for coal has not returned to its previous level.

“Covid-19 has made clear that China and India have built more than they need. Even before the crisis, they had overcapacity. Now with lower demand, you can see everything is a mess,” said Carlos Fernández Alvarez, lead coal analyst at the International Energy Agency.

Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1729 on: June 02, 2020, 11:59:23 PM »
It's cheaper to build new solar and wind farms than to operate most coal plants worldwide now.  And the cost of wind and solar keeps decreasing.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-02/solar-power-will-soon-cost-less-than-coal-says-renewables-body

Quote
Solar Power Will Soon Cost Less Than Coal
By Mahmoud Habboush
June 2, 2020

New solar and wind farms will soon cost less than many of the world’s coal-fired power plants, and governments should invest in them to boost economies amid the coronavirus, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

Coal plants with a capacity of up to 1,200 gigawatts will probably be more expensive to run by next year than new, large-scale photovoltaic solar plants, said the organization, which advises countries on curbing their use of fossil fuels.

Quote
Replacing 500 gigawatts of high-cost coal plants with solar and wind farms would reduce carbon emissions by about 1.8 gigatons, equivalent to 5% of CO2 emissions in 2019, and save consumers billions of dollars, Irena said. Power generated from coal mostly comes from the U.S., China, India, Poland, Germany, South Korea and Ukraine.

Quote
The cost of solar and wind energy could be consistently cheaper than conventional supplies by 2030, Irena said in January.

The trend is largely down to advances in technology and the increasing scale of projects. Photovoltaic power has seen an 82% decline in costs since 2010 and onshore wind 39%, according to Irena.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1730 on: June 10, 2020, 09:34:18 PM »
Quote
Coal - GB Grid (@UK_Coal) 6/10/20, 2:02 PM
GB Grid: #Coal is generating 0.00GW (0.00%) out of 33.14GW
Continuous time without coal: 61 days 19 hours
https://twitter.com/uk_coal/status/1270778275133087757

Almost 1,500 Coal-Free hours. 
Coal-Free for two months.  Will we see three?
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kassy

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1731 on: June 10, 2020, 09:56:39 PM »
Stop burning wood pellets and you have some serious bragging rights. Should be easily doable.
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gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1732 on: June 11, 2020, 02:55:14 PM »
Stop burning wood pellets and you have some serious bragging rights. Should be easily doable.
Drax power station supplies 5% of UK's electricity - using wood pellets from what they call sustainable forests in the USA, but are actually monoculture wood plantations - apparently in the Chesapeake region.


Drax have spent money on gettng reports on how marvellous for the environment it all is.
https://www.drax.com/sustainability/catchment-area-analysis-of-forest-management-and-market-trends-chesapeake/

They are trying for loads-o-money for a major carbon capture project.
https://www.drax.com/about-us/our-projects/bioenergy-carbon-capture-use-and-storage-beccs/

The government will support this company.
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kassy

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1733 on: June 11, 2020, 04:03:54 PM »
The sad thing is that they are treating forest like above ground coal.

Basically there is no need for this resource in the long term and we need different forests to grow then the ones they are envisioning. Long term carbon sinks which also harbor all kinds of varieties of life. Forests also cool the local environment when big enough and left to be forests.

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BeeKnees

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1734 on: June 11, 2020, 06:13:23 PM »
The good news is that the recent coal free period has not been as a result of using biomass or FF gas.
A decent period of wind and sun plus reduced demand due to the pandemic are the reasons.

However importing biomass is wrong.  It needs to come from managed biodiverse local sources.

Richard Rathbone

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1735 on: June 12, 2020, 08:52:13 PM »
The good news is that the recent coal free period has not been as a result of using biomass or FF gas.
A decent period of wind and sun plus reduced demand due to the pandemic are the reasons.

However importing biomass is wrong.  It needs to come from managed biodiverse local sources.

Drax runs because the UK reckons it will need significant negative emissions to achieve carbon neutrality, and converting Drax to BECCS is the only plausible option at the moment.

I don't think CCS is going to deployed on any scale, but if storage stays expensive for another decade, it might happen. Negative emissions technologies at Drax scale are assumed to happen in all the scenarios that limit AGW. Either storage has to get efficient enough fast enough to force oil and gas out quicker than anticipated, or something on the scale of BECCS at Drax will need to be deployed, or its going to get uncomfortably hot. BECCS is not a good option, but there may not be better ones. https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/grantham-institute/public/publications/briefing-papers/BECCS-deployment---a-reality-check.pdf

If BECCS becomes a major player then those US plantations are going to be feeding US BECCS, and President Ivanka will forbid the export of word pellets to protect US energy security, and Drax will need to burn biomass grown in the UK or shut down.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1736 on: June 13, 2020, 10:13:34 AM »
Cars with large batteries (n*daily commute) will become the buffer to reduce the intermittency problem of renewables so that grid side storage will be small.

To replace petrol and diesel, UK electricity production will have to triple, but only 1/3 will be demand-right-now, 2/3 will be topping up the batteries when the electricity is available. The 1/3 demand will be mostly covered by the increased production from renewables with minimal backup or storage.

That's without cars supporting the grid.

The limitation will be the grid and local networks which can't accommodate anywhere close to 3x transmission, so I expect much more local production, e.g.  solar on the office / factory roof to the carpark

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gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1737 on: June 13, 2020, 10:58:58 PM »

To replace petrol and diesel, UK electricity production will have to triple,
We had a look at this last year. To power 100% EV cars,I came up with around 23% (UK) and 30% (USA) more electricity required + a bit more for vans & trucks.

Could you give a source for your data? It's sort of important.
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BeeKnees

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1738 on: June 14, 2020, 01:16:30 AM »

We had a look at this last year. To power 100% EV cars,I came up with around 23% (UK) and 30% (USA) more electricity required + a bit more for vans & trucks..
In context, for the UK that means increasing generation to the same level it was 8 years ago.

I don't buy the using cars as storage argument other than for short term and load balancing.  Interconnectors, compressed air and hydrogen are all looking more likely as means of avoiding gas and coal when renewables can't meet demand.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1739 on: June 14, 2020, 08:38:01 AM »
Obviously, all carbon emitting power generation has to go (including biomass) and go quickly. The main primary providers need to be solar PV and wind with hydrogen as a buffer for intermittency and very useful fuel especially for planes. Hydro, nuclear, geothermal, ocean wave and current can make a useful contribution but wind and solar have to be the main providers. For Europe, perhaps consider each country covering 1% of land area with solar PV and in addition having 200,000 wind turbines in the North Sea and elsewhere for common sharing.

For a whole world strategy, I’ll think you’ll find that 400 000 km2 of solar PV would serve us all well which is a fairly small fraction of the planet’s sunny deserts. The intermittency and daily and annual variability problem can be resolved by hydrogen generation for a transportable fuel.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1740 on: June 14, 2020, 11:17:49 AM »
@ Gerontocrat

Good to check, I ran the numbers again, this time we only need to double electricity production

For a ball park figure, I looked at petrol and diesel consumption
https://www.racfoundation.org/data/volume-petrol-diesel-consumed-uk-over-time-by-year

And electricity production from DUKES
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/electricity-chapter-5-digest-of-united-kingdom-energy-statistics-dukes

Then took 1l=10kWh of heat
45% conversion for thermodynamics
60% charge / discharge / motor / efficiency for EVs

Heat produced in TD cars 474E9 kWH
Kinetic at wheels 213E9 kWH

EVs need 356E9 from socket

UK electricity production  350E9 kWh

Double present (2018) production
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gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1741 on: June 14, 2020, 06:49:59 PM »

45% conversion for thermodynamics
60% charge / discharge / motor / efficiency for EVs

This needs moving to Electric Cars ( https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2686.0.html
 )

But.....
Energy efficiency. EVs convert over 77% of the electrical energy from the grid to power at the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 12%–30% of the energy stored in gasoline to power at the wheels.

https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evtech.shtml
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kassy

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1742 on: June 14, 2020, 09:16:49 PM »
Feel free to quote it there for any follow up argument. Here #1740 is an explanation of the calculation.
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Re: Coal
« Reply #1743 on: June 14, 2020, 10:32:55 PM »
China Seen Adding New Wave of Coal Plants After Lifting Curbs

Quote
About 46 gigawatts worth of new plants were under construction as of May, the study said. Another 48 gigawatts were under various stages of development, Greenpeace estimated.

About 29.9 gigawatts of new coal power capacity was added last year, making a total of about 1,040 gigawatts, according to China Electricity Council data.

By the end of 2019 US coal fired capacity was 229GW, the above amounts to about 60% of remaining US coal capacity. We are reaching the limit where cuts in capacity in the US and Europe can even offset the additions just in China. These new Chinese plants are the much more efficient ones I assume, so could lead to the retirement of some of the less efficient ones. Overall, perhaps same amount of coal burned but with more electricity produced, and slightly less emissions.

This is about energy security, 94%+ of China coal supply is domestic (and imports are also being reoriented to Russia somewhat while domestic mining capacity is being increased). Same with natural gas (Russia now taking China market share from Australia, Qatar etc.). Same with increased oil imports from Russia. The more aggressive the US gets toward China, the more they will reorient to domestic and "friendly" energy supplies to obviate the chance of an embargo.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1744 on: June 15, 2020, 08:16:50 PM »
These days Chinese coal fired power plants are basically built to employ construction workers and then sit idle for more than half of the time.  Coal prices in China have increased due to the Government favoring more expensive domestic mining over cheaper imports.

Chinese coal consumption and share of electrical generation is decreasing, even though they keep building power plants.

https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2110537-rising-chinese-hydropower-weighs-on-coal-consumption

Quote
Rising Chinese hydropower weighs on coal consumption

Published date: 02 June 2020

An increase in hydropower output in south China, from heavy rainfall as well as enhanced delivery of hydropower across provinces following the recent completion of new UHV transmission lines, is weighing on the country's coal consumption.

Average daily combined coal burn at the six flagship coastal utilities in China stood at 599,100 t/d in the week that ended on 1 June, down by 63,400 t/d from an average of 662,500 t/d a week earlier, despite the approaching peak summer consumption season.

Quote
The increase in hydropower generation comes as China's main economic planning agency the NDRC has announced clean energy targets for 2020 with penalties for grid operators and utilities if they fail to meet expectations. The country is aiming for 28.2pc of electricity to come from renewable sources, this year with hydropower accounting for the bulk of it. China produced 11.534TWh of hydropower in 2019. It produced 2.72TWh during January-April, a decline of 9.4pc from a year earlier period, according to data from coal industry association the CCTD. The year-on-year decline in January-April occurred from lower rainfall earlier this year.

The targets could push more Chinese utilities to turn to hydropower instead of coal to meet rising power consumption, especially as domestic coal prices have been rising amid tighter restrictions against cheaper imported coal.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/chinas-coal-consumption-fall-y-060004881.html

Quote
China's coal consumption to fall y/y in second quarter, improvement expected in second half - industry body

ReutersMay 13, 2020

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's coal consumption is expected to decline in the second quarter from a year earlier, but will see an improvement in the second half of 2020 as Beijing's stimulus efforts boost demand, an industry body said on Thursday.

Quote
The world's largest coal consumer used around 870 million tonnes of the fuel in the first quarter, down 6.8% from the same period last year, the report showed.

The power sector's coal consumption fell 6.8% to 507 million tonnes, while that of the construction sector plunged 24.7% to 65 million tonnes.


Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1745 on: June 15, 2020, 08:22:52 PM »
The Covid recession has caused coal use in the US to fall even faster than predicted.

https://www.wired.com/story/the-covid-19-economic-slump-is-closing-down-coal-plants/

Quote
06.12.2020
The Covid-19 Economic Slump Is Closing Down Coal Plants
This year, coal usage has dropped in the US, and renewables now generate more electricity. To some experts, the financial crisis is a clean energy opportunity.

Just outside the gates of the Dickerson Generating Station, kayakers paddle through a concrete sluiceway that channels cooling water from the massive coal-burning power plant through a series of specially-designed obstacles to the Potomac River. Dickerson’s power lights up Washington, DC, and its suburbs. But beginning in August, these kayakers will have to find somewhere else to practice, while 63 plant workers will be looking for new jobs.

The Texas-based utility that owns the Maryland plant just announced it will shut down Dickerson’s three power units after 60 years of operation, citing the high cost of operation. Like dozens of other coal plants across the country, Dickerson is a casualty of coal’s fast-moving demise. The industry has been squeezed between cheaper natural gas and expanding use of renewable energy for several years, but now the Covid-19-driven recession has jammed a stake through its economic heart.

Quote
Godson says the amount of coal used for electricity has dropped 40 percent in 2020 compared to the same time last year, according to figures from the US Energy Information Agency. Before the pandemic hit, experts like him were expecting a 15 percent decline. Despite Covid-19-related federal bailout money for some coal companies and President Donald Trump’s efforts to roll back pollution rules, utilities have still announced that 13 generating stations will close in 2020.

For utility executives, “coal is the first thing you look to turn off, because it’s the most expensive to use,” Godby adds. “The pain we anticipated in the coal sector has been accelerated. Covid has brought the future much closer to the present.”

rboyd

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1746 on: June 16, 2020, 01:21:09 AM »
You crash the economy, then energy use falls dramatically. COVD-19 may be just a bigger (and perhaps shorter) version of the 2008 global financial crisis. Energy use and emissions bounced back quickly.

We wont really know if the drops are just a blip in a trend, or represent some more fundamental energy use changes until the second half of 2021 at the earliest (assuming a second COVID wave in the Fall).

gerontocrat

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1747 on: June 16, 2020, 12:02:39 PM »
We wont really know if the drops are just a blip in a trend, or represent some more fundamental energy use changes until the second half of 2021 at the earliest (assuming a second COVID wave in the Fall).
As far as the US is concerned, many (most?) of the announced coal-fired generation plant closures seem to be permanent, as are the mine closures. The problem is more likely to be that many States did not require real cash to be put aside for clean-up costs - a book entry was all that was required.

So the owners and management were free to use all the cash-flow surpluses to pay themselves megabucks in dividends and bonuses. Now they are walking away - leaving a host of pollution problems behind and no cash to fix it (and employees with no jobs, and quite likely no pensions).

As far as future energy generation is concerned, use of coal will likely not recover but continue to decline fast- but will it be renewables or fossil fuels that fill the gap?
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1748 on: June 18, 2020, 12:40:11 AM »
UK Coal
Quote
Coal - GB Grid, 5:45 PM · Jun 16, 2020
"This #Coal free run ended at 67 Days 22 Hours 55 Minutes. This is the longest run without coal for Great Britain since 1882. Demand during this time was met by: Gas 32%, Nuclear 21%, Wind 16%, Imports 11%, Biomass 9%, Solar 9%, Large Hydro 1%, Storage <1%
https://mobile.twitter.com/uk_coal/status/1273008882785419264 
Images below.

Per the comments:   In 1882, the Holborn Viaduct power station was built, the first power station for public use electricity.
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Ken Feldman

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Re: Coal
« Reply #1749 on: June 19, 2020, 09:48:58 PM »
China Seen Adding New Wave of Coal Plants After Lifting Curbs

Quote
About 46 gigawatts worth of new plants were under construction as of May, the study said. Another 48 gigawatts were under various stages of development, Greenpeace estimated.

About 29.9 gigawatts of new coal power capacity was added last year, making a total of about 1,040 gigawatts, according to China Electricity Council data.

By the end of 2019 US coal fired capacity was 229GW, the above amounts to about 60% of remaining US coal capacity. We are reaching the limit where cuts in capacity in the US and Europe can even offset the additions just in China. These new Chinese plants are the much more efficient ones I assume, so could lead to the retirement of some of the less efficient ones. Overall, perhaps same amount of coal burned but with more electricity produced, and slightly less emissions.

This is about energy security, 94%+ of China coal supply is domestic (and imports are also being reoriented to Russia somewhat while domestic mining capacity is being increased). Same with natural gas (Russia now taking China market share from Australia, Qatar etc.). Same with increased oil imports from Russia. The more aggressive the US gets toward China, the more they will reorient to domestic and "friendly" energy supplies to obviate the chance of an embargo.

Looks like the Central Government in China has decided to quash most of these projects, which were approved by provincial governments to give construction workers jobs.

http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1005831/china-to-reduce-coal-consumption-amid-economic-downturn

Quote
hina to Reduce Coal Consumption Amid Economic Downturn

Experts say the central government’s decision to cap coal power projects may prevent provincial authorities from fueling economic growth at the expense of the environment.
Li You
Jun 19, 2020

China plans to cap coal-fired power projects at 1,100 gigawatts by the end of 2020 in a bid to prevent energy waste and promote cleaner power.

In an announcement Thursday, the National Development and Reform Commission and five other government agencies said the country will eliminate substandard coal power projects and strictly control added power capacity from local coal burning. The decision is one of several steps Chinese authorities have taken in recent years to reduce coal’s contribution to the country’s energy mix to under 58% by 2020.

The move, environmentalists say, will serve as an “alarm bell” to provincial authorities who’ve approved new coal power projects this year.

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In recent years, China has introduced a raft of measures — including switching from coal to cleaner energy and merging state-owned coal power producers — aimed at curbing air pollution and carbon emissions, as well as reducing the energy glut in some provinces.

Despite having a strong foothold in China, coal power now contributes less to the country’s energy mix: Its proportional decrease from 67.9% in 2015 to 62.3% in 2019 is a signal that has progress has been made.