Arctic Sea Ice : Forum

AGW in general => Policy and solutions => Topic started by: JimD on May 30, 2013, 06:14:03 PM

Title: Coal
Post by: JimD on May 30, 2013, 06:14:03 PM
It ain't dead and it ain't dying.

EIA projects world coal output to rise by 40% over its most recent forecast period (2011-2035), but only by 11% over the next 10 years

www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43011.pdf (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43011.pdf)‎

U.S. Coal Consumption
EIA expects total coal consumption will increase by 7.3 percent from 890 MMst in 2012 to 955 MMst in 2013 as consumption in the electric power sector rises due to higher electricity demand and higher natural gas prices. Consumption grows at a more modest pace of 2.2 percent to 976 MMst in 2014.

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/coal.cfm (http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/coal.cfm)

Global coal production 2011 was 7876 million tonnes.  EIA projections to 2023 indicate approx. 8450 million tonnes production.

Industry argues and politicians seems to accept the argument that economic benefits of coal use outweigh the impacts of 'potential' climate change.  Insane, I know.  But I think this info helps bring home the scale of impact that must be needed to shift the argument at the political/economic levels to the point where we start projecting a permanent decline in coal production.  I just don't see where we are even near a tipping point in that argument.


Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 30, 2013, 07:57:37 PM
I think one should be a bit cautious about accepting the EIA's predictions.  They make very conservative estimates based on 'business as usual' continuing.  They missed the upward movement in solar installations when it was clear to others that rapidly falling panel prices would greatly change things.  I think they don't like to upset the oil and coal industries.

Giles Parkinson at REneweconomy has an interesting piece about what is happening in the Australian coal industry.  (Australians have installed a lot of roof-top solar because of high grid prices.)  I'll copy over the first paragraphs...

Quote
It seems certain that the NSW and Queensland governments will have to take significant write-downs on the value of the fleet of coal-fired power generators, and the assets may not be able to be sold because of the radical reshaping of the Australian electricity market.

The NSW government is seeking buyers for its coal-fired generators, and a price of $3 billion, and the Queensland government is mulling over recommendations that they should do the same. Any sale of those assets would likely be held in 2015/16.

But are they worth anything? Industry insiders say there are unlikely to be any buyers at the price the governments are expecting- because black coal-fired generation is becoming increasingly sidelined by the unanticipated fall in demand, the impact of renewables such as rooftop solar and wind farms, and the effects of the carbon price. Many of the black coal-fired generators are operating at barely more than half their capacity, as the concept of baseload generation gradually recedes.

And this bit from later down...

Quote
And the growth of renewables has not just reduced demand in the case of rooftop solar, it is changing the nature of the markets, requiring more flexible generation capacity to respond to changes in output and demand. Black coal fired generators are poorly equipped to meet this requirement, and to falling prices, so some 3000MW of capacity in Australia has been closed in the last 18 months, some of it permanently.

Australia is not unique in this case, because it is a well documented impact in Germany, where power producers have decided not to invest in any new baseload generation beyond the ones that have already commenced production. In the US there is a similar story, with base load generators, including nuclear ones, pushing back on renewable energy targets for fear it will undermine their own business case.

And this very important bit from the middle...

Quote
Baseload generators are often described as low cost, but they rely on midday peaks which can push the prices as high as $10,000/MWh to boost their profits. Around one quarter of generator revenues are sourced from 40 hours of such peaks a year.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/shift-from-base-load-slashes-value-of-state-coal-generators-92669 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/shift-from-base-load-slashes-value-of-state-coal-generators-92669)

Yes, increasing gas prices might drive up coal use a little in the US.  For a little while.  But as more renewables come on line it becomes harder and harder to keep coal plants (and nuclear plants) out of bankruptcy. 

If a significant portion of revenues are coming from about 40 hours each year then 'baseload' plants are in very deep trouble.  Those 40 hours?  Hot sunny afternoons.  Put more solar on the grid and those 40 hours go away.  As do a lot of other sunny hours when coal and nuclear now get the money to pay their bills.

Gas might be expensive, but gas plants are relatively cheap to build.  That means that it doesn't kill a business to leave them sitting idle when they can't sell product at or above cost.  Coal (and nuclear) have to sell at a loss at times since they are not dispatchable.  If the high return hours go away then they can't cover their losses.

I don't think the EIA ever engages in this sort of analysis.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on May 31, 2013, 06:45:24 PM
Bob,

Reporting what someone projects is not accepting their numbers.  I would think that you would be aware of that.  But maybe not.

I am all for the build out of solar, but you need to spend some time in your analysis on the time required for the build out and the resources required.  It is going to take a long time and a lot of money for that as well.  Typical numbers for such an industry rollover are 20+ years. 

There is not much doubt about the continuing and probably growing (for a few years at least) heavy use of coal.  To suggest otherwise is to ignore the evidence.  Turning that ship around is going to take a lot of time, effort and probably some kind of catastrophe.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 31, 2013, 07:17:26 PM
You might read the piece I linked.  It talks about the Australian coal industry and how coal plants are going offline.

If by " Typical numbers for such an industry rollover are 20+ years" you mean it would take 20+ years to convert our grids to 100% renewable, I agree. 

I'd make it more like 15 to 50, depending on our level of concern about climate change.  Jacobson and Delucchi laid out a 20 year blueprint in 2009.  Since then we've installed some renewables and we've improved the solar panels/turbines/etc. that they used in their calculations.  And our manufacturing abilities have improved.  We could probably do the job in 15 years given adequate fear.

But remember, we don't need to get to 100% renewables in order to slow our rush to an unlivable planet.  Slow warming first, stop it later.  That's how it has to be played out.

If we can get coal off our grids by using a combination of renewables and natural gas we can make a heavy impact on our CO2 output.  In the US coal provides 35% of our electricity.   Coal-fired power plants currently fuel 41% of global electricity.

 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on June 04, 2013, 05:29:24 PM
I read your piece before I ever posted.  It does not change the global situation.  Coal use by country fluctuates for various reasons.  Having consumption go down in one area can facilitate consumption rising elsewhere.

The point of the post is to show the trajectory of coal consumption/production.  It is still up significantly.  And it is going to be quite some time before it stops rising and much longer before coal consumption ceases to be a contributor to rising CO2 levels.

Your comment about being able to convert to solar in 15 years given sufficient fear factor is getting to the point of my posts.  There will not be a global effort to counter rising CO2 levels until that global fear manifests itself.  We are far from that state and until it occurs numbers about how long it would take to convert have no meaning.  Because we won't be doing the mass conversion.  Converting at the rates we are now won't take 15 years it will take 50 years.   

But the fundamental problem in discussions taken the direction you seem to prefer is that the solutions proposed assume some version of BAU will be able to be maintained and this is a fundamental part of the carrot held out enticing people to provide support for your preferred solution.  But it won't work.  There is no version of BAU that is going to work in the face of Climate Change effects, Peak Oil/Energy effects and a population that will be approaching 9 billion 50 years from now.  Baring a technological miracle you just can't get there from here.

Given the realities of politics and human nature, the global drive for economic growth, the fact that other countries (like India and China) are not going to make serious efforts until the US caves on maintaining its extreme lifestyle (and it won't), etc., I think it a pretty fair statement that we are a long way from capitulation and the rise of that panic required to get global change going.  My opinion is that real panic which results in the kind of change you require is probably a generation out still. And, by the time it happens, you will not have the resources required any longer nor the time to execute.  And I doubt that when that panic arrives it will take the direction you prefer.  It is liable to be oriented towards destruction vice construction.

While there are a number of bright people who have figured out the scope of the problem and are trying to effect some kind of solution (and I salute them for their efforts) they, just like the people in charge of and running the system, are wedded to BAU.  The fact that population is the elephant in the room which prevents a BAU solution they cannot come to grips with.  The instinctual reaction in a situation like ours is for those who have the most power and resources to maintain them at all costs for as long as possible  in the hopes that their competitors for the same cannot keep up.  They will have great incentive to help them not keep up.  This is the way of all things past and present.  To expect otherwise of humans is to ask them to become another species.  How likely is that.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 04, 2013, 07:12:36 PM
Coal use is dropping in China, Australia, Germany and the US.  Where is the use of coal increasing at a rate that wipes out those decreases?

(I'm talking about longer term trends.  China will cap in two years at its burn rate of two years ago.  I'm not interested in short term variability.)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on June 04, 2013, 10:02:34 PM
As I understand it coal production is increasing more rapidly than any other FF.


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/coal-the-rising-star-of-global-energy-production/article4352279/ (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/coal-the-rising-star-of-global-energy-production/article4352279/)


Exporting rather than burning locally does little to help.


The growing supply of coke from Tar Sands refining is also liable to create problems in the very near term. I believe they're planning to sell it out of country to any place that hasn't outlawed burning it as of yet.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 04, 2013, 11:37:14 PM
Terry, I couldn't read that link.  As soon as I saw they were using Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute as an information source I had to leave.

Let's just look at some facts.

The US has about 100 existing coal plants (out of ~450) scheduled to close and that number may rise to 200.  Can't burn coal in plants that don't exist.

China will cap coal use at 2011 levels in 2015.

From an Australian site -

Quote
Pick up a recent report from any mainstream energy analyst – local and international – and it’s pretty clear what’s going on here: thermal coal prices have slumped because demand is falling. This, in turn, is causing coal mines to lose money, and the economic case for massive new investments in new coal mines and infrastructure – largely based on a widely discredited “business as usual” scenario – is disappearing rapidly.

What’s behind all this? Well, the biggest drive is the actions of the world’s biggest coal consumer – China. Its major ports are currently overstocked with imports that are not required because of a fall in demand, which in turn has caused the closure of half of its mines in some regions. The country itself has announced a cap on coal consumption of 4 billion tonnes (just over half of what Australian coal miners had assumed they would consume) and has reinforced this by flagging the introduction of emissions caps by 2016.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/is-the-coal-industry-gaining-a-sense-of-its-own-mortality-72756 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/is-the-coal-industry-gaining-a-sense-of-its-own-mortality-72756)

Quote
It seems certain that the NSW and Queensland governments will have to take significant write-downs on the value of the fleet of coal-fired power generators, and the assets may not be able to be sold because of the radical reshaping of the Australian electricity market.

The NSW government is seeking buyers for its coal-fired generators, and a price of $3 billion, and the Queensland government is mulling over recommendations that they should do the same. Any sale of those assets would likely be held in 2015/16.

But are they worth anything? Industry insiders say there are unlikely to be any buyers at the price the governments are expecting- because black coal-fired generation is becoming increasingly sidelined by the unanticipated fall in demand, the impact of renewables such as rooftop solar and wind farms, and the effects of the carbon price. Many of the black coal-fired generators are operating at barely more than half their capacity, as the concept of baseload generation gradually recedes.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/shift-from-base-load-slashes-value-of-state-coal-generators-92669 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/shift-from-base-load-slashes-value-of-state-coal-generators-92669)

Europe isn't going to use more coal.  Europe has committed itself to drastic CO2 cuts.  Japan isn't going to be importing lots of coal, they are installing solar, wind and geothermal.

Where is this increased production going to get used? 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2013, 01:59:52 AM
Annual coal use in billions short tons (2,000 pounds)

#1 China: 1,310,000,000
#2 United States: 1,060,000,000    
#3 India: 339,000,000    
#4 Russia: 298,000,000    
#5 Germany: 265,000,000    
#6 South Africa: 170,500,000    
#7 Japan: 149,500,000    
#8 Australia: 144,170,000    
#9 Korea, North: 103,600,000    
#10 Ukraine: 97,200,000    

That's a total of 4,018,070,000 b tons out of a total world wide use of 4,558,273,000 b tons or 88% of total world coal use.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_coa_con-energy-coal-consumption (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_coa_con-energy-coal-consumption)

A number of the countries on the list are on record to use less coal going forward (aside from short term variability.)

Right now India is expected to increase the use of coal but at the same time there is rising pressure within the country to cut CO2 output and the rate of solar and wind installations are rising.

South Africa is one of the ten charter members of the Renewable Club.  I suspect it takes them in a non-coal direction.   

Russia, North Korea and the Ukraine - who knows?  They currently use about 11% of the world's total.  It's unlikely they would take up the slack created by countries cutting their use.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: mati on June 05, 2013, 03:29:01 AM
China is moving agressively into nuclear power for electrical generation, as well as adding solar and wind to the mix... 

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/China--Nuclear-Power/ (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/China--Nuclear-Power/)

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2013, 06:47:27 AM
I just ran across something from last October that I found interesting...

Quote
Traditional wisdom has been that China is building massive numbers of new coal-fired plants, and that such development would continue forever. However, two new indicators seem to be telling a different story.

The first and arguably most important indicator is the weak economic performance of China’s coal power sector, which accounts for more than half of China’s coal consumption. China’s State Electricity Regulatory Commission (SERC) reportedthat almost all coal-fired plants have been losing money since last year. Investment in coal-fired plants in 2011 was not even half of what was invested in 2005. About one-third of the proposed new coal–fired plants that have been approved are delaying the start of their construction, resulting in a big slowdown in newly added coal power capacity. In fact, based on the number of coal-fired plants completed this year so far, newly installed capacity is likely to be only half of what was installed last year.

This dramatic decrease in new coal development is mainly a result of China’s economic slow-down and weaker demands for new energy. It is also a result of the long-standing electricity sales price freeze imposed by the Chinese government on the power sector.

Another important trend not to be overlooked is the rising public concern over coal’s environmental and health impacts. In response to unprecedented deterioration of the environment, public awareness of environmental problems is rising rapidly. The number and scale of local social unrest incidents against pollution are mounting across the country, many of which are related to coal-fired plants. Some of these incidents have gotten international attention. In December 2011, for example, nearly 30,000 local residents protested against the expansion of a coal-fired power plant in Haimen, Guangdong Province. The project was quickly suspended after the protest turned violent.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-16/what-is-the-future-of-king-coal-in-china-.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-16/what-is-the-future-of-king-coal-in-china-.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2013, 07:35:11 AM
Quote
The world’s largest coal mining company – Coal India – is looking to innovative solution to reduce its own energy bills: it’s installing solar energy.

The company, which is listed but government controlled, and which accounts for more than 80 per cent of coal production in India, is installing a 2MW plant at its Sampalbur coal plant in Odisha. It plans to install solar at its operations across the country, including at its mining research arm, the Central Mine Planning and Design Institut.

Officials told local media DNA that the installation of solar PV at mines and staff housing areas is aimed at reducing Coal India’s own energy bills.

But the most striking aspect of the decision is the company’s own recognition that fossil fuels are depleting, and that solar is approaching grid parity.

“India has an abundance of sunshine and the trend of depletion of fossil fuels is compelling energy planners to examine the feasibility of using renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and so on,” Coal India’s bid document said.

Another state-owned coal company, Neyvili Corp, as well as Oil India, are also venturing into the solar market, Neyvili is building a 10MW solar PV plant with an option to upgrade to a 25MW facility.

Across India, around 2.3GW of solar is expected to be installed by 2016, with more expected as distributed solar provides cheaper options that sourcing electricity from the grid.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/worlds-biggest-coal-company-turns-to-solar-to-save-energy-costs-31634 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/worlds-biggest-coal-company-turns-to-solar-to-save-energy-costs-31634)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on June 05, 2013, 10:53:37 PM
Re: reply #8.

A bunch of those figures are completely off.  Not even close. see..

http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?product=coal (http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?product=coal)

or

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/coal.cfm (http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/coal.cfm)

Global coal consumption in 2011 was 8.14 (or 7.88 from 2nd source)  billion tons not 4.56 billion tons.

2011 numbers
China 3.83 billion tons not 1.3 billion tons.
India 721 million tons not 339 million tonx
Japan 192 million tons not 149 and much higher in 2012 due to Fukishima

It is much worse than you seem to think.

Time will tell, as always, on what happens.  You have a lot of optimistic assumptions.  Reality tends to deal with those kind of things.  What happens to those projections as Europe grinds through its economic problems.  China is due to slow also.  Coal is cheap and an existing plant might be kept on line past its normal life (lots of those) if times are tough economically.

There are a host of problems related to energy issues/costs, economic performance, climate change, water supplies, growing populations, etc that are going to impact us going forward that will all tend to degrade our capabilities and restrict our options.  Optimism is fine when it is based upon reality and not wishful thinking.  We deal with reality or it deals with us.  No exceptions.  Neither Progressive BAU nor Tea Party BAU is viable.

If we don't tackle population reductions we are not even dealing with the core problem. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 05, 2013, 11:23:26 PM
 

Here are the numbers I posted followed by more recent numbers from Mundi, 2011 with the one noted exception.  I find no date on the source I used.  Obviously it is outdated.

Annual coal use in billions short tons (2,000 pounds)
#1 China: 1,310,000,000  3,826,869,000
#2 United States: 1,060,000,000    899,500,000 (2012 EIA)
#3 India: 339,000,000    721,418,000
#4 Russia: 298,000,000    256,690,000
#5 Germany: 265,000,000    256,661,000
#6 South Africa: 170,500,000  201,403,000
#7 Japan: 149,500,000 192,853,000   
#8 Australia: 144,170,000    131,174,000
#9 Korea, North: 103,600,000    31,321,000
#10 Ukraine: 97,200,000   73,401,000

Most countries are burning more now than they were then (whenever it was).  A few are burning less.  But that's not the point.

These are the world's coal burners.  They burn over 80% of the coal burned on the planet.  Several have announced their intention to burn less in the future. 

If one wants to claim that cuts in coal use in the announced countries will cause others to burn more and take up the slack then they should identify where that additional burning might be and why they think it will happen.  Some sort of argument other than hand-waving or invoking Jeavon's Paradox.
--

Again, I am no optimist when it comes to climate change.  I recognize that we are already (almost certainly) being hurt and we will encounter higher levels of hurt before we get our CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions under control.

I am a problem solver by nature.  I am unwilling to stand in a house afire, pull on my hair, and scream that "We're all going to DIE!!!". 

I am someone who looks for an exit and attempts to let other people know if I think I've found one.
--

Now, we're not likely to solve our problem via population control.  In order to get our population levels down to the point at which GHGs aren't a problem we'd have to intentionally kill off about 75% of everyone alive today.

If we're smart we will take reasonable measures to speed the time to peak population which will also mean a lower peak.  Right now peak population is probably about 50 years out.  That's too late.  Twenty years is too late.  We need solutions other than killing billions or waiting for nature to take its course.


Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on June 06, 2013, 07:30:21 AM
Bob


Optimism is wonderful, when it's warranted, but coal production is increasing, not flattening or decreasing.
The OECD/IEA World Energy Outlook report (2011) makes projections based on a “New Policies Scenario.”54 According to OECD “new policies” projections, global coal output would rise 18% between 2009 and 2020.
- from the World Coal Association
I'm not sure where they assume their product will be used, but I'm not sure that it matters.
Coal is an asset that won't be abandoned unless governments worldwide put a stop to production, sales and possession of it. We've seen how well that's worked with cocaine, opiates and alcohol in various jurisdictions.

Jevon's paradox will apply as industrialized countries switch to renewables and the price drops for FFs. I don't see any way around this while global trade continues. One man's garbage is another mans fuel source as we're learning from the Koch Bro's tar sands residue piling up in Detroit.

When the house is on fire, screaming out may in fact be a very reasonable response, at least until everyone is aware of the situation. Someone assuring the residents that it's only a small fire, and the fire department will be along any minute isn't helping the situation either.  As Jim mentioned BAU is certainly not viable & it's going to take a lot to overcome the inertia keeping it in place. Businesses are going to have to change the way they do business and governments are going to have to change the way they govern for us to have any chance of surviving at more than a tribal level.

I sincerely wish I shared your outlook. I'm assuming that it's more comfortable to believe that somehow this is going to turn out OK, but everything I've learned leads me to to see your 75% die off as wildly optimistic.

Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 06, 2013, 07:54:12 AM
Well, Terry.  If we all sit around wringing our hands as some wish to do then something like a 75% die off will be our fate.

Ignoring solutions.  That's the solution.  Yep.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on June 06, 2013, 10:01:27 AM
Bob


I don't think that what I'm doing is hand wringing. I've been trying to present factual information about Arctic sea ice changes to anyone willing to listen. A happy ending would doubtlessly make the bitter pill go down easier, but I don't have one to offer.


I was told once that I had less than a month left, and though the diagnosis proved wrong I was grateful to be living at a time when doctors were obligated to provide truthful information to their patients. The time I spent with that information wasn't wasted. I contacted old friends, wrote a will & treated myself to a few perks I felt I deserved.
When a month extended to a year I sold my home and moved back to Canada to see the area i grew up in. None of the time was spent in panic or rage and the only regret was that I wouldn't be around for much longer.


I don't think people need to have the truth hidden from them to act rationally. I don't see a solution to our problems, but this doesn't mean that one doesn't exist. If people are told that things are getting better when they aren't, they can't make plans or work towards solutions that might work for them - or for many of us.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ccgwebmaster on June 06, 2013, 03:58:46 PM
I don't think people need to have the truth hidden from them to act rationally. I don't see a solution to our problems, but this doesn't mean that one doesn't exist. If people are told that things are getting better when they aren't, they can't make plans or work towards solutions that might work for them - or for many of us.

I think knowing the truth is critically important. It is after all a general absence of truth (both in provision by governments, corporations and the media) combined with a general lack of desire to learn the truth (by the general public) that has taken us this far. To continue upon that path is to believe in digging yourself down out of a hole.

Given the severity of the situation today, committed warming in the system, the ongoing loss of albedo (clear and immediate positive feedback), the masking effect of aerosols from industrial pollution - it strikes me as ridiculous to consider that a natural depletion in the rate of coal usage would provide any meaningful hope (even if it were happening). If this were a car wreck, we'd be thinking about easing up on the accelerator at very most at this point (and ongoing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration increase puts the lie to any notion things are "slowing down" anyway).

There are plenty of good psychological reasons why a majority of the population may delude themselves into believing the soft fluffy version of all this. Humans are not adapted to respond appropriately to this sort of threat.

I don't really agree about a lack of solutions for the simple reason that for as long as you are still alive you can likely do something. It may well be that there is now no practical solution to the overall problem - bearing in mind the inability of a majority of the population to become interested or educated combined with the lethal greed of the socioeconomic elites is part of the problem (ie the problem is not just climate change, but also human nature which is even harder to change), but even then one can consider solutions at the personal level and that try to make some provision for people later on. Until (or unless) death comes to one's doorstep one can fight for something at least.

Teaching your grandchildren how to work flint would be something I'd agree wholeheartedly was a good idea. If one is older and has lived a long comfortable life anything else one could do to help them would also seem morally appropriate (even and especially if one is not expecting to make it oneself).

As for coal, I can see no grounds whatsoever for complacency. How long has Hansen been clear on this matter and made very substantial personal efforts to communicate the need to get off coal? I'm pretty sure that a belief in a natural decline in rate of coal use as renewables become more cost effective wasn't what drove him to testify at the trial of the people who shut down the coal station briefly several years ago. I'm also pretty sure nobody arguing against him is likely to be better informed than he is on this matter.

Those coal fired power stations are killing people, pure and simple. So are our combustion engines and our energy choices, and I think more people ought to remember this - as it relates to the individual, not just to "everyone else".
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on June 06, 2013, 05:39:50 PM
Bob,

You are the one ignoring the solution.  This seems to be happening because you don't really grasp or are unable to accept the scope of the problem.  So, being a "problem solver" you glom onto your favorite technology and gin up an entire argument designed to convince your readers that everything is going to be all right.  You are out in your yard spraying down the flowers with a hose to save them when a high wind forest fire is going to burn every thing in its path.  Your paradigm needs to change from saving BAU (because you can't seem to cross the threshold to acceptance even though the facts are staring you in the face) to figuring out how we are going to adapt and survive after any kind of BAU is gone.  If you are really a problem solver work on that problem. 

It has been mentioned on this blog many times how foolish the established powers are being by taking a path that strongly promotes, or double downs, on standard capitalist BAU.  As I have mentioned in many posts there are very sound explanations for this approach (this statement does not mean that I agree with the approach just that it makes sense from a human nature perspective and also from a power politics/strategy sense).  But equally foolish (and much harder to explain from a human nature/politics/strategy sense) is the Progressive/liberal BAU approach (a famous proponent of this is Joe Romm) as it has even less chance of working than the standard BAU approach.  And then we have our big supporters for divine intervention, or the miracle approach.  In other words we wait for God to save us via miracle or we wait for our modern religion (the Gods of technical progress) to invent some wis bang solution.  As they say, "J****  C*****!!"  I just wish people would grow up and accept responsibility for what we have done and deal with reality.  All the research and data from the original Limits to Growth thru their latest "2052", to every projection of meaningful trends on climate, energy, agriculture, water supplies, pollution, nuclear issues, population levels, strategic minerals, global carrying capacity, etc, etc leads to the same conclusion.  That conclusion is that, no matter what we do, there is going to be a big drop in population brought on by all  those factors just mentioned NLT circa 2050 (baring that miracle you hope for). 

So the rational man, who at least wants the species to survive, works on the core issue.  Population.  Managing the population crash, or not, determines where the bottom is.  If we manage it we have a much better chance long-term than if we don't.  Just because it is a scary ugly problem does not mean we shouldn't work on it as the number one priority.  If we ignore it and just hope for the best as the cornucopian/dreamer/optimists like to do we are going to get a much worse result.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 06, 2013, 05:42:23 PM
If we do nothing but beat the "Doom! Doom! Doom!" drum we risk driving people into depression and despair.

If we present a more balanced message that we are heading in a very terrible direction  but there are some workable, affordable, painless ways to avoid the hell that resides at the end of our current path we stand a better chance of turning things around.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 06, 2013, 05:48:29 PM
OK, Jim, if I understand you what is going to happen is that we are not going to cut our CO2 levels but endure a major population crash.

Quote
So the rational man, who at least wants the species to survive, works on the core issue.  Population.  Managing the population crash, or not, determines where the bottom is.  If we manage it we have a much better chance long-term than if we don't.  Just because it is a scary ugly problem does not mean we shouldn't work on it as the number one priority.  If we ignore it and just hope for the best as the cornucopian/dreamer/optimists like to do we are going to get a much worse result.

So how do we do this?  Do we build some enclaves to protect an elite breeding stock and pass out cyanide tablets for everyone else so that we can die painlessly?

What's your plan?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ccgwebmaster on June 06, 2013, 07:12:54 PM
OK, Jim, if I understand you what is going to happen is that we are not going to cut our CO2 levels but endure a major population crash.

Quote
So the rational man, who at least wants the species to survive, works on the core issue.  Population.  Managing the population crash, or not, determines where the bottom is.  If we manage it we have a much better chance long-term than if we don't.  Just because it is a scary ugly problem does not mean we shouldn't work on it as the number one priority.  If we ignore it and just hope for the best as the cornucopian/dreamer/optimists like to do we are going to get a much worse result.

So how do we do this?  Do we build some enclaves to protect an elite breeding stock and pass out cyanide tablets for everyone else so that we can die painlessly?

What's your plan?
Actually, the establishment of a basic social conscience within societies and between nations would do wonders for population growth and population levels. Due to a combination of the demographic transition and the fact that it's just so damn hard for younger people to get anywhere in life these days mean fertility rates in developed nations are often below replacement levels (particularly excluding migrant communities).

In a world where the rich keep getting richer and the most powerful nations keep leveraging their power for their gain at the expense of everyone else, that simply isn't going to work real well of course. In that sense it isn't just about managing population but it's also about managing anger and injustice.

While Limits to Growth seems to embody a good qualitative understanding of the situation, I personally don't see things holding together until anywhere near 2050. LTG doesn't make precise time predictions and I think that ought to be kept in mind.

Any sort of managed cull of the human population would be unpalatable for the simple reason that the people who would decide who to cull would be the existing socioeconomic elites. Being quite sure by any metric I would fail to meet the criteria regarded as "worthwhile" in the modern day, that would be a direct reason for violence in itself. In any case none of us chose to be born - our parents made that choice for us - and parents are another logical point of intervention on that basis (I'm regarding access to contraception and female choice as part of the demographic transition but perhaps they need identified separately).

I think in the end nature will take it's course with our species.

Where I think part of the solution lies is in contingency planning for such a collapse - trying to put some minimum floor under how far the residual population can fall, and provide some basis for ultimate enlightened recovery from the crash. It would require something essentially miraculous for all the trends to turn around that would need to turn around even for a managed descent.

Hence I think flint knapping is as good a place to start as any. And perhaps a religiously enshrined future diktat that all people who dig up coal or oil should be immediately executed.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 06, 2013, 07:42:40 PM
Quote
Hence I think flint knapping is as good a place to start as any

Excuse me, but that's simply silly.

Let's envision the world after the sort of collapse that you think would make flint knapping a useful skill.  It would be a very depopulated world in which somehow enough game survives to support you few hardy souls who live off the land.  If we go into massive collapse we'll eat the other animals on our way out.  We've got more than enough firearms and ammo to take out even the mice.  One does not need sharp points to collect insects.

But suppose a few people and some deer/whatever do both survive.  That small band of you survivors would be surrounded by massive amounts of steel just waiting to be beaten into spear and arrow points using thousands of miles of railroad track anvils and millions of leftover carpenter hammers.

Plus the technology of gunpowder is not going away. 

The technology we have developed to date will not go away unless there are so few people left that there's not enough people to run simple factories.  A population of only a few million would be adequate to maintain a high tech existence.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ccgwebmaster on June 06, 2013, 08:23:43 PM
Quote
Hence I think flint knapping is as good a place to start as any

Excuse me, but that's simply silly.
I've split this into another topic, as I think it doesn't really fit under "coal".

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,359.0.html (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,359.0.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on June 06, 2013, 10:24:06 PM
Someone asked for a solution? Stop burning coal (and oil and gas as next steps) and use renewables - the feasibility is allready proven by some countries. But start that transition right now, because it is less easy if you have to do it fast.
It may cost 1k$/person/year - that sounds really cheap when you guys talk about 75% die... why should they die instead of trying a bit harder?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 07, 2013, 06:48:13 AM
Someone asked for a solution? Stop burning coal (and oil and gas as next steps) and use renewables - the feasibility is allready proven by some countries. But start that transition right now, because it is less easy if you have to do it fast.
It may cost 1k$/person/year - that sounds really cheap when you guys talk about 75% die... why should they die instead of trying a bit harder?

Thank you.

Yes, we need to stop burning coal ASAP.  We have the technology we need right now to get coal off our grids.  And many of the ten countries which burn over 80% of our coal are installing that technology and cutting coal use.

Again, coal use is being capped in China.  The largest user. 

The US is closing 20%, for certain,  and perhaps as much as 40% of its coal burning capacity over the next few years.

Australia has coal plants sitting idle and will have more joining them.

Germany is reducing their coal capacity.

We've started down the right path.  Now the chore is to go faster.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on June 07, 2013, 03:13:22 PM
Bob


Coal usage per capita is increasing rapidly - It would be nice if everyone follows up on their promises to use less, but to date consumption is going in the other direction.


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fgailtheactuary.files.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F03%2Fper-capita-consumption-of-various-fuels_line.png%3Fw%3D448%26amp%3Bh%3D270&hash=cbba5f58c8b321c6c16ce092e9e7d0a1)


Here in Ontario Canada it's been announced that by 2014 we will no longer burn any coal for generating electricity. As long as the Conservatives don't sweep into power after a snap election this promise will probably be kept. Alberta on the other hand is building new coal fired plants.


With the coal producers association projecting 18% growth by 2020 I'd assume that most coal producers can borrow the money needed to remove the mountain tops and expose another coal vein. Once the overburden is gone dishing out the coal is cheap and profitable.


At what point do you expect the producers and the financiers that backed them to decide that this was a bad investment and walk away?


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on June 07, 2013, 05:05:11 PM
Bob - we discussed that allready in the "China is leading"-thead. Germany could try much harder as it does.  Scandinavia showed us allready the way, so it can be done if one has the will. The will is missing in most countries and alibis are used instead. One alibi is asking for the next and discussions are never ending in some regions of the world... So when are we going to find an agreement and to start some effort? Just stop selling coal - that could help, too.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 07, 2013, 08:29:45 PM
Quote
With the coal producers association projecting 18% growth by 2020

Day before yesterday I read the nuclear industry site webpage that tells us that nuclear energy in the US is alive and thriving.  Today I find out that the two reactors at San Onofre are being permanently closed.  That's four US reactors permanently closed in 2013 and the year is only half over.  (There are at least three others that are losing money and might be shut this year.)

My point.  Best not to use industry mouthpieces as primary information sources.

Your graph cuts off before China cuts back consumption to 2011 levels.  It doesn't show the US after 100-200 coal plants have been closed.  It doesn't even show the number of coal plants currently sitting idle in Australia.

It's not the coal producers who will wake up first.  They are blinded by the coal dust of past earnings and capital invested.  Where the important wakening is occurring is in investment banking.  Investment bankers are starting to call coal a bad investment and some large banks are now not willing to make coal-related loans.

The executive who deals with energy in Deutsche Bank stated "Coal is a dead man walking".

Giles has been doing a very interesting series of articles on the coal industry in Australia.  Let me give you a bit of one...

Quote
It’s been a bad week for the thermal coal industry.

The commodity’s biggest consumer, China, appears serious about curbing its demand, thermal coal mines are losing money; coal generators are closing down, Queensland has had to introduce a captive buying arrangement to protect its state-owned generation assets, WA’s expensive revamp of an ageing and dirty Muja power station is proving to be a disaster, and the head of Australia’s coal industry has had a scripted meltdown, blaming the industry’s woes almost entirely on “environmental extremists”.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/is-the-coal-industry-gaining-a-sense-of-its-own-mortality-72756 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/is-the-coal-industry-gaining-a-sense-of-its-own-mortality-72756)




Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 07, 2013, 08:38:11 PM
Let me give you a bit more on the awakening of coal financing...

Quote
What’s going on with coal? The new lows in demand for electricity from coal-fired power plants in Australia have people wondering if this is the carbon price doing its thing. That is what the Labor Party claims, releasing analysis today that shows power generated by coal power plants has fallen 14 per cent since the introduction of the carbon price, while renewable power has soared.

But there’s a lot more at work here than just the carbon price. According to a commodities special report released on Thursday by Deutsche Bank, what’s happening in Australia and in the global coal market is part of a major shift in rational decision making about energy supply and demand.

The report, Thermal Coal: Coal at a Crossroads, says coal markets face a combined threat of steadily growing supply in the largest producing regions and a levelling-off or decline in demand in consuming regions.

“We believe this trend will develop out of emissions control standards, higher renewables output, a structural shift in the Chinese economy, improved transport infrastructure, and stagnating US demand,” the report says. And it points to three of the world’s most important demand centers – China, Europe and the US – as containing “the seeds of a softening in demand growth.”

“As demand disappoints versus producer expectations, rational decision-making will require that major expansion projects be delayed,” Deutsche Bank says. The same kind of rational decision-making that has seen plans for more than 150 new coal-fired power plants cancelled in the US since the mid-2000s – and predictions that upwards of 200 coal-fired generating units will be retired across America in the coming years.


http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/coal-at-a-crossroads-as-rational-thinking-sets-in-37929 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/coal-at-a-crossroads-as-rational-thinking-sets-in-37929)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 07, 2013, 08:48:01 PM
Quote
Germany could try much harder as it does.  Scandinavia showed us allready the way, so it can be done if one has the will. The will is missing in most countries and alibis are used instead.

Societal change is almost always gradual.  Some of us change before others.

Obviously we, the larger society, lack ample will right now and we should have developed that will a few decades back.  But I see the will growing.

Had we started earlier we could avoided the pain of climate change.  But we didn't. 

Were we working harder now we could keep our future pain to a lower level than what we will endure, because we aren't working as hard as we could.

As pain increases work will increase.  Alibis and excuses will fade away.

Those of us who arrived at "awareness" earlier can do two things to speed the growth of will -
 
1) Inform others why we need to make changes and

2) Teach others what we can do right now to cut fossil fuel use and how cutting fossil fuel use  will neither cost us much money nor damage our lifestyles.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on June 07, 2013, 10:40:26 PM
Bob


I can't find a graph showing that coal production has slowed.


The IEA thinks coal "will rival oil by 2017" according to the Financial Times.


From 2010 to 2011 coal increased by 6.37% worldwide. The biggest increase since 2005 when it jumped by 7.99%. There have been no down tics this century.


The charts that I have found show coal outpacing population. The data I've found shows coal increasing as fast as arctic sea ice extent has been decreasing since 1979.


When coal production slumps it will be a cause for celebration, but since 2000 it's increased by 39%.


There has to be a better metric to use if you want to show that things are improving.


Terry



Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ccgwebmaster on June 07, 2013, 11:00:26 PM
When coal production slumps it will be a cause for celebration, but since 2000 it's increased by 39%.
I'm left with a nagging thought in the back of my mind - we know coal isn't exactly in immediate danger of running out and liquid fuels are likely around production peak - there is a real threat that "coal to liquid" takes off.

Would we do anything so inconceivably stupid in the name of keeping combustion engines running? Unfortunately I think the tar sands and Arctic resource rush answer that question.

As such I think we must keep in mind that just as there are things that might reduce coal use there are also things that might increase it. There is no clear sign that national government of any substantial world power is taking the climate impact of coal especially seriously in how they approach national policy. Fine words are great - until a nation decides to scrap it's nuclear and turn up the coal again - or a government changes and quietly lets the pledges of the last one fade away. Only concrete changes can therefore be held up as evidence.

The UK has made various pledges to cut emissions, I'm very skeptical that there is a real intention to honour them (at least not by changing over the energy infrastructure). They're conveniently shunted far enough off into the future that nothing much need be done immediately.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 08, 2013, 12:20:14 AM
Terry, I can't draw you a graph of the future.  I just don't have those skills.

If you wish to believe that the US and Germany will not close the coal plants which are scheduled to close and China will not reduce their current use of coal starting in 2015, well, your crystal ball is your crystal ball.  I've no way to prove mine superior except to look at the record to date.  The US has closed coal plants and China has generally overachieved their clean energy targets.

The US hit production and consumption peaks in 2009 and both were lower in 2010 and 2011.

Germany hit their 'recent years' peak in 2009.  They are down drastically since 1991.

Russian consumption has been roughly flat.  They are producing, likely exporting, more.

South Africa consumption is down from 2008.

Japan's consumption was highest in 2008.

Australia's consumption peaked in 2007, stayed flat for a few years, and was down a bit in 2011.

North Korea may have peaked in 2005.  The site states that the data is not reliable.

Ukraine's consumption shows no particular pattern to me.

China is the only country of the "top 80+% user" group who is still increasing consumption.

Those post-2008 drops may be due to the economic downturn, but in the ensuing five years most of those countries have added renewable capacity and worked on efficiency.

http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=ua&product=coal&graph=production+consumption (http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=ua&product=coal&graph=production+consumption)

Now, that's data only to the end of 2011.   I'm unaware of any of the non-listed countries busy building new coal plants.  Perhaps Canada is, they are currently running in the wrong direction when it comes to the environment. 

To increase coal consumption outside of the 'top ten' there will have to be some plants built in which to burn the coal that most of the top ten are not going to be burning.  You can't just pile up a lot of coal, attach a wire at each side of the pile, and set it on fire.

And those plants will have to be built faster than other plants are being closed.



Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ggelsrinc on June 08, 2013, 05:50:20 AM
Here are the EIA world production stats on Total Primary Coal Production from 1980 to 2011:

http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=1&pid=7&aid=1&cid=ww,&syid=1980&eyid=2011&unit=TST (http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=1&pid=7&aid=1&cid=ww,&syid=1980&eyid=2011&unit=TST)

You can use the same link for different countries or regions of the world and get data on various coal products. I looked at the total production of coal.

The data shows world coal production increasing every year until 1991, 1992 and 1993, when it declined. The world production of coal did not decrease during the Great Recession. If coal is being produced, it's being used for something that generates CO2.

Looking at trends in a country like the US is misleading unless it's done in a comprehensive manner. The US saw major increases in natural gas production which can compete with coal. The realities of electricity generation require using some type of fuel to generate a base load. That requires very large facilities running at constant state. Hydroelectricity can be operated with some flexibility, but a large power plant can't turn the heat off and on, because it damages the facility. The rule of thumb in the US is to get large power plants running at capacity and use natural gas turbines to supply peak loads.

The US is on a path to reduce coal consumption, because you can't clean up the pollutants associated with coal. The trend is to switch coal fired boilers to natural gas, which will remove sulfur and metal emissions. The US is also on a path to export coal.

Whether China can reduce coal consumption remains to be seen. The main issue in China is air quality, but where do they get the natural gas to solve that problem? I don't recall India being mentioned and India is suffering an electricity shortage. I also expect Brazil to become a major player.

Ultimately, all the countries of the world will have to wise up and stop CO2 emissions. The present trend is to improve air quality and not reduce overall emissions of CO2. Only a new generation of nuclear power is big enough to replace those fossil fuels and it also needs to replace the dinosaur technology of the world's present commercial nuclear power industry. The world needs safe nuclear reactors that can't meltdown and which clean up their nuclear wastes, like Thorium MSRs.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 08, 2013, 07:11:05 AM
Quote
The realities of electricity generation require using some type of fuel to generate a base load. That requires very large facilities running at constant state.

That's incorrect.  We ran the 20th Century grid that way because what we had in large supply was thermal power which was not dispatchable.

That does not mean that future grids will run in the same fashion.  What we seem to be moving to is a grid fed by renewables "when they are supplying" with storage, dispatchable supply and load-shifting filling in the holes.

Quote
Whether China can reduce coal consumption remains to be seen. The main issue in China is air quality, but where do they get the natural gas to solve that problem?

China is installing a very large amount of wind and solar.  They have a large amount of hydro for fill-in.

Quote
I don't recall India being mentioned and India is suffering an electricity shortage. I also expect Brazil to become a major player.

Things are not so clear with India.  They have been installing a lot of wind and are starting to install solar.  They also have new hydro that they've brought on line.  If India builds new thermal it might be nuclear.  Nuclear and coal are both expensive but at least nuclear doesn't add to India's pollution problems.

India's per capita CO2 emissions are tiny compared to the real problem countries.  India's big contribution to cutting global warming is likely to come from moving hundreds of millions of people off kerosene and onto micro-solar.  That will be a cut in both CO2 and carbon soot.

Brazil has been adding very large amounts of wind to their grid.  Electricity production from coal  in Brazil was 2.10% of total electricity as of 2009. Its highest value over the past 38 years was 3.47% in 2001.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 09, 2013, 07:30:48 AM
Quote
Australia may be one of the most coal-dependent economies in the world, but by the end of this decade, it may have one of the greenest global grids.

A new analysis of government data compiled by Green Energy Markets finds Australia on track to not only hit 22% renewables by 2020, but reach an unprecedented 51% of all electricity by 2050.

Two major factors are empowering this paradigm shift: rapid growth of solar energy and the gradual phase-out of oil and brown coal – the two most carbon-intense energy resources.
..

Electricity consumption in the National Electricity Market fell 5.5% (11,400
GWh) from 2008 to 2012, with more than half of this reduction attributable to solar and energy efficiency activities supported by Government market based schemes.

Distributed generation from rooftop solar PV and solar water heater systems are considered by the government as reductions in demand. Good thing, as one million Australian homes now have rooftop solar.

 

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/30/australia-approaches-22-renewables-by-2020-51-by-2050/ (http://cleantechnica.com/2013/05/30/australia-approaches-22-renewables-by-2020-51-by-2050/)


Note that the use of both black and brown coal in Australia have been dropping for the last few years.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1.wp.com%2Fcleantechnica.com%2Ffiles%2F2013%2F05%2FScreen-shot-2013-05-30-at-7.16.48-PM.png%3Fresize%3D485%252C360&hash=627512f26429778b2e6d9920d83ce10f)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on June 09, 2013, 09:32:41 PM
World Coal Association data
2300+ coal power plants globally
620 in China

World Resources Institute Nov 2012
1200 new coal plants proposed (many of which will not be built but many will as well)

http://www.engineerlive.com/content/21600 (http://www.engineerlive.com/content/21600)
coal power plant capacity to grow 625 MW between 2010 and 2020

According to the Center for Global Development (data 2007) there are 50,000 power plants (all kinds) run by utility companies globally.  There are thousands of others that are owned by corporations who provide their own power (many of these are coal) .

 

Source of Electricity (World total year 2008)
                                                   Coal   Oil   Natural Gas   Nuclear   Hydro   other   Total

Average electric power (TWh/year) 8,263 1,111  4,301        2,731 3,288     568    20,261
Proportion                                      41%   5%     21%        13%    16%       3%     100%

 

The below EIA link shows the breakout of sources of electricity production and future projections.  Especially note the 2nd graph and note the category for renewables (non-hydro) to compare them with other sources.  It's pretty stark.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=3270# (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=3270#)

It is possible to get the impression from some of the above posts that coal consumption is declining and being replaced by solar.  This is not the case.  Solar and wind are growing nicely (in a typical industry sense, not in a manner that can meaningfully reduce CO2 emissions) but they are not replacing anything.  They are ADDING to the total generating capacity. 

Coal use is massive and shows no signs of stopping growing yet, let alone decline.  By the time that happens .....
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Anne on June 09, 2013, 10:17:23 PM
Coal is abundant and relatively cheap to win. When there is a fall in demand, the price falls and it becomes too cheap to ignore again.

Germany has increased both coal production and consumption over the past year. Paradoxically, part of this is attributable to a switch away from nuclear generation, the disaster at Fukushima having given a final push to the Green agenda. (Equally paradoxically, it has led to increased import of energy from nuclear-dependent France.)

This has been widely reported. See for example:
Quote
FRANKFURT,  June 7 (Reuters) - German hard coal consumption and imports were up in the first quarter of 2013 and power exports were also higher mostly due to hard-coal fired production, coal importers lobby VDKI said in a statement on Friday.  Production of power from hard coal fired generation plants was roughly 7.7 percent up year-on-year at 42 terawatt hours (TWh), it said in estimates based on official figures and VDKI calculations. Input of hard coal into total power generation in that quarter rose by 14.5 percent to 14.5 million tonnes of hard coal equivalent. Coal burn and imports are often converted into hard coal equivalent depending on the coal's calorific value to achieve price comparability. Imports of steam coal for power plants rose 25 percent to over 10 million tonnes in the three months, VDKI said, citing its own estimates.
http://www.xe.com/news/2013/06/07/3385585.htm? (http://www.xe.com/news/2013/06/07/3385585.htm?)

If you're talking about the US, according to the EIA, coal consumption for production of electricity is projected to increase, not decrease, by 2040.
http://www.eia.gov/coal/ (http://www.eia.gov/coal/)

India isn’t planning to cut back on coal consumption any time soon:
Quote
India's coal production has increased at a 5-year compound average growth rate (CAGR) of 4.6% to 540 million tonnes (mt) in FY2012. Over the last few years, the increase in production has come almost entirely from non-coking coal. Production of coking coal has increased at a low rate mainly because of lower production by Coal India Limited (CIL).
Rising prices has ensured improved financials for CIL during FY2010-12. Although competition from alternate suppliers and imports is likely to increase considerably over the medium-term, the dominant position of CIL is unlikely to be impacted.

Consistently increasing demand-supply gap, increased production, steady reduction in workforce, and productivity improvement measures are the factors which may have a positive impact on CIL's profitability on a consolidated basis. However, performance variations across subsidiaries may continue.
India's energy supply and demand is likely to be dominated by coal for many decades to come, primarily because of its lower costs and abundant availability. Compared with limited oil and gas reserves, India's coal resources and reserves are enormous. As a result, even under a wide range of scenarios, coal is expected to contribute between 44% and 51% of the India's energy supply by 2035, compared with 42% in 2010.
Coal is expected to continue to be the main source of electricity generation, with its share increasing from 68% in 2010 to 68.6% in 2035. Coal is expected to remain India's most competitive fuel choice for power generation over the next 2-3 decades.
In industry, coal is expected to be primarily used in steel and cement production, and is expected to be the main fuel used. Although world demand prospects for coal could increasingly be dependent on climate change policies, such factors could have less influence in developing countries such as India, which could place a higher value on economic growth and security of energy supply than on environmental objectives. Because of the long life of coal-fired power plants, and the higher cost of building advanced plants, alternate infrastructure will come into operation only very gradually.
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-02-14/news/37100382_1_coal-imports-coal-demand-coal-production (http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-02-14/news/37100382_1_coal-imports-coal-demand-coal-production)


See also industry market analysts. Although they are bearish in the short term about coal stocks, they are optimistic about the long term.
Quote
The EIA report also suggests U.S. coal production will increase by 1% in 2013 and 1.3% in 2014, primarily due to an expected rise in natural gas prices from 2012 levels. The relative increase in US natural gas price, compared to coal, will also increase the share of coal in electricity generation. The EIA report suggests coal’s share in electricity generation in 2013 will reach 39.5%, up from 37.4% in 2012.

Admittedly, the dominance of coal as a source of electricity generation has diminished with the availability of other fuel sources. However, as per an EIA report, coal will continue to be the major source of electricity generation in the U.S. until 2035.

In contrast, petroleum and nuclear power as sources of power generation have been losing market share, displaced by the strong growth of renewable sources of generation and natural gas-fired generation. Petroleum is losing out to coal because it is becoming increasingly expensive. After the Japan earthquake/tsunami in 2011, nuclear power’s contribution to total energy generation has declined from the prior year."
It's worth looking at that article in full.

http://www.zacks.com/commentary/26569/Coal-Industry-Stock-Outlook-April-2013 (http://www.zacks.com/commentary/26569/Coal-Industry-Stock-Outlook-April-2013)


According to the EIA:
Quote
China’s economic recovery has stumbled and coal demand there is down but it remains largest producer and consumer of coal in the world, and accounts for almost half of the world's coal consumption.
http://www.eia.gov/countries/country-data.cfm?fips=CH (http://www.eia.gov/countries/country-data.cfm?fips=CH)

Bob, I wish I could share your optimism.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 09, 2013, 10:22:55 PM
Well, some of us find projections which expect coal use to increase and others (actually only I) find projections which show coal use to decrease.

Time, obviously, will tell.

In the meantime, your collective pessimism has beaten me down. 

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ggelsrinc on June 10, 2013, 05:24:22 AM
Well, some of us find projections which expect coal use to increase and others (actually only I) find projections which show coal use to decrease.

Time, obviously, will tell.

In the meantime, your collective pessimism has beaten me down.

I expect future reductions in the use of coal, because it's too polluting and can't be cleaned up in present power plants. I was just pointing out the history of coal production and how it hasn't declined yet, except for that early '90s period. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out coal is just bad news and developed countries aren't going to want it around.

I haven't given it much thought, but does someone know why coal production declined in '91, '92 and '93?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Neven on June 10, 2013, 07:50:22 AM
USSR collapse?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ggelsrinc on June 10, 2013, 08:42:57 AM
USSR collapse?

Russian natural gas availability after the USSR collapse could be part of the story. I think the decline in coal production in those early '90s has something to do with various nation's clean air standards to rid themselves of acid rain and a switch to natural gas as an alternative fuel. I haven't checked it yet, but I'd expect natural gas production increases to more than offset any decline in coal production during those years. It's the only obvious answer I can think of and it's the only present way I would expect a future decline in coal production in the immediate future. I don't expect to see an overall non-economic related decline in fossil fuel production until the governments of the world are very serious about controlling CO2 emissions and policies are implimented for the decline of fossil fuel use.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Tor Bejnar on June 10, 2013, 09:28:52 PM
According to the EIA link posted above, USSR mined 881,836,000 tons of coal in 1990.  Production dropped nearly in half in the early 1990s (in former Soviet republics), and only recovered to about 500,000,000 tons in 2011.  So yes, Neven, the Soviet Union collapse does account for the early 1990s coal slump.  Other countries subsequently picked up the production slack, and then some. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ggelsrinc on June 11, 2013, 07:54:34 AM
According to the EIA link posted above, USSR mined 881,836,000 tons of coal in 1990.  Production dropped nearly in half in the early 1990s (in former Soviet republics), and only recovered to about 500,000,000 tons in 2011.  So yes, Neven, the Soviet Union collapse does account for the early 1990s coal slump.  Other countries subsequently picked up the production slack, and then some.

The early '90s decline in coal production is a result of acid rain and other clean air policies. The US reduced sulfur emissions by 40% and the EU reduced theirs by 70%.

Quote
Since the 1990s, SO2 emissions have dropped 40%, and according to the Pacific Research Institute, acid rain levels have dropped 65% since 1976.[34][35] However, although it reduced emissions by 40%, the US Acid Rain Program has not reduced SO2 emissions as much as the conventional regulation applied in the European Union (EU), which reduced SO2 emissions by more than 70%.[36] Therefore, the effectiveness of the emissions trading element as a mechanism has been criticised, since the EPA also used regulations to achieve the reductions, as all areas of the country "had to meet national, health-based, air quality standards that are separate from the Acid Rain Program’s requirements".[37]


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_Rain_Program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_Rain_Program)

One of the easiest ways to cut sulfur emissions is to not use coal, but coal also had pollutants like mercury, cadmium and arsenic. From what I recall the utilities in the US managed to reduce mercury pollution from 52 tons to 42 tons since those years. It's possible to reduce sulfur emissions by around 95%, but it requires expensive retrofit and using calcium carbonate (limestone). The problem then becomes, what do you do with all that calcium sulfate. The market is limited and most of it has to be placed in landfills. A small quantity of clean gypsum was used as construction material (drywall).

In the US and Europe, some utilities cancelled plans for coal fired boilers and switched to alternative fuels (natural gas). World coal production declined for a few years, but the utilities soon learned the regulations were more bark than bite in the US. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Air_Act_(1990)#Clean_Air_Act_Amendments_of_1990 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Air_Act_(1990)#Clean_Air_Act_Amendments_of_1990)

There is actually a story here of the markets responding to government pollution regulations in ways that reduced world coal production for 3 years.

In 1991, total primary coal production declined 315,962 thousand short tons from the previous year and the USSR collapsed at the end of '91. '92 only shows a decline of 69,073 thousand short tons. Production increases or declines mirror market demand. 305,714 thousand short tons or 96.8% of that '91 decline was in bituminous and lignite coal.

My intentions to discuss coal production and reflect on times of it's reduction is to look at the past and see how such changes can be implimented in the future. The fact is China produces more than three times as much coal as the US and China imports coal, so it's consumption of coal is around 3.8 times the US. China's coal production is over ten times the Russian coal production and Russia has been building coal fired power plants to replace natural gas so exports of natural gas can be increased, according to an EIA report.

Personally, I think the countries of the world should stop coal consumption and I'm delighted with any alternative energy resource that doesn't produce CO2. Where I differ from the purists is I'll take half a cup if I can't get the whole. I think North America, Europe and Russia could produce and distribute enough natural gas to stop coal consumption in those areas, but the US would have to become a natural gas exporter. From my assessment of electricity generating capacity by natural gas, the US could cut electricity from coal to around 7% and that's existing built generating capacity. There is certainly enough fleasibility to shut down coal fired power plants and some could be retrofited to use natural gas.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ggelsrinc on June 11, 2013, 11:43:02 AM
Here is an article on global carbon emissions that has some useful information about coal:

Quote
In the United States, a switch from coal to gas in power generation helped reduce emissions by 200 million tons, bringing them back to the level of the mid-1990s.

Source: http://local.msn.com/carbon-emissions-word-record-high-in-2012 (http://local.msn.com/carbon-emissions-word-record-high-in-2012)

The article mentions CO2 emissions increased 1.4% to 31.6 billion tons, the bad economy in Europe only allowed a 50 million tons reduction, Japan increased emission by 70 million tons because of Fukushima and China increased emissions by 300 million tons, but that increase is one of the lowest in the past decade.

My take on that data is I would expect coal consumption and CO2 emissions to decline in Europe, Japan and especially in the US with their access to natural gas. I still expect world coal production to increase with increased CO2 emissions from China. I don't foresee India supplying their electricity needs without using coal. 

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on June 11, 2013, 04:50:53 PM
gg


If the US & Australia stopped using and exporting coal the resulting price bump on the world market might be enough to lower coal use globally. This would be the time for such policies since natural gas prices are low, once they've rebounded the window will have closed. India and China would still be burning domestic coal, but other importers might switch to a better alternative (and almost anything is a better alternative).


Export bans might provide more bang for the buck than other carbon reduction policies & while it's still far too little and far too late it would at least give the US some credibility with other nations that have taken global warming more seriously.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ggelsrinc on June 12, 2013, 08:05:30 AM
gg


If the US & Australia stopped using and exporting coal the resulting price bump on the world market might be enough to lower coal use globally. This would be the time for such policies since natural gas prices are low, once they've rebounded the window will have closed. India and China would still be burning domestic coal, but other importers might switch to a better alternative (and almost anything is a better alternative).


Export bans might provide more bang for the buck than other carbon reduction policies & while it's still far too little and far too late it would at least give the US some credibility with other nations that have taken global warming more seriously.


Terry

Terry

I can understand your point about increasing the price of coal by creating a shortage, but let's flesh that out with data and assessment!

Quote
According to RET, Australia exported about 70 percent of its coal production in 2009-2010, or about 322 MMst. According to the Australian Coal Association, Japan was the destination for 43 percent of Australia's coal exports during Australian fiscal year 2009-2010. Other important export markets included South Korea (15 percent), China (14 percent), and India (11 percent). About 8 percent of Australia's coal exports went to Europe.

Coal exports are serviced by 9 major coal ports and export terminals located in Queensland and NSW. These terminals in 2009 had a combined handling capacity of 400 MMst. Several new port infrastructure projects are in various stages of development and are expected to add about 130 MMst to annual coal export capacity by 2014. These include the Dalrymple Bay capacity expansion and the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group's capacity expansion at the Port of Newcastle.

Source: http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=AS (http://www.eia.gov/countries/cab.cfm?fips=AS)

Australia uses about 100 million short tons of coal for domestic consumption and has built infrastructure to export 400 million short tons. That export capacity is being developed to export 530 million short tons by 2014. Notice the primary destination for Australian exports of coal and LNG is Japan and not China or India.

http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/quarterly/pdf/t7p01p1.pdf (http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/quarterly/pdf/t7p01p1.pdf)

The US produces about 1,000 - 1,100 million short tons of coal, exports around 10% of that and most of the US exports go to Europe. The data shows US exports to China increasing substantially in 2012, but that increase was in the first half of the year. There are efforts to increase US coal exports by building infrastructure for it to be exported. The US government also has policies to depress the price of coal as evidenced by lawsuits over royalties. You will also notice the year to year changes in exports to particular countries are large. It indicates to me that countries change their imports of coal quite often.

If the US & Australia stopped using and exporting coal, they aren't going to allow all that equipment to produce coal just rust away, so I would expect it to go to somewhere else producing coal or some other type of mining. The country I see hurt most is Japan. I don't think Australia could stop using coal without cutting back it's LNG exports. Korea would also find itself in that area of Asia without developed energy resources. I don't think eastern Russia could become a supplier and China would need all their domestic production and then some. That only leaves North America and long distance exports from the Middle East as an option. India would also suffer more from it's electricity shortage.

Australia doesn't export much of it's coal to Europe, but the US does. If Europe tries domestic production, the coal is of a lesser grade and more polluting. Russia could step up again and become a major producer of coal, but I don't see the countries near the Russian resource wanting their future electricity to come from coal and only the lack of an alternative resource is the reason Europe continues to use coal. I picture Europe eventually switching to natural gas from the Middle East, North Africa, Russia and North America.

If the US & Australia stopped using and exporting coal, I think the resulting price bump would include natural gas because of an increase in demand and the price of all energy would be pressured upwards. If exceptions weren't made, it would really hurt the economies of certain countries. Since the benefits of such a change are dependent on natural gas, I think Canada and the US should start a state corporation, like Norway did in the North Sea. They could contract to produce resources on public lands and offshore territories. That would give them the leverage to put downward pressure on natural gas prices. Low cost abundant natural gas is the best present solution to stopping coal fired power plants.

Unfortunately, I don't see the US or Australia heading in the proper direction and the same applies to most other countries. If they were ever motivated to pursue such a policy, they could phase the changes in over time, but I wouldn't suggest a long period of time. I'd say maybe more than 5 years, but definitely less than 10 years.   

 

 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on June 13, 2013, 05:43:42 PM
The BP 2013 Statistical Review of World Energy was released Wednesday.

Coal remains the worlds fastest growing fossil fuel.

http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/26015975 (http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/26015975)

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/statistical-review-of-world-energy-2013.html (http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/statistical-review-of-world-energy-2013.html)

Some VERY important numbers to look at here are the growth rate and consumption numbers for renewables and compare them to the overall growth rate and consumption numbers for Primary energy.

This will clearly make the point that, while growth in renewables is very fast, what renewables are providing is a slowing of the growth rate of fossil fuels.  Not a reduction in their use.  At their current growth rate, renewables will eventually match the growth in global primary energy consumption.  Only then will they have reached the point where they have the 'potential' to reduce fossil fuel consumption.  But Jeavon's paradox might come into play and play havoc with that assumption.

2012 numbers (over 2011) are:

Renewables:  +15% growth   or     67.8 million tonnes equivalent

Total Primary:   +1.8%     or         251.6 million tonnes equivalent

Renewables percent growth of total growth:  27%

While there are places where new renewables are meeting energy consumption growth requirements, on a global basis they are meeting just over 1/4 of energy consumption growth.

This illustrates my point about having a rapidly growing population.  More people increases energy demand.  Rising affluence will also raise energy demand.  Both together are crushing.  9 billion people will consume a lot more energy than 7.2 billion.  The core problem is population.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: NeilT on June 14, 2013, 11:26:53 AM
There is one core solution to this issue.

Getting people to understand that the climatic changes we are driving in our planet will impact anyone, living today, who is 40 or under.  It will massively impact anyone 20 or under today and anyone born in the next 20 years will live in a word which is inherently hostile to them.

Then and ONLY then can you highlight the root causes such as coal and oil use; which is driving the CO2; which is changing the planet.

Never mind the fact that the science community has been saying “100 years” for 30 years now.  It doesn’t even seem to have entered the awareness of people, or the media, that this now means 70 years to a train wreck.  More importantly, the train wreck gets bigger and closer for every decade of inaction.

Back in 1996 I identified this in my mind as pushing a huge boulder up a very large mountain with a rounded top.  At the bottom of the other side is a small village called humanity.  The harder humanity partied, the more energy was imparted to the boulder to push it up the mountain.

All the CO2 effort so far has gone into pushing the boulder to the top of the mountain.

At around 2000, the boulder reached the top.  In the next decade it started to go under its own momentum to start on its track back down to village humanity.

Where do we stand now?  Well we could have stopped pushing before 2,000.  We could have halted the rise of the boulder.  Instead we chose to party harder and push it faster.  It has gained so much momentum now that it cannot be stopped.

So what can we do?

Well, normally you’d say “Stop Pushing”.  But of course most of humanity doesn’t think they are, really, they think it is someone else’s problem.

Next we could try to stop it, but that is pretty much out of the question.  Not only would we have to stop partying, we’d have to go into forced indentured servitude to build the structure capable of stopping it.  Hardly a popular message for a hedonistic partying village.  It’s lynching talk.

So what are we left with?  Well we can hack chunks off the boulder.  We can make it smaller so that each push has less momentum and the impact can be a little less.

But, in the end, it all comes down to acceptance.  So long as people don’t accept that village humanity is about to be crushed by a weight so large that it almost defies comprehension, nobody is going to engage in resolving the issue until they fully recognize the reality and the impact.

Once and only once, the general populace accept that they are going to be heavily impacted by CO2 driven climate change, will they be open to issues such as increases in coal production and consumption.

That is the main solution which must be achieved first.  Yes other things such as renewables development and implementation must go on in parallel.  However, these projects are being delivered under the wrong model.

Renewables is not for cost or personal benefit.  Although this is by far the fastest way in a capitalist world.  Renewables is for the survival of the species.  But until you get the message over that it IS species survival, you can’t push renewables on the correct model.

It’s all about communicating the correct message and winning the FUD war.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on June 14, 2013, 07:10:50 PM
As long as the world's requirements for energy climb, we simply will not see any substantial reductions in fossil fuel generation of that energy. As cheaper sources of oil become scarce, this increasing demand will make more expensive choices viable (shale oil, tar sands, fracking). The only real solution to reducing fossil fuel consumption is conservation. We need to dramatically reduce the amount of energy required to support civilization. Dramatic reductions in energy requirements will make expensive sources of fossil fuels no longer economically viable.

How do we start. We need to look at both energy generation and energy use. If we focus only on generation, we are doomed. Look at where fossil fuels are consumed and prioritize areas where quick reductions can be made.

Here is a picture in the U.S. Every country will look different and result in different priorities.

As consumers, we must also consider uses of fossil fuels that go beyond simple energy generation. A large amount of oil is used to create plastics and fibers used for clothes. These nearly indestructible materials are also a source of pollution. I do not buy food packaged in plastics, glass only. I only buy natural fiber clothes. I sold my car several years ago. I have a membership in an organization called "IGO" which has cars available for use that are all hybrids. I use these when I absolutely need a car.

Each of us need to make decisions which contribute to conservation.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on June 16, 2013, 12:58:19 AM
Coal remains the world's fastest growing fossil fuel


Coal remained the world's fastest-growing fossil fuel in 2012, despite the rate of consumption slipping below the 10-year average of 4.4% during the year, according to the BP 2013 Statistical Review of World Energy released Wednesday.
http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/26015975 (http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/26015975)


If we can't stop the increased use of coal in a world awash in cheap CH4, what will happen when the newly fracked gas wells start to fail?


We watch as CO2 hits 400 ppm, note that the rate of accumulation is increasing, and no one in power offers more than platitudes. At some point someone somewhere has to pass legislation against mining, transporting and burning coal.


Terry
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Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on June 19, 2013, 10:03:17 PM
US coal exports set monthly record at 13.6 million short tons.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=11751 (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=11751)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on July 12, 2013, 05:10:56 PM
US coal consumption rises 4% in 2013.  Expected to rise further into 2014.

Quote
Coal's share of total domestic power generation in the first four months of 2013 averaged 39.5%, compared with 35.4% during the same period last year

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-coal-electricity-20130711,0,1786862.story (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-coal-electricity-20130711,0,1786862.story)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Anne on July 22, 2013, 06:15:54 PM
This is the official story about UK carbon emissions (https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/reducing-the-uk-s-greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-80-by-2050):
Quote
The 2008 Climate Change Act established the world’s first legally binding climate change target. We aim to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050.
The official policy at the link has many fine words.

Meanwhile, UK’s power stations are ageing and the risk of power cuts has trebled. And coal has just become a lot cheaper. So
Quote
the Government intends to allow coal stations to bid for three-year capacity payment contracts that they could use to upgrade existing facilities, which will allow them to continue operating beyond 2020, when EU air pollution and acid rain rules come into effect. Analysis by Greenpeace suggests that suppliers could be in line to expect £240m of subsidies per coal station over the three years – even though the improvement would have no effect on the amount of CO2 the plants emit.
Under the Energy Bill, 12 of Britain’s existing 18 coal power stations that could stay open will be exempt from the Government’s emissions performance standard (EPS) that sets limits on CO2 emissions for all new power generation. While the EPS will stop new coal power stations being built without carbon capture and storage, it will not apply to existing plants. That exemption goes against a pledge made by David Cameron in opposition.
The Independent 22 July 2013 (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/consumers-to-pay-dirty-coal-power-subsidies-for-years-8724925.html)

In other news, the UK government has announced a 50% tax break for fracking firms.
Quote
Britain’s fledgling shale gas industry will get a major boost today as George Osborne cuts taxes on fracking profits to less than half the amount paid by conventional oil and gas producers.
Under the Chancellor’s regime, shale gas producers will pay just 30 per cent tax on their profits, compared to the 62 per cent that the oil and gas industry has traditionally paid.
The tax regime is designed to attract investment into what Mr Osborne hopes will be a major new industry for Britain and puts shale gas on a par with a handful of conventional oil and gas fields – such as deepwater sites – which are viewed as particularly difficult and high-risk to develop.
Mr Osborne said: “Shale gas is a resource with huge potential to broaden the UK’s energy mix. We want to create the right conditions for industry to explore and unlock the potential in a way that allows communities to share in the benefits.”
He will reiterate plans to force shale gas companies to give local communities at least £100,000 per well in the hope of persuading them to allow fracking to proceed near their homes.
“This new tax regime, which I want to make the most generous for shale in the world, will contribute to that. I want Britain to be a leader of the shale gas revolution – because it has the potential to create thousands of jobs and keep energy bills low for millions of people,” he added.
The Independent 19 July 2013 (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/george-osborne-reveals-50-tax-break-for-fracking-firms-8718711.html)
It just goes on.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on July 22, 2013, 08:34:59 PM
Anne
I don't know why people are so opposed to fracking. If the power goes out you'll be able to light the faucets for light & heat.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Anne on July 22, 2013, 08:39:43 PM
Thanks for the laugh, Terry.

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best

And always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on August 02, 2013, 07:38:12 PM
Germany and coal consumption.  Very ugly numbers!

Readers will recall that back in 2011 Germany, in reaction to the big nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan, decided to shutter all 17 of its nuclear plants.  A decision hailed by environmentalists and largely opposed by prominent climate scientists who feared that loss of nuclear power would make it much harder to lower carbon emissions.

Turns out Germany is opening a coal plant for every nuclear plant shut down even though they are rapidly adding to their alternative energy power generation capabilities. 
917 million tons of coal used in 2011
931 million tons of coal used in 2012
still rising in 2013
Greenhouse gas emissions rose 1.5% in 2012 and will be higher in 2013.
coal imports were up 25% in the 1st quarter of the year
Only about 50% of the nuclear plants have been closed so far!

Quote
Six coal plants with a combined capacity of 4,536 megawatts are due to start generating in Germany this year, according to data from the Bundesnetzagentur grid regulator. That compares with shutdowns of four plants with as much as 623 megawatts this year.

“Coal plants are the only plants that can be operated at profit at the moment, and that’s why their share is rising and rising,” Kemfert said June 27 by e-mail.

Quote
the share of electricity generated from coal rose from 43 percent in 2010 to 52 percent in the first half of this year


The 'her' below is Chancellor Merkel.

Quote
To fill the gap, her government wants utilities to build 10,000 megawatts of modern gas- and coal-fired generators this decade, replacing older plants. She also unleashed a boom in wind and solar power construction.

So far, mainly coal plants have gotten the go-ahead. Gas plants, which run mostly in the middle of the day when demand peaks, are losing money as the surging number of wind and solar plants flood the grid with cheap power.

Quote
Operators of coal-fired plants will make a profit of 8.85 euros a megawatt-hours if they run their units next month, based on current coal, power and emission prices for the period. Gas-fired plants post a loss of 18.74 euros a megawatt-hour, according to a calculation by Bloomberg.

Climate change has quite frankly slipped to the back burner of policy priorities,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said on June 10.

Coal is favored because the cost of pollution is so low. Certificates to offset a ton of CO2 on the European Union emissions control market have averaged $4.32 so far this year compared with $17.18 in 2008.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-28/merkel-s-green-shift-backfires-as-german-pollution-jumps.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-28/merkel-s-green-shift-backfires-as-german-pollution-jumps.html)

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/30/germanys_clean_energy_plan_backfired/ (http://www.salon.com/2013/07/30/germanys_clean_energy_plan_backfired/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on August 18, 2013, 08:13:56 PM
Here is a story about locals fighting to stop, delay or raise the price of the land needed (depending on their personal interest) to build a 2GW 4 billion dollar coal plant in Indonesia.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Money and politics.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/07/20/national/local-opposition-stalls-4-billion-japanese-coal-power-plant-project-in-indonesia/#.UhEMI0nn9y1 (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/07/20/national/local-opposition-stalls-4-billion-japanese-coal-power-plant-project-in-indonesia/#.UhEMI0nn9y1)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 24, 2013, 12:58:38 AM
The Nevada governor recently signed a bill to close the Moapa Paiutes deadly coal plant by 2017.  The clean-up required is extensive. But the reservation will soon be home to the first large-scale solar project on tribal land in the US, and the tribe has signed a contract to sell the electricity -- to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/23/2515961/replacing-coal-solar-tribal-land/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/23/2515961/replacing-coal-solar-tribal-land/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: GeoffBeacon on August 24, 2013, 08:38:46 AM
What is the carbon price that would make coal uneconomic?

Can we show how the revenue from a carbon tax could be spent to persuade the doubters?

e.g.:

        Cut other taxes

        Hand the revenue to the public

        Create jobs

        Invest in renewables

Others?

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 24, 2013, 04:57:41 PM
Geoff,
Coal is starting to become uneconomic....

A recent major coal lease sale by the US BLM garnered no bids (there's an update at the end of the article).  The expected bidder explained:

“…in light of current market conditions and the uncertainty caused by the current political and regulatory environment towards coal and coal-powered generation and ultimately decided it was prudent not to bid at this time …”

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/21/2499291/obama-major-coal-sales/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/21/2499291/obama-major-coal-sales/)


And the World Bank plans to limit financing of coal-fired power plants:

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/314772/economy/finance/world-bank-plans-to-limit-financing-of-coal-fired-power-plants (http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/314772/economy/finance/world-bank-plans-to-limit-financing-of-coal-fired-power-plants)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ghoti on August 27, 2013, 07:49:08 PM
And this from Climate Crocks repeating similar statements about coal starting to cost too much to mine.

http://climatecrocks.com/2013/08/27/coal-fading-to-black/ (http://climatecrocks.com/2013/08/27/coal-fading-to-black/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on August 27, 2013, 08:33:12 PM
A cautionary note on the last couple of posts.

There have been a number of articles along this line lately and they do have a point.  But that point may be dulled a bit by a strong bias (a justified bias) against coal.

If you dig into the numbers a bit there is another aspect to the story.   If you peruse this link from an organization which advocates for clean energy

http://cleanenergyaction.org/u-s-delivered-coal-costs-2004-2011/ (http://cleanenergyaction.org/u-s-delivered-coal-costs-2004-2011/)

You will see that it depends on what kind of coal production you are talking about and where it is occurring.  The operations in Wyoming, Montana and such are producing coal at a much lower cost than the mining which takes place east of the Mississippi.

Giant open pit mines are probably not hurting that all that bad.  The market price for coal is down and that has reduced demand.  In such a circumstance it does not make sense to invest a couple of hundred million in opening up a new mine in Wyo.  As the recent surge in natural gas supplies in the US recedes over the next few years the price an operator can get for coal will rise (unless we work regulations to stop that from happening) as the price for natural gas rises. 

If this situation can be maintained for long enough it might be possible to drive a lot of the mines east of the Mississippi out of business.  Though that will be a big fight for a lot of reasons.   
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 28, 2013, 02:12:41 AM
JimD,
Yes, Coal is still Big, and not going away any time soon.  But even small steps in the right direction are great news, I should say. 

In a June settlement regarding selenium pollution in Tennessee (US), National Coal LLC announced that it would stop all surface mining business.
Quote
National Coal is the second firm to exit the mountaintop removal mining business. National Coal’s decision was preceded, last November, by Patriot coal which settled with the Sierra Club and its allies over Clean Water Act mining pollution violations in West Virginia.
https://content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2013/06/national-coal-exit-surface-mining-business (https://content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2013/06/national-coal-exit-surface-mining-business)


And public campaigns are having a not insignificant effect:
Quote
As Nation environment correspondent Mark Hertsgaard points out, during Obama’s first term a vibrant organizing effort successfully blocked construction of more than one hundred new coal-fired power plants, “thereby imposing a de facto moratorium on new coal in the United States.” Their actions, he argues, “limited future U.S. greenhouse gas emissions almost as much as the cap-and-trade bill would have done.”
http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/climate-of-change-what-does-an-inside-outside-strategy-mean (http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/climate-of-change-what-does-an-inside-outside-strategy-mean)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 28, 2013, 05:02:14 PM
What to do when the energy from new coal plant you contracted with is more expensive than other current options?

Peabody Energy Corp had an idea to build a power plant near a big coal mine it owned in southern Illinois.  It sold 95% of the project to eight utility consortiums in multiple states.  Then came the 2008 Depression, construction delays, and the rise of fracking. As a result, many towns today are contracted to pay for power that is more expensive than electricity available on the open market.

July 3:
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/03/19254933-small-towns-take-their-lumps-after-betting-big-on-coal-energy-plant?lite (http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/03/19254933-small-towns-take-their-lumps-after-betting-big-on-coal-energy-plant?lite)
Aug 28:
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/28/20218859-missouri-town-escapes-crushing-electricity-contract-tied-to-coal-fired-plant?lite (http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/28/20218859-missouri-town-escapes-crushing-electricity-contract-tied-to-coal-fired-plant?lite)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on August 29, 2013, 12:55:07 AM
Here is an  interesting article about future natural gas supplies and costs in the US.  I have seen a number of articles articulating this process over the last year or so.  It would indicate that the cost differential between coal and natural gas will eventually swing back towards coal and make coal more price competitive again.  Market driven situation.  Shale gas play's are not profitable from the production side, but rather from the drawing in investors with cash side.  Pump your discovery's, run your share price up and sell your stock.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/08/has-the-shale-bubble-already-burst.html (http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/08/has-the-shale-bubble-already-burst.html)

Quote
“The shale gas phenomenon has been funded mostly by debt and equity offerings. At this point, further debt and share dilution are less feasible for many companies”
 

Quote
Many US shale companies that have been beating the drums of shale “revolution” are now facing oil and gas well depletion. In February 2013 the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) warned that “diminishing returns to scale and the depletion of high productivity sweet spots are expected to eventually slow the rate of growth in tight oil production”.

Quote
“The cheap price bubble in the US will burst within two-to-four years,” believes David Hughes, a geoscientist and former team leader on unconventional gas for the Canadian Potential Gas Committee. “At a high enough price, the supply bubble will burst perhaps 10-to-15 years later, when drilling locations become sparse.”
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 20, 2013, 05:27:50 PM
I like what I'm seeing -- coal becoming less and less favorable.

The EPA took a step today towards getting the US weaned off coal.
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/u-s-epa-sets-first-ever-curbs-power-plant-pollution-4B11211140 (http://www.nbcnews.com/business/u-s-epa-sets-first-ever-curbs-power-plant-pollution-4B11211140)

A recent government auction for a coal lease in Wyoming garnered only one bid -- the lowest top bid in 15 years -- and so low it was rejected.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/19/2653151/coal-lease-lowest-bid/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/19/2653151/coal-lease-lowest-bid/)

Even the TVA (historically and heavily dependent on Appalachian Mountain coal) is proposing scrapping its oldest and dirtiest coal plants and finishing its planned nuclear plants -- all while avoiding a scheduled rate increase and cutting industrial rates by 30%.
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/sep/13/investors-challenge-tva-budget-plan/ (http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2013/sep/13/investors-challenge-tva-budget-plan/)

In Australia, a $7 billion coal mine was cancelled due to low global demand.
http://tcktcktck.org/2013/09/7-billion-australian-coal-mine-canceled-citing-low-demand/57156 (http://tcktcktck.org/2013/09/7-billion-australian-coal-mine-canceled-citing-low-demand/57156)

While China is banning new coal power plants in three major industrial regions:
http://tcktcktck.org/2013/09/china-announces-ban-new-coal-power-three-areas/56933 (http://tcktcktck.org/2013/09/china-announces-ban-new-coal-power-three-areas/56933)

China will also try to reduce pollution through public shaming of its dirtiest cities.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/19/2647481/china-fight-pollution-public-shaming/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/19/2647481/china-fight-pollution-public-shaming/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on September 21, 2013, 05:34:55 PM
Sigmetnow

Some good news if it pans out that way, but there is also not so good news.  Sort of a mixed bag as we say here.

A 10 Sep report by the EIA states that US consumption is rising.

Quote
Consumption will increase by 5.8pc from 2012 to 942mn short tons (854.5mn metric tonnes). In 2014, consumption is expected to grow more moderately, at a rate of 1.8pc to 959mn st, it said.

Though US exports were down.  Another interesting figure was that inventories of coal at US power plants were down significantly.  This likely means that they will have to rebuild inventories soon as we know they are not turning the plants off.  This need to rebuild might put some upward pressure on bulk coal prices.  Thus increasing demand for natural gas and raising the price of it as well.

http://www.argusmedia.com/News/Article?id=864280 (http://www.argusmedia.com/News/Article?id=864280)

Meanwhile India is looking in Australia, Indonesia and Columbia with the interest in buying additional coal reserves.

Quote
A 2012 International Energy Agency report estimated that nearly 25 percent of India's population still has [no access] to electricity, while electrified areas suffer from rolling electricity blackouts, both issues which New Delhi is anxious to resolve.

India, of course, has limited wealth to import coal but then again coal is cheap so it will be interesting to see what happens.

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2013/08/22/Coal-India-Ltd-scouts-for-mines-in-Australia-Indonesia-and-Colombia/UPI-14501377213751/ (http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2013/08/22/Coal-India-Ltd-scouts-for-mines-in-Australia-Indonesia-and-Colombia/UPI-14501377213751/)

Though the greatest rise in coal consumption has been China

Quote
The global increase in coal consumption rests squarely with China. While the world as a whole saw an increase in coal consumption last year of 101.3 Mtoe, China’s increase alone was 112.5 Mtoe. India added another 27.7 Mtoe....

Even if China cuts growth by 50% that still means a significant rise in overall consumption.  And, interestingly, Europe is not exactly doing well in some respects either.

Quote
Interestingly, most of the countries that saw the sharpest percentage increases in coal consumption from 2011 to 2012 were in Europe. Portugal led all countries with a 31.4% increase in coal consumption in 2012, followed by Chile (25.1% increase), Spain (24.2% increase), the UK (24.0% increase), New Zealand (21.3% increase), and France (20.1% increase). Many of the countries experiencing sharp growth in their percentage of coal consumption are countries heavily associated with pushes to renewable energy, or that have a strong nuclear power portfolio (France).

Other interesting numbers.

Quote
But global coal consumption has increased by 16.6% over the past five years, because those increasing their coal consumption tend to use a lot of coal. The top percentage increases over the past five years were Argentina (157% increase, but still a small user overall), Chile (76.4% increase), Columbia (70.1% increase), Malaysia (62.0% increase), and Bangladesh (58.3% increase). Of the heavy users of coal, China saw their consumption climb by 41.9% while India’s was right behind them with a 41.8% increase.

In a struggling economic environment many countries have little choice but to burn the cheapest (in a short-term sense) fuel they can find.  Currently that choice is limited to coal and natural gas.  It is not likely that gas prices can stay low for the medium-term and it is certain that coal will remain cheap (there is just so much of it) and this will drive the short-term economic conditions.

http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/robert-rapier/king-coal-gets-fatter-while-the-us-goes-on-a-diet (http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/robert-rapier/king-coal-gets-fatter-while-the-us-goes-on-a-diet)

Like you, I hope that we are starting to see the slow final turn away from coal consumption.  But the evidence is not convincing at this point.  It still seems likely that what we are seeing is just the normal ups and downs of supply/demand forces impacting price and consumption.  We will have cause to claim the corner was turned when we have seen 2 consecutive years of declining global coal consumption.   

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on September 21, 2013, 05:41:43 PM
This is what we have to see change.  We are still following this curve.


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fenergyforumonline.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F09%2F55-World-coal-consumption-by-country-grouping-2010-2040.png&hash=40242c638d88c1e87bf995bf00bf5628)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 22, 2013, 06:12:21 PM
Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests coal’s days are numbered -- although that number could be quite large....  A good summary of anti-coal factors, from August.

http://about.bnef.com/blog/caldecott-will-old-king-coal-continue-to-be-a-merry-old-soul/ (http://about.bnef.com/blog/caldecott-will-old-king-coal-continue-to-be-a-merry-old-soul/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on September 22, 2013, 09:33:03 PM
Sigmetnow

Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests coal’s days are numbered -- although that number could be quite large....  A good summary of anti-coal factors, from August.

If I had read your link before I wrote my last two posts I would have used it to make my point.  The title is somewhat misleading as the text leads one to the conclusion that the problem is not under control and will continue to get worse for some time.

The part of your quote I highlighted is my point.  If we are reaching the point that the curve above will flatten and then fall, that fall is a long ways away still.  Coal is not dead and maybe only starting to get sick.  Dying is some time away yet.  Though some of the trends affecting coal are heading in the right direction the pace of change is very slow yet.  But we do not have time on our side in this issue and I think when folks read headlines they get the wrong impression of how dire the situation is.

From your article (highlights mine):

Quote
While the confluence of factors is significant, particularly in Europe and the US, the sheer scale of legacy coal assets globally combined with growing power needs in Asia, will prevent coal’s quick exit from the world stage. The Global Renewable Energy Market Outlook (GREMO) we have developed at Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that under a range of scenarios coal will only account for 10-12% of total power capacity additions between now and 2030. But despite this collapse in new capacity additions, its share of global installed generation capacity will only fall from 36% in 2013 to 21-23% in 2030.

This is almost entirely down to China. The country will add 88GW of new power plants annually from now until 2030 – the equivalent of building the UK’s total generating capacity every year. While China’s power capacity will more than double by 2030 and renewables will account for more than half of new plants, coal will still continue to grow rapidly until 2022. We estimate that China will add on average 38GW per year of new coal capacity – equal to three large coal plants every month. So despite a clear shift to cleaner sources of energy in China, carbon emissions and local environmental problems resulting from coal will probably continue to worsen in the next 10-15 years. ...
....Our sense is that Old King Coal will be around for longer than many might like.....

So coal plants are expected to be about 10-12% of new capacity out to 2030.  China is expected to add 38GW of new coal plants each year or 3 a MONTH.  Carbon emissions from coal are expected to continue to rise for another 10-15 years!

And then we have the economic factors which can result in us bucking the trends described in the article.  Foremost is that existing plants in many places in the world are not likely to be shut down when coal is so cheap.  Regulations might force that in places like Europe and the US (best make no assumptions though as the political fights on this still have to be fought), but in the less developed world money talks even more than it does in the US.  They will not be able to afford to shut plants unless we provide the investment for them to do so on a giant scale (who is going to pay for that?).

Another factor is that many of the coal facilities in the world are not permitted by the governments (they just ignore that issue) or are in private hands.  In China many coal plants were built by companies to provide power to the factories which make our goodies.  They had no permission at all to do this but they did it anyway.  There are hundreds of non-utility power plants in China today.  There will be a tendency to do this kind of thing in other places as long as power is unreliable and coal is cheap.

Natural gas prices are likely to rise significantly over the next few years.  The cost advantage natural gas has over coal in the US will diminish significantly and this will impact the drop in coal consumption we have been seeing in the US the last few years.  I do not expect that trend to continue unless the fights over EPA regulations are won by the Administration.  In any case the implementation of those regulations will have to go through the courts and that just takes a lot of time (it is certain that they will be fought).

Restricting investment in new coal infrastructure will help slow growth, but it could also increase the likelihood of old inefficient coal plants being kept in service longer.  Disinvestment might have some effect in the industrial countries but probably not much elsewhere.

The core of the problem is that a large percentage of the world does not have enough power so we need to add capacity.  Plus we keep having a big pile of unneeded babies and are increasing the population.  More power needed.  All most all renewables being added are increasing capacity not replacing bad power options.  A very ugly situation.

I am not arguing FOR coal use as I share your desire to eliminate it.  I just see what appears to be a very difficult problem to solve taking a long time to work out.  And like I said above. Time ran out awhile back.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on September 25, 2013, 05:42:34 PM
An interesting article on how one large coal company in the US is using hedging techniques to remain profitable.  This is a sure sign that they are hurting.  On the other hand they made a lot of money doing the hedging.  the article also discusses some of the financial mechanism of coal exports which shed a light on why some companies still export even when they are losing money.  Financials are still deteriorating and if they stay bad for a couple more quarters the new export terminals on the west coast might not happen

http://daily.sightline.org/2013/09/23/the-hidden-export-bombshell-in-cloud-peaks-financials/#comments (http://daily.sightline.org/2013/09/23/the-hidden-export-bombshell-in-cloud-peaks-financials/#comments)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on September 25, 2013, 11:17:21 PM
Some more info from the Bloomberg white paper referred to above just popped up on another blog and while I was reading what they said I noticed another point to make about the projections on Chinese coal consumption in 2030.

Their numbers indicate in China today coal accounts for 67% of the 1124 GW of production or 753 GW from coal.

In 2030 they project coal will be 44% (middle scenario) of 2707 GW of production or 1191 GW from coal.  Which is 'more' than their entire current production from all sources.

The spin is that this percentage reduction is a great improvement and that China is getting green.  But really this is a disaster as it means their overall coal consumption will rise by 58%!


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Freneweconomy.com.au%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F08%2Fbnef-china.png&hash=cd8a8c34a3e3afa38264ae684e6a516a)

bnef.com/WhitePapers/download/358 (http://bnef.com/WhitePapers/download/358)

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on October 05, 2013, 07:07:54 PM
It is noted that the complexities of costs are a big driver in coal consumption.  Currently many coal produces are not operating at a profit or their costs are requiring pricing which reduces demand as energy users switch to lesser costs fuels like natural gas.  This situation, of course, results in cost cutting by coal produces to recover profits and become more competitive with natural gas.  Rising natural gas prices over time (especially in the US) are likely and this will cause coal to become more competitive again.  So how do the coal companies cut costs on the other side of the equation?  Well here is one way.

Note this information is about an iron ore mine.  But my point is that eliminating high paid jobs via automation is a sure way to lower costs.  It is after all one of the prime ways the US is increasing productivity.
Quote
Train drivers working for Australian miner Rio Tinto make as much as A$240K (US$224K) per year to haul ore. According to BLS data, that is as much as surgeons in the US, and more than the $151K average of New York State lawyers.

$224K per year!!!  Full disclosure.  I worked on the Burlington Northern railroad for a time when I was younger and I can assure you that this is very simple work and could easily be automated and am surprised a bit that it has taken so long. Though when I worked the typical train had 4 workers on it and the norm is now 2.  But zero makes perfect sense with modern technology.

Quote
Rio, which last year approved spending of $7.2 billion to expand the iron ore operations, is aiming to have the world’s first, fully automated, long-distance and heavy-haul rail system operating in 2015. Its automated rail will have 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) of track, 10,000 wagons and individual train sets 2.3 kilometers long, according to Credit Suisse Group AG. The company is spending $518 million on the program that was announced last year.

Quote
Rio also plans to automate about 40 percent of its Pilbara truck fleet by 2016. The goal is to reduce costs to $15.60 a ton by 2020, from $23.10 a ton in the first half of this year, Paul Young, a Sydney-based analyst with Deutsche Bank said in a report after touring operations last month, citing Rio data. Automation is set to help shave $1.90 a ton off costs and boost output by 20 million tons, or 5 percent, he said.

There is nothing about hauling coal that is functionally different than iron ore.  This type of technology will proliferate.  We have large farm tractors today which need no human driver and setting up a system for very large mine trucks and trains is even simpler to do due to the controlled environments. 

I expect this type of technology to have an impact over the next 10 years or so. 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-02/rio-replacing-train-drivers-paid-like-u-s-surgeons.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-02/rio-replacing-train-drivers-paid-like-u-s-surgeons.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on October 05, 2013, 07:32:12 PM
Jim
They might want to check with MM&A before investing too much much on automated rail lines.[size=78%]


Terry[/size]
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on October 06, 2013, 04:35:54 PM
Terry

Your link went missing.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ggelsrinc on October 07, 2013, 02:22:07 AM
It is noted that the complexities of costs are a big driver in coal consumption.  Currently many coal produces are not operating at a profit or their costs are requiring pricing which reduces demand as energy users switch to lesser costs fuels like natural gas.  This situation, of course, results in cost cutting by coal produces to recover profits and become more competitive with natural gas.  Rising natural gas prices over time (especially in the US) are likely and this will cause coal to become more competitive again.  So how do the coal companies cut costs on the other side of the equation?  Well here is one way.

Note this information is about an iron ore mine.  But my point is that eliminating high paid jobs via automation is a sure way to lower costs.  It is after all one of the prime ways the US is increasing productivity.
Quote
Train drivers working for Australian miner Rio Tinto make as much as A$240K (US$224K) per year to haul ore. According to BLS data, that is as much as surgeons in the US, and more than the $151K average of New York State lawyers.

$224K per year!!!  Full disclosure.  I worked on the Burlington Northern railroad for a time when I was younger and I can assure you that this is very simple work and could easily be automated and am surprised a bit that it has taken so long. Though when I worked the typical train had 4 workers on it and the norm is now 2.  But zero makes perfect sense with modern technology.

Quote
Rio, which last year approved spending of $7.2 billion to expand the iron ore operations, is aiming to have the world’s first, fully automated, long-distance and heavy-haul rail system operating in 2015. Its automated rail will have 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) of track, 10,000 wagons and individual train sets 2.3 kilometers long, according to Credit Suisse Group AG. The company is spending $518 million on the program that was announced last year.

Quote
Rio also plans to automate about 40 percent of its Pilbara truck fleet by 2016. The goal is to reduce costs to $15.60 a ton by 2020, from $23.10 a ton in the first half of this year, Paul Young, a Sydney-based analyst with Deutsche Bank said in a report after touring operations last month, citing Rio data. Automation is set to help shave $1.90 a ton off costs and boost output by 20 million tons, or 5 percent, he said.

There is nothing about hauling coal that is functionally different than iron ore.  This type of technology will proliferate.  We have large farm tractors today which need no human driver and setting up a system for very large mine trucks and trains is even simpler to do due to the controlled environments. 

I expect this type of technology to have an impact over the next 10 years or so. 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-02/rio-replacing-train-drivers-paid-like-u-s-surgeons.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-02/rio-replacing-train-drivers-paid-like-u-s-surgeons.html)

Quote
There is nothing about hauling coal that is functionally different than iron ore.

That is true in the sense of mass transportation of bulk materials for railroads, but coal with the right (or wrong) sulfur content can spontaneously ignite. Remember the Battleship Maine and the Spanish-American War? We (meaning the US) declared war on Spain, because we thought we were attacked, but later examination showed the munitions magazine next to the coal storage exploded from inside the ship. It's now widely believed that spontaneous combustion of coal sank the Maine.

As a young man, I had years of experience using liquid nitrogen. Before the end of Centralia, PA, back in the early '80s, when the fires reignited, I had this idea I could stop the underground fire with liquid nitrogen, so my wife and I went there. I was directed to the house of the Priest trying to save the town. The Priest informed me the mineral rights in that area were collectively owned by the town and the coal under the town was top grade anthracite. I questioned him about entrances to mines and why he thought the fire started. He pointed to hills all around the town and told me they were all man made. He told me about similar above ground fires in strip mine areas, such as West Virginia. Many thought the fires were intentional to remove the residents, but the Priest reported the information as he knew it.

That's when I first discovered how sulfur can spontaneously ignite coal or related strata, because conditions can remove the sulfur from top grade anthracite putting it in what is commonly called overburden. Once such material is fragmented by digging it up, it is mixed with air and can spontaneously ignite. Those man made hills in Centralia, PA were created by dumping such materials. Later, I remember ships spontaneously igniting in Baltimore harbor, when they were trying to export coal and railroads get the coal there.

Charcoal is the first thing a Chemist would think of to collect harmful substances. Since coal has existed in the ground for such a long period of time, it's picked up every nasty thing available to it. Even without a carbon dioxide problem, coal is a poor choice for a fuel. I've been in precipitators and scrubbers and they aren't efficient at removing pollution. Things like sulfur, mercury and cadmium are commonly talked about, but coal can contain radium, uranium, basically any bad thing millions of years can put there.

The Earth does a great job containing those nasty substances, but once man digs into it, those nasty substances get released. That is true with all mining, but coal has it's unique chemistry of collecting things. Mining is necessary to get resources, but the laws should require returning the area to equal or better conditions and management of all pollutants. The areas should be monitored to prevent harm to mankind or the environment. It isn't like any of this is something new, so we should have already learned and implemented such practices.

One of my big issues involves corporations getting public resources and paying pennies on the dollar by resource leases. I don't see anything a corporation can do that can't be contracted out, so let the government hire the corporations with contracts. That way, public resources are sold at market prices. I've been called many a bad name for advocating this, but I'm actually a capitalist, not a thief or a politician seeking graft. If the people own something, they should be paid market value for what they own, minus the contract price. The concept may be radical to America, but it isn't that radical. We have enough natural gas to put coal out of business and profit while doing it. We don't have to live like this, there is a better way. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on October 07, 2013, 06:19:16 PM
Jim
What I was referring to was the problems the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railroad ran into when they tried one man trains running through Lac-Megantic. I doubt that Quebec, Canada or any other jurisdiction is going to sign off on trains without at least minimal crews.


ggel
Smoking Hills in the NWT of Canada have been burning for a very long time. The reason apparently is that coal and sulfur strata touch each other and moisture assures combustion.
Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on October 07, 2013, 08:31:22 PM
Terry,

But that issue does not apply to all train traffic.  There are many areas where automated trains could be used.  Having worked on trains I am not sure at all that people make them safer...I was riding in the engine as a brakeman once and the engineer fell asleep and did not wake up for 40 miles!!  I also fell asleep many times and we frequently radioed the rear of the train and got no response.

If a track has no busy at grade crossings I am sure an automated train is just as safe.  The giant dump trucks in the big strip mines could easily be automated as they follow a very simple path and are confined to the  mine site.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: domen_ on October 15, 2013, 08:26:46 PM
Jeff Rubin about oil and coal prices:

End of growth: How to achieve a truly sustainable future Featuring Jeff Rubin and David Suzuki (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU14fItHGgc#ws)

5:00 -25:00 (approx)

He claims that because of high oil prices (and the same for coal) we won't burn even 1/3 of what IPCC predicts.

What do you think about his argument, how solid is it? I think that he has a point about oil, but I'm not so sure about coal. Coal is still pretty cheap and it doesn't seem to be getting more expensive anytime soon.

There's also a problem with possible new technologies which could allow cheaper extraction of fossil fuels, as in fracking.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on October 15, 2013, 10:59:46 PM
The problem is that the exact same argument was made about deepsea oil drilling and even more so about tar sands. But, surprise, these sources are being exploited just as fast as industry can corrupt officials to let them do it.

Price is an artificial indicator. If we run short of oil and coal, the world economy crashes and all prices become lower. Then suddenly the new price of oil and gas don't seem so bad.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on October 16, 2013, 05:22:59 PM
Wili spent a lot of time over at TOD as well as I did and he will be very familiar with the following.

Most economists do not have the scientific understanding of the fundamentals that govern at a fundamental level how the world runs. So they miss the point more often than not.

How much we burn has nothing to do with price it has to do with EROEI and AGW.  We 'shouldn't' burn any more and we hopefully won't burn more than that 1/3 but shoulda's and coulda's.  We will burn all that is available until either EROEI goes negative or AGW burns us to a crisp is the best bet.

Pricing of fossil fuels is not the best metric to use but economists understand it so they use the hammer on the nail they know.  "Real" price has an effect on demand and has all sorts of interesting effects on how our economies run.  But...

the real kicker is the EROEI of the fuel.  Energy Return On Energy Invested.  The "reason" prices have risen is that the EROEI of fossil fuels has decreased.  Especially for crude oil and its variations (tar sand oil, etc).

This is a very complicated physics/engineering topic and I won't even try to repeat it all here.  If you are really interested google The Oil Drum blog and look in its archives on EROEI and you will find solid discussions on the subject that will keep you busy for a few months.

A very brief snapshot would be that the world was built on cheap oil (which saying really means that the EROEI was very high - maybe 100:1.  You get 100 BTU's out for each 1 BTU of input).  We were rich in economic terms.  Today the numbers are much worse and I have seen numbers that indicate (for all kinds of oil aggregated) we might be around 20:1 and for specific new sources like tar sands oil the number is much lower.  So we are relatively 'poorer' to use the economists term.  The oil costs more so to speak.

A few numbers illustrate the point.  At a ratio of 101:1 we get 100 units of economic activity for each 1 unit put into providing fuel.  At a ratio of 51:1 we get 50 units of economic activity for each 1 unit put into providing fuel.  So we need to produce 2 times as much fuel to maintain current economic activity (assuming no improvements in efficiency).  At 26:1 it turns out we need 4 times as much production.  And so on. You see the problem here.  It is not possible long-term to ramp up production like that.  We have actually been getting much more efficient and production has been rising.  But we are hitting the limits on occasion and causing price spikes until efficiency and production catch up. 

Now the trend is what we need to be concerned about as it does not take a genius to figure out that the wheels fall off the train sometime before the EROEI ratio hits 1:1.  That point is when the physics says the party is without question - over.  But somewhere in between where we are now and that point our global economic system will cease to function because it was designed around high EROEI numbers which are going away never to be seen again.  This, in a nutshell, is the entire Peak Oil argument.  It has lost favor because we have busted out all stops in a mad search for more energy and been fairly successful at finding lots of it.  But the EROEI ratio is
not going away and nothing we are doing is changing that.  We are the personification of the Red Queen running.  As t he ratio drops we will spend an increasing percentage of our energy just getting more energy and that takes energy away from other activities (to the economist that means the supply/demand, cost/price numbers get out of whack and the economy does not grow fast anymore.  Time to cry for capitalism.).

I think the more probable answer, than the one provided by your link, is that only climate catastrophe will end the burning of fossil fuels.  AGW should collapse the system long before the EROEI ratio reaches the point where further activity takes more energy than is recovered.  If it doesn't our economic system will push us to keep burning to avoid economic collapse as long as the energy ratio is on the positive side of the equation.

The above is very sketchy and I feel a little uncomfortable giving such a brief answer.  The Peak Oil work is so voluminous and comprehensive.  It is not about 'price' it is about physics.  How long we can keep the ratio high is unknown  and as long as it is not getting under 5:1 or so we can keep the economic ship afloat (if we are ignoring AGW that is).  At a 20:1 ratio we are not as rich as we were at 100:1 but we are still rich.  At 5:1 we are still making a big profit so to speak it will just be that the amount left over for use will cause the 'price' to rise significantly unless we can figure out how to find lots more at that ratio than we did at higher ratios.  Or we get lots more efficient.  Or both.  Economies adapt. Physics does not. Fast rises in prices for fossil fuels will cause recessions but will not stop the train.  AGW is going to stop the train.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on October 16, 2013, 06:04:20 PM
Nice summary, JimD.

I would just point out that, contrary to what many of us expected early on at TOD (and, yes, I did spend probably way too much time there, but learned a lot there, not the least from JimD himself!) is that in certain circumstances oil can be produced near or perhaps even below an EROEI of 1:1.

This is essentially what is happening with the tarsands. It hard to know exactly what its EROEI is, but even its promoters admit that it is very low (5:1, iirc), and many expect that this is a large over estimate.

So how can they produce an energy source that uses more energy than it extracts? Here is where some of the economists (and a persistent farmer or two) got it right and we got it wrong. As I understand it, there is lots of natural gas in the area, but no infrastructure to take it to market. On top of that, fracking has driven down the price of NG, so it's not profitable to bring that source of it to market at current prices. So instead that local energy source is used to carry out the very energy intensive process of turning the sandy-tarry guck that is tar sands into oil.

Basically, they are burning ff to make ff--one of the reasons this source is a particularly bad path to take if we are hoping to keep global temperatures anywhere close to the traditionally agreed upon limit of 2 degrees C (a limit we now know is itself far too high to avoid catastrophes and to trip tipping points...).

As with many things related to energy, economy and the environment, there are complications within complications. I doubtlessly over-simplified her, but I hope the main point is clear--it's not just a matter of "FFs will soon be too expensive to extract (either in economic or EROEI terms), so we won't have to worry about that for much longer."

We are deeply addicted/committed to the energy density and utility of liquid fossil fuels (as well as the other forms)--the entire infrastructure of modern industrial society is still almost entirely built around it.

Short of an outright universal ban on their extraction (and even then no doubt, since no law can be perfectly enforced everywhere always), somebody somewhere is going to continue to extract oil (or its precursors) to fuel military and/or commercial toys of various kinds as long as there is any remotely left to extract.

Our only (increasingly hopeless looking) hope is that we can shift the oil flow from a gusher (really a continuous Niagara, quite literally) to a trickle before we totally cook the planet to a crunchy black crisp.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ccgwebmaster on October 16, 2013, 07:20:37 PM
Thanks to the recent paper about the PETM carbon injection, I've learned a few interesting things - one was about coal and I thought it was worth a minor note on this thread.

I didn't appreciate that it is thought that the majority of coal was formed because wood was - then - much more rot resistant (as the organisms to break it down hadn't come along yet).

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mushroom-evolution-breaks-down-lignin-slows-coal-formation (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mushroom-evolution-breaks-down-lignin-slows-coal-formation)

I've always taken the viewpoint that over geological timescales the planet would sequester the carbon dioxide again as coal and oil, like it did before. Unfortunately, that assumption seems considerably weaker - and hence - digging up and burning billions of tonnes of coal might in fact mean we are altering the planet for far longer than we might at first think...

... unless we think other carbon sinks and reservoirs can compensate in such a way that the basic operation of the earth system remains unaltered long term (geologically speaking)?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: domen_ on October 16, 2013, 07:33:13 PM
Quote
Pricing of fossil fuels is not the best metric to use but economists understand it so they use the hammer on the nail they know.  "Real" price has an effect on demand and has all sorts of interesting effects on how our economies run.  But...

the real kicker is the EROEI of the fuel.
Why would EROEI be better indicator than price? It's the price that makes a difference in markets, not EROEI. As long as EROEI stays above 1:1 then it makes sense to exploit it. But if price is too high then it's not gonna happen because it's not gonna be profitable. Or alternatively: some other source may be more profitable and market turns to this other source (that's also the point of puting price in carbon).

I can see that happening to oil, but I've yet to see that happen to coal.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on October 16, 2013, 10:14:37 PM
It is a good idea to artificially increase the coast of these ff through taxes (though ultimately we have to go further and directly regulate these forms of fuel, eventually out of existence).

But, since oil is so fundamental to the world economy, when its price goes suddenly up because of scarcity, it tends to crash (or play a major role in crashing) the world economy. Again, that makes everything, including oil, cheaper in dollar terms, though expensive or unaffordable to more and more people who are now out of work.

In other words, I think there are feedbacks. Money itself could be seen as a proxy for energy.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on October 16, 2013, 10:29:52 PM
domen

Quote
Why would EROEI be better indicator than price? It's the price that makes a difference in markets, not EROEI.

Well I do not think that that is true.  Price is a derivative of EROEI.  And not the first derivative and not the only variable in the equation, but fundamentally that is where it comes from.

Markets are based upon a lot of imaginary concepts that dare not be shown in the light of day.  Every day all indices go up or down or up and down.  The reasoning given is almost always based upon non-real world information.  Usually some version of people's psychological reaction to some external factor.  And then they go the other way the next day.  The price of oil does the same thing and seldom is it based upon important factors.  It is often manipulated by those who sit in positions that give them this kind of control and they always do it to manipulate some metric which will garner them profits.  Sure you can manipulate price and run some folks out of the market and bankrupt a few companies and make some money off of doing so.  But the economic value of a fossil fuel differs in a fundamental way from some typical widget.  The amount of excess energy available to use and the amount of energy we spend obtaining it is the foundation of our population and our current form of civilization.  We can't just switch from Target to WallMart and pick up a different version of it.

But the world will still run along pretty fine based upon the fundamental EROEI numbers.  As they drift down the screws holding civilization together will slowly tighten.  As this happens using fossil fuels for non-essential purposes will be constrained over time and the normal supply/demand type of calculations will no longer work.  For the economic approach on this issue to work the rise in price has to be able to result in additional supplies or replacements.  Since the EROEI numbers, and other aspects of the physics, do not allow for this the economics approach is not valid in the case of fossil fuels.  If you are making widgets it is mostly a different story.

Economics calculations are to what is fundamental similar to how Newtonian physics is to Special Relativity.   They work under certain constraints just fine, but they are an illusion of what is really happening and that always needs to be kept in mind because as soon as those constraints no longer apply they give incorrect answers.  Just as most observers only see Newtonian physics at work and have no knowledge or understanding of their limits or what is fundamental most economists see only the Newtonian version of the world and not where the limits lie and what is fundamental.

If you really find this anti-economics stuff interesting you should spend some free time in the old Oil Drum archives.  If you are not familiar with TOD it was likely the best blog ever in terms of what could be learned from it.  Very high levels of discourse, on a wide range of mostly technical topics, often wrapped around original articles by various PhD's.  Many of the postings were by folks with serious expertise.  Economists got beat up there a lot.  And some gave as good as they got.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on October 17, 2013, 02:35:10 AM
I was one of the ones that were beating up on Economics, but not from the perspective of any great expertise.

I must say that there was at least one place where the economists on the forum got the last laugh, though they were mostly too polite to gloat. When the price of oil started to really soar in '07-'08, the economists on the forum were pretty much all confidently saying that the price would drop considerably at some point because of 'demand destruction.' Many of the regulars, myself included, scoffed at this notion, since oil is so crucial, and we were so sure that we were in the midst of the peaking of oil (which we were, as far as conventional oil goes).

But, as we now know, the price did in fact crash, along with the world economy. So the economists got that one right, and I and many others got it wrong. Of course, as I pointed out, the lower price was not much of a consolation to all those millions that were thrown out of work, and so were unable to buy gas at any price. Which brings one back to the old saw about economists knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing. (I just had to get in one last dig, having already eaten my humble pie.)

Moxy Fruvous - King of Spain (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtPkDhM1Brs#)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on October 21, 2013, 05:19:09 PM
Some more interesting reading on coal issues.

In  China.  BAD smog.

Quote
..Visibility shrank to less than half a football field and small-particle pollution soared to a record 40 times higher than an international safety standard in one northern Chinese city as the region entered its high-smog season...
....For the large northern city of Harbin, the city's heating systems kicked in on Sunday, and on Monday visibility there was less than 50 meters (yards), ...
....The density of fine particulate matter, PM2.5, used as an indicator of air quality was well above 600 micrograms per cubic meter — including several readings of exactly 1,000 — for several monitoring stations in Harbin, according to figures posted on the website of China's environmental protection agency. They were the first known readings of 1,000 since China began releasing figures on PM2.5 in January 2012, and it was not immediately clear if the devices used for monitoring could give readings higher than that.

One would presume that this kind of pollution would add impetus to switching away from coal.  But who knows.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/super-smog-beijing-china_n_4134226.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/super-smog-beijing-china_n_4134226.html)


From the US.  Predictions of a boom in power plant construction (mostly natural gas) but also info on the status of the lawsuit to the Supreme Court to eliminate the new EPA rules on construction of new coal plants.

Quote
..But between now and 2040, the country will need to build 340,000 megawatts of generating capacity - or the equivalent of 15 of China's massive Three Gorges Dam - to meet growing demand from consumers and replace retiring plants, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)....

...Last Tuesday, a NAM-supported effort to challenge the rules cleared an important hurdle when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in the case. The regulations, which critics call a "war on coal," will cost industry "tens of billions of dollars per year," according to the petition to the high court.

The heavy push towards natural gas power plants will increase the controversy over fracking and that fight will be substantial.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/war-on-coal-natural-gas-power-plants_n_4135176.html?ref=topbar (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/war-on-coal-natural-gas-power-plants_n_4135176.html?ref=topbar)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on October 21, 2013, 07:22:37 PM
Not only Beijing !
"China: record smog levels shut down city of Harbin"
http://www.euronews.com/2013/10/21/china-record-smog-levels-shut-down-city-of-harbin/ (http://www.euronews.com/2013/10/21/china-record-smog-levels-shut-down-city-of-harbin/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on November 16, 2013, 05:07:26 PM
Underground coal gasification project in Wyoming

Quote
Few people have heard of coal gasification, which is the process of creating synthetic natural gas out of coal by setting it on fire and injecting it with oxygen and water. But even fewer people have likely heard of underground coal gasification, which is the process of doing that while the coal is still deep underground.

Coal gasification (syngas) is a process of converting coal into a flammable gas (used in the early years of industrialization before production of natural gas  came into widespread use) or via the Fisher-Tropsch Process into liquid fuel for transportation purposes (Nazi Germany used this process extensively during WWII).  Converting coal in this fashion is very polluting and results in a big loss in efficiency over the direct burning of coal (not that I am advocating that either).

This project also threatens the water supply in an arid region of Wyoming (my home state).

Quote
...Local residents and environmental groups are  fighting the project, saying it is an untested process that only promises to contaminate their already dwindling water supply with deadly benzene. If approved, the project — located in part of a major regional aquifer — would likely receive federal exemption from the Safe Water Drinking Act, a law that protects the quality of drinking water.

On Nov. 14, the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council will review Linc Energy’s application for a “state research and development” license to drill thousands of feet into Wyoming’s portion of the Powder River Basin.
....


Quote
..[UCG] involves drilling two wells – at some distance from each other – into the coal seam. The first well supplies oxidants (a mixture of water and air or water and oxygen), which are injected into the location where the process is actually occurring. The second well permits the syngas produced to escape under pressure to the surface. This gas contains approximately 80% of the original energy content of the coal, and is a combination of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane....

Quote
.. UCG plants only emit carbon dioxide, which according to a 2010 paper by UK’s Newcastle University, makes it perfect for pairing with carbon capture and storage (CCS). CCS is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions before they are emitted into the atmosphere and storing them deep underground.

If, however, UCG is not paired with CCS, it could result in massive carbon emissions, according to an article in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. “If an additional 4 trillion tonnes [of coal] were extracted without the use of carbon capture or other mitigation technologies atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels could quadruple,” the article said, “resulting in a global mean temperature increase of between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius.”
...

Quote
...that UCG paired with CCS is a way to mitigate climate change effects from fossil fuel burning, but also noted that projects where coal seams were located next to prolific aquifers were extremely likely to experience groundwater contamination from benzene.

In fact, groundwater contamination from benzene is one of the main reasons that a UCG project has not happened in the United States in almost two decades. In the late 1970s, the U.S. Department of Energy conducted three pilot-scale test burns in Campbell County at a UCG project known as Hoe Creek, which caused benzene contamination in the area’s groundwater.

That contamination from the test burns allegedly cost the federal government $10 million and took 23 years to clean, according to a protest letter from a Wyoming family that lives near the proposed project....

Note that Campbell County is where the new plant is proposed.  This idea is so bad that it boggles the mind it is even being proposed. 

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/11/12/2923951/untold-story-wyoming-proposed-coal-project/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/11/12/2923951/untold-story-wyoming-proposed-coal-project/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on November 17, 2013, 06:40:01 AM
These are the kinds of schemes that assure that we will continue to emit ever greater amounts of CO2 and methane even as society crumbles around us and the cascading sequences of global economic and civilizational crashes fall down around our heads.

If you can gassify coal without mining it, even getting a fraction of the total energy out of it, that will be more and more worth it, monetarily, in an energy constrained world.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on November 22, 2013, 05:30:19 AM
Quote
From 2007 to 2012, the governments of developed countries invested almost $35 billion in coal plants internationally.

Throw in coal mines and other related activities, as well as the financing in all three areas in 2013 so far, and the total comes to just over $59 billion, according to figures compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
...

That is a lot of investment which they are going to want to make their money and some profits back on.  Hard to just turn off.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/11/21/2979781/coal-financing/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/11/21/2979781/coal-financing/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on December 03, 2013, 05:08:20 PM
Petcoke

While not actually coal (it is a byproduct of refining the really dirty crude like the tar sands of Canada) it consists of almost pure carbon and when burned is a huge producer of CO2.  Our favorite buddies, Koch Industries, are shipping it out of the US to be burned to make steel, cement and other industrial products. 

Quote
...Nearly pure carbon, petcoke is a potent source of carbon dioxide if burned, which has led to it being banned as a domestic fuel source in the U.S. ..

Quote
... U.S. petroleum coke exports January-February 2012 averaging roughly 470,000 barrels per day. The major foreign markets for U.S. petcoke export markets are China, Japan, India, Brazil, Turkey, and Mexico. While petcoke is not as valuable as other higher-priced U.S. petroleum product exports such as gasoline and diesel fuel, it was nevertheless a major contributor in 2011 to the United States becoming a net exporter of petroleum products for the first time since 1949....

...A major player in these petcoke exports is now the Oxbow Corporation, owned by William I. Koch, selling 11 million tons annually.

Another ugly aspect of the exploitation of the tar sands.

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Rising-slag-heaps-of-Petcoke-in-Midwest-Arouse-Environmentalists-Concerns.html (http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Rising-slag-heaps-of-Petcoke-in-Midwest-Arouse-Environmentalists-Concerns.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on December 03, 2013, 06:00:12 PM
It is nice to see that Bloomberg media is against coal.

We can only hope that helps make a difference.

Quote
The logic is pretty straightforward. Carbon dioxide emissions are threatening the planet. In the U.S., coal plants are the second-largest source of those emissions, after transportation. Therefore, the Environmental Protection Agency should impose emissions limits on coal-fired plants.....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-11/five-bad-arguments-from-the-coal-industry.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-11/five-bad-arguments-from-the-coal-industry.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on December 11, 2013, 04:19:13 PM
Updated data on the state of coal power generation in the US.

Quote
...As I discussed in a recent blog, the U.S. coal power industry has been in decline for several years now. Coal-fired electricity fell from about half of U.S. generation in 2008 to 37 percent in 2012. Going back to 2009, nearly 21 GW of coal power capacity has already retired (6 percent of the U.S. coal fleet), and another 34 GW of coal generators has been announced for closure. ...

....When compared with natural gas, 329 coal-fired power generators in 40 states — representing 58.7 GW of power capacity — failed our economic test (see map). This total includes 69 coal units (17.8 GW) that are new to our ripe for retirement list for this 2013 update.....

A couple of points that are not addressed.  Fracking on a massive scale is required to keep natural gas production high.  This issue has serious downsides and it is not certain that we want to keep going this direction.  In any case, even if we continue to frack on a massive scale the supplies of natural gas are not unlimited and we eventually run into a supply issue again.  Not to mention that recent studies have shown that methane leakage from natural gas production is significant and lowers the advantages of using it to replace coal.  Thus worsening the above numbers.

Another point on the negative side.   If you look at their numbers on coal power generation (from 50% to 37% of total generation from 2008 to last year) it looks like a 26% drop over that time.  But it is not because US power generation was not static over that time.  It grew significantly.  If you look at total coal consumption for power generation over that time the drop in percentage terms is actually 17.4%, or 2/3 of what the article implies due to not  fleshing out the math.  This brings to further light a point that I have brought up before.  If almost all the wind and solar power generation brought on line is for NEW capacity and not to replace high carbon emission technology we are just following the BAU trajectory and not accomplishing much.  Natural gas production/power generation as is actually conducted is a BAU perpetuation and not a long-term solution.

Part 1( mostly about natural gas)

http://blog.ucsusa.org/ripe-for-retirement-examining-the-competitiveness-of-u-s-coal-plants-333 (http://blog.ucsusa.org/ripe-for-retirement-examining-the-competitiveness-of-u-s-coal-plants-333)

Part 2 (about wind)

Quote
...Thanks to new technology developments that have lowered the costs of new wind projects and increased electricity production, our new analysis shows wind power could play an even greater role than natural gas in replacing existing coal plants.

The analysis shows that retrofitting 71 gigawatts (GW) of existing U.S. coal capacity with modern pollution controls would be more expensive than the cost of building new wind projects with the federal production tax credit (PTC) included. This is 12 GW, or 21 percent, higher than our core scenario comparing coal to the cost of increasing generation at existing natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants.
...

...LBNL data shows these higher capacity factors combined with reductions in capital costs has resulted in a 43 percent drop in U.S. average power purchase prices (PPAs) for wind over the past 3 years (from ~$70/megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2009 to below $40/MWh in 2012).....

Note that these numbers require the continuation of the Production Tax Credit which is not certain.

http://blog.ucsusa.org/tag/ripe-for-retirement-2013-update (http://blog.ucsusa.org/tag/ripe-for-retirement-2013-update)

part 3 not available yet
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 11, 2013, 06:57:20 PM
JimD......this is why I feel that conservation is a more effective way for reducing emissions. It would require drastic lifestyle changes for every consumer.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ritter on December 11, 2013, 08:33:22 PM
JimD......this is why I feel that conservation is a more effective way for reducing emissions. It would require drastic lifestyle for every consumer.

More effective but less likely. The rub is that the rest of the world wants to live my comfy US lifestyle.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on December 11, 2013, 08:46:20 PM
SH

We are certainly locked in a dilemma.

Other than a few scientists and activists there is almost no one who is not still in a growth is at least ok, some form of BAU (whether regular BAU or the Green kind promoted by the Progressive faction - i.e. Romm at Climate Progress) is appropriate, and having more babies is a personal choice and human right mode. 

At the same time it is obvious that continued growth in either economic terms or population terms is suicidal.  We cannot grow our way out of this situation.  If all we do with alternative energy is figure out a way to power the world and continue to let population grow we are going to do more damage to our chances for long-term survival than if we just let the fossil fuel industry destroy the climate over the next 30 years. 

If we try to facilitate a world population which is expected to reach 9 billion we are going to use up so many resources needed for adaptation to AGW that it will guarantee we don't make it.  IF we are going to make it we must cut the standard of living of all rich countries by large amounts.  Not only no more growth there but actual reductions in consumption and standard of living.  But this DOES NOT MEAN that we have the luxury of economically growing the developing world.  If we do that we waste any reductions among the currently wealthy countries.  This is the harshness of approaching the point where we have to deal with Reality.  We are not in a zero sum game where reductions by the wealthy can be shifted to the poor (the fairness concept - Reality does not recognize the fairness concept).  The sum is not constant. It is decreasing by 1 chip every day.  We cannot afford to increase anyone's standard of living, we can only afford reductions.  Spending resources to reduce mortality does not help humanity's chances of long-term survival (are you listening bill gates?).  Not being involved in serious efforts to decrease population is suicidal (are you listening China, India, Islam, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons?).

Human nature is not to sacrifice oneself for the greater good.  People sacrifice themselves for their families and soldiers for their brothers.  Not for their states, countries, humanity and especially not for strangers.  Some for their religions of course, but religion is part of the problem not part of the solution.  Human nature is much happier with the idea of helping the stranger sacrifice himself for the greater good.  We are going to see lots of that in the future.

Since we do not have the intellectual or willpower fortitude to do what is needed we will just mosey along with BAU until we get enough concern in public opinion to convert to BAU-Green methods of progress and growth.  Then we will collapse because neither approach addressed the fundamentals of the problem. 

I guess I am in a dark mood today even though it is pretty sunny outside.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ccgwebmaster on December 11, 2013, 09:02:05 PM
Since we do not have the intellectual or willpower fortitude to do what is needed we will just mosey along with BAU until we get enough concern in public opinion to convert to BAU-Green methods of progress and growth.  Then we will collapse because neither approach addressed the fundamentals of the problem. 

But time doesn't stop with collapse - the march of human history is likely to continue - and therein lies - in theory - an opportunity to try to implement something long term that would avoid the same problems on another attempt, using the experience and aftermath of collapse itself as the driving force for initial psychological motivation?

A long shot perhaps - but if it's the only shot you have available to take? Is one not obliged to take the shot?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 11, 2013, 09:07:46 PM
JimD.....it can be depressing.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ritter on December 11, 2013, 10:37:19 PM

I guess I am in a dark mood today even though it is pretty sunny outside.

JimD,

Nice post, I unfortunately agree completely. Now go take a walk and breath the air. Then come back in and give your wife a hug. That's what we live for.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on December 12, 2013, 01:13:22 AM
Yes, thanks for that, Jim. Can't see much there to disagree with.

On the human nature thing, it does seem like what we need is for most people to see CC as an immediate, existential threat to their nearest and dearest.

I don't know how to do that.

But I have a feeling it does not involve downplaying the real (if remote) possibilities of abrupt, catastrophic climate change from various sources.

Just sayin'.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 25, 2013, 03:22:10 AM
Global user ends all use of coal!    ;)

Santa Claus declares:
"Beginning this Christmas, bad boys and girls will receive lame Christmas gifts like toothbrushes and underwear instead of coal. And not the fun kind with cute cartoon characters."

http://www.citywatchla.com/8br-hidden/6166-santa-s-dreaming-of-a-green-christmas (http://www.citywatchla.com/8br-hidden/6166-santa-s-dreaming-of-a-green-christmas)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on January 10, 2014, 02:59:19 AM
Some more interesting reading on coal issues.

In  China.  BAD smog.

Quote
..Visibility shrank to less than half a football field and small-particle pollution soared to a record 40 times higher than an international safety standard in one northern Chinese city as the region entered its high-smog season...
....For the large northern city of Harbin, the city's heating systems kicked in on Sunday, and on Monday visibility there was less than 50 meters (yards), ...
....The density of fine particulate matter, PM2.5, used as an indicator of air quality was well above 600 micrograms per cubic meter — including several readings of exactly 1,000 — for several monitoring stations in Harbin, according to figures posted on the website of China's environmental protection agency. They were the first known readings of 1,000 since China began releasing figures on PM2.5 in January 2012, and it was not immediately clear if the devices used for monitoring could give readings higher than that.

One would presume that this kind of pollution would add impetus to switching away from coal.  But who knows.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/super-smog-beijing-china_n_4134226.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/super-smog-beijing-china_n_4134226.html)

Well bite my tongue.  Now why would I think that?  Turns out they double down just like everyone else.

Quote
In The Face Of Historic Smog, China Adds $10 Billion In New Coal Production Capacity

The desolation of smog in China? Forget it.

Despite experiencing the worst air pollution on record in 2013, China last year approved the construction of more than 100 million tonnes of new coal production capacity at a cost of $9.8 billion, according to a report compiled Wednesday by Reuters. The increase in coal production in 2013 was six times bigger than the increase in 2012, when the administration approved just four coal projects with 16.6 million tonnes of annual capacity and a total investment of $1.2 billion.
 
In other words, in just one year, China added coal production capacity equal to 10 percent of total U.S. annual usage.....

Isn't that something?

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/09/3141691/china-adds-coal/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/09/3141691/china-adds-coal/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on January 11, 2014, 12:19:48 AM
Gasification looking more likely with that news.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on January 20, 2014, 01:03:27 AM
Wyoming coal country

I grew up just south of the mining area described in this article and worked in businesses which supported this industry (as well as the oil/gas industry).  Coal is king there and supports a huge part of the economy.  Sort of like West Virginia in a way.

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/powder-river-basin-coal-on-the-move-16870 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/powder-river-basin-coal-on-the-move-16870)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on January 20, 2014, 01:11:24 AM
Coal Places Australia Second in Carbon Emissions

I'll pick on Australia also since I am picking on Wyoming.

Quote
Australia is pumping out more carbon emissions to achieve its economic growth than almost any other major economy, while a quarter of its mammal species are threatened with extinction, according to a major new environmental audit.

A report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found Australia was second only to Estonia among 34 advanced nations in terms of greenhouse gas emission intensity per unit of gross domestic product (GDP)....

...Australia has the highest per capita emissions intensity of any OECD member, the report found, emitting nearly 25 tons of carbon dioxide per person in 2010...

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/coal-places-australia-second-in-carbon-emissions-16942 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/coal-places-australia-second-in-carbon-emissions-16942)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on January 30, 2014, 08:48:52 PM
One sees in the news a lot the last couple of weeks the surge in natural gas prices.  Though US natural gas prices are still well below world norms the dramatic rise here, if it continues for much longer, will start to have a large impact on coal use.

Over the last few years there has been a reduction in coal use for power generation due to the very low price of natural gas which bottomed out at $1.92 in Apr 2012.  Prices yesterday hit $5.69. 

The very low prices which resulted for a huge glut of gas on the market in the States had two main effects.

One naturally was to increase demand and help reduce coal consumption.  Another side effect of this was that it made alternative energy projects much less cost competitive.

The second is that the very low prices just killed the drilling companies working in the shale formations and running the fracking operations.  For a significant amount of time all most all of these wells lost money.  It has been a financial bloodbath.  Production is naturally declining. 

So we see the up and down cycle once again.  IF prices continue to rise we will see a jump in coal consumption, an increase in drilling, a drop in demand, and alternatives will get a little boost.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: deep octopus on January 30, 2014, 09:11:44 PM
Seems coal electricity generation went up in the US last year, 4.6% through November. Natural gas generation down 10.5% through November. Coal consumption up 4.1%; natural gas down 11.7%. Seems whatever effect is about to happen as the result of natural gas prices rising is underpinned by an existing trend.

See Table ES1.B.
http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/pdf/epm.pdf (http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/pdf/epm.pdf)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on January 30, 2014, 09:17:15 PM
DO

Quite.  Since we are now 18 months off the price bottom the trend is well established.  But the recent surge in prices (if it holds or continues up) will result in much worse coal numbers I think. 

Kind of depressing.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: deep octopus on January 30, 2014, 09:25:55 PM
Yeah we're moving in the wrong direction once more. And not to overdramatize, but I think 2014 will be off to a very strong start for coal consumption, as January has been roughly 4 degrees C below average for much of the eastern half, and February is looking not much better either. I'm sure many millions kept their heating way up all month. There's been little reprieve. Not sure what this summer will look like, but anything as bad as 2012 would, on the reverse, keep air conditioners running non-stop.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Buddy on January 30, 2014, 09:33:55 PM
Here's a chart that goes from 1997 up to 4 days ago.  You can see the sporadic nature of natural gas over the years.  It is one reason why many utilities stayed away from nat gas.....because of the volatility (I know....the website address is long...but it's worth it:).

https://www.google.com/search?q=natural+gas+prices+10+year+chart&source=lnms&tbm=isch&tbs=qdr:y&sa=X&ei=Ca_qUuHSIISGyAHTq4HACg&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg&biw=1920&bih=989#q=natural+gas+prices+chart&tbm=isch&tbs=qdr:y&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=RueXLm9HCzW0uM%253A%3B95RI4PtIX2MaXM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.eia.gov%252Fdnav%252Fng%252Fhist_chart%252FRNGWHHDd.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.eia.gov%252Fdnav%252Fng%252Fhist%252Frngwhhdd.htm%3B675%3B275 (https://www.google.com/search?q=natural+gas+prices+10+year+chart&source=lnms&tbm=isch&tbs=qdr:y&sa=X&ei=Ca_qUuHSIISGyAHTq4HACg&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAg&biw=1920&bih=989#q=natural+gas+prices+chart&tbm=isch&tbs=qdr:y&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=RueXLm9HCzW0uM%253A%3B95RI4PtIX2MaXM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.eia.gov%252Fdnav%252Fng%252Fhist_chart%252FRNGWHHDd.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.eia.gov%252Fdnav%252Fng%252Fhist%252Frngwhhdd.htm%3B675%3B275)

Here's an article discussing the "futures contracts" on natural gas in 2015 and 2016.  Right now....the futures contracts are in the $4.14 - $4.17 area....so the futures contracts aren't pricing in long term price increases (note:  THAT....can always change).

http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/14/01/b4267985/fitch-long-term-natural-gas-price-contained-despite-winter-jump (http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/14/01/b4267985/fitch-long-term-natural-gas-price-contained-despite-winter-jump)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: deep octopus on January 31, 2014, 07:52:05 PM
Oh my God, what the fuck.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25974608 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25974608)
Quote
Australia Great Barrier Reef dredge dumping plan approved

Australian authorities have approved a project to dump dredged sediment in the Great Barrier Reef marine park as part of a project to create one of the world's biggest coal ports.

The decision was made by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Scientists had urged it not to back the project, saying the sediment could smother or poison coral.

Several companies want to use the Abbot Point port to export coal reserves from the Galilee Basin area.

We just can't think of enough ways to turn this planet into a giant toilet. If this is "progress", it's in 2nd place, and stupidity is in 1st.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on January 31, 2014, 08:45:26 PM
Why Coal will Remain the Basis of Electricity Generation for Most of the World

Note:  I do not agree with Summers conclusions but this has impact.

Article by Dave Summers.  Note the narrative and logic being used here.  This has significant political impact in the US Congress and with the business lobby.  A new tactic?  Admit that climate change is real but that current effects are ACTUALLY positive and will be for another 50 years.

Quote
Climate change is real and man-made. It will come as a big surprise that climate change from 1900 to 2025 has mostly been a net benefit, rising to increase welfare about 1.5% of GDP per year. Why? Because global warming has mixed effects and for moderate warming, the benefits prevail. The increased level of CO? has boosted agriculture because it works as a fertilizer and makes up the biggest positive impact at 0.8% of GDP. Likewise, moderate warming avoids more cold deaths than it incurs extra heat deaths. It also reduces the demand for heating more than increases the costs of cooling, totalling about 0.4%....

Quote
The benefits brought by the available power that is now in individual hands as a result of the Industrial Revolution are manifest in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. To maintain and spread that wealth of benefits through the expanded use of electricity to an increasing global user market the IEA projects that there will be an increase in virtually all power sources for electricity over the next twenty-five years.


Quote
But the increases in power costs do not just impact the competitive advantage of industry. As prices rise, so the poorer segment of the community find it harder to meet all their living needs. There is a graph that shows their choices:

It is the broad use of coal that keeps the prices of power in many countries low, and the ability of many to utilize a domestic resource allows developing countries the opportunity to climb the ladder faster than the rates that they would be able to achieve without this resource.


http://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/Why-Coal-will-Remain-the-Basis-of-Electricity-Generation-for-Most-of-the-World.html (http://oilprice.com/Energy/Coal/Why-Coal-will-Remain-the-Basis-of-Electricity-Generation-for-Most-of-the-World.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on January 31, 2014, 08:50:18 PM
Another interesting article

Coal Markets Hit Hard as Emerging Economies Begin to Wobble

Quote
Slowing growth in developing countries has started to affect the commodities market, especially for coal, as orders are slashed and prices have fallen as much as 10 percent in a month. Commodities are often closely linked to the success of developing economies, whose demand for energy increases as wealth increases and infrastructure is improved.

Significant drops in commodity coal prices are occurring (as much as 10%).  This undercuts the cost competitiveness of alternates and in struggling economies choosing cheap coal over higher cost alternates is normally considered a no-brainer (ignoring AGW of course).

http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Coal-Markets-Hit-Hard-as-Emerging-Economies-Begin-to-Wobble.html (http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Coal-Markets-Hit-Hard-as-Emerging-Economies-Begin-to-Wobble.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 02, 2014, 03:08:00 PM
JimD @115

The worldwide use of coal for energy because it's cheap seems logical, but it's backwards thinking.  Solar energy is becoming cheaper and cheaper, and new products use less and less energy.  The same way developing countries leapfrogged over landline telephones and went straight to cell phones, I think they'll increasingly skip coal plants and heavy transmission lines, and go directly to smaller solar or wind sources.

http://ecowatch.com/2014/01/13/wind-turbine-power-smartphone/ (http://ecowatch.com/2014/01/13/wind-turbine-power-smartphone/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on February 02, 2014, 04:22:51 PM
SIG

If you mean it 'should' be backwards thinking in many cases I would agree.  In the sense that sticking with fossil fuels is a disaster in the long run.  But in a short term financial sense it is a no brainer for large scale energy production and one can be certain that many decisions will be made in that direction.  If a country is strapped for the financial ability to build out large amounts of solar or wind but can just choose to buy cheap coal and extend the use of an aging coal plant they will do so.  It will not be a matter of choosing which technology to install as no technology will be installed.  They will stick with what they have aready.

Some of the small scale switch can occur at the household level and will likely continue, but this does not address the commercial or industrial uses.  The phone technology leapfrog is materially different.  It occurred at the massive scale and was funded by large amounts of debt.  When the time came to bring phone service to locations which did not have it the large telecommunications firms just installed the current generation of equipment. 

In a situation where a country is struggling as I described they are not going to be choosing between old or new technology to install because they will not be able to find the financing.  They will not be building anything new just maintaining what they have.  The old fossil plants.

This is an aspect of the point that much of the green changeover that people advocate can only occur in a globally growing economy.  We don't want that economy, we can't afford it.  We need a deflating economy.  Between a rock and a hard spot.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 04, 2014, 09:47:02 PM
Yikes. 
Up to 82,000 tons of toxic Coal Ash spilled into the Dan River above Danville, Virginia on Sunday, from an ‘Antiquated’ Storage Pit.

"Late last month, the EPA announced plans to finalize the first-ever federal regulations for the disposal of coal ash by December 19, 2014."

Not soon enough.... :(

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/04/3244981/coal-ash-drained-dan-river/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/04/3244981/coal-ash-drained-dan-river/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 08, 2014, 06:59:49 PM
India Wants To Switch 26 Million Water Pumps To Solar Power Instead Of Diesel

Beyond India’s pump swap program, other efforts in south Asia and northern Africa are already underway to bypass grid expansion entirely, and bring solar power and microgrids directly to poor people.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/07/3265631/india-solar-pump-swap/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/07/3265631/india-solar-pump-swap/)

Pretty clear this is happening big time.  :)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on February 10, 2014, 04:33:03 PM
I saw that and didn't comment for a couple of reasons. 

I noticed that their example was of a little tiny solar pump that lifted water out of a canal into a field.  Which one can do with a siphon hose that was commonly used where I grew up. 

But the big use of electric and diesel power to pump actual ground water in India is from deep wells.  Really deep wells in a lot of cases.  Like 3000 ft deep.  That puny little solar panel in the picture is laughable in light of the deep pumping requirement.

Farmers in India pump excessive amounts of water from super deep wells because they do "not have to pay for the electricity".  It is the Indian version of the US Farm Bill.  The govt pays the farmers electric bill for their votes.  So they are very water inefficient.

There is just no way that they are going to replace those very powerful electric and diesel pumps with separate solar installations.  In farming in India space is at a premium.  Where are they going to get the space to set up solar arrays big enough to pump water from that deep.  And it is common to pump at night.  So I do not think they are going after that very wasteful practice.

The govt would have to pay for any deep pumping as it costs more to pump water from that deep than the crops are worth.  Can they pay for that?

I think it pretty certain that that kind of pumping is not going to happen.

If you are talking about very small scale pumping rom irrigation canals then it might be useful but the devil is in the details and I am sure there are some big gotcha's there as well.

I note that the solar pumps are going to be subsidized at 86%.  Given how politics works in India you can bet there is big corruption involved (note that the CEO of TATA is involved) and working for votes.  Since the govt is either way and the farmers are not paying either way there is no known financial payout calculable.  It is all politics.

Dramatically over pumping the aquifers, which they are doing at the rate of level drops up to 5 ft a year in some places, is not sustainable whether it is done with coal powered electricity, diesel or solar.  They will run out of water in about 20 years at the current rate of over pumping.   Then the shit hits the fan.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 13, 2014, 07:04:10 PM
"China is erecting huge industrial complexes in remote areas to convert coal to synthetic fuel that could make the air in its megacities cleaner. But the complexes use so much energy that the carbon footprint of the fuel is almost double that of conventional coal and oil, spelling disaster for earth's climate, a growing chorus of scientists is warning....

The facilities, which resemble oil refineries, use coal to make liquid fuels, chemicals, power and "syngas," which is like natural gas but extracted from coal. The fuels and electricity are then transported to China's big cities to be burned in power plants, factories and cars."

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140213/chinas-plan-clean-air-cities-will-doom-climate-scientists-say (http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20140213/chinas-plan-clean-air-cities-will-doom-climate-scientists-say)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: werther on February 17, 2014, 12:06:51 PM
Thanks, Sigmetnow,

I don’t remember exactly how I got into this subject. But I thought using Google Earth a bit to find out what impact the Chinese coal mining exactly has on the landscape. In the process, I found an example of such an industrial complex you mention: Ningdong in Ningxia province:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FAlgemeen%2FNingxiaProvince_zpsdf4ffd77.jpg&hash=0537e76d545ea884153305ec74434d16)

With some skill it isn’t hard to find sites like this, where coal is extracted from huge open mines:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FAlgemeen%2FWherethestuffismadeNingdongECIBaseCoalextractionfromhugeminesGE201317022014_zps2557b777.jpg&hash=2ddba65a9830da55d251d75af24b0f02)

This is an image of the extraction in progress:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FAlgemeen%2FWherethestuffismadeNingdongEnergyandChemicalIndustryBaseCoalextraction17022014_zps36a42d6f.jpg&hash=40a889e9f996014b4a2c3521ed8807a8)

And amidst immense industrial investments, this is what the coal liquidifying equipment looks like:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FAlgemeen%2FWherethestuffismadeNingdongEnergyandChemicalIndustryBaseCoalliquefaction17022014_zpsc5383761.jpg&hash=9e99e29584e450ba6476598d2080dc70)

Look in Wiki’s subject on ‘Fischer–Tropsch process’  for more background info on the energy-consuming production of fuels that are less polluting to burn (but that will skyrocket the Keeling Curve...)

Here’s part of the scene:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FAlgemeen%2FWherethestuffismadeNingdongEnergyandChemicalIndustryBase17022014_zpsde2cd1f0.jpg&hash=ca9eff991c300f947198671823077fda)

Just zoom in on GE and anyone can see what the scale of this is…

IF the Chinese government doesn’t succeed in sequestering the CO2-emission we’re f**ked!
Next landscaping tour: maybe the Alberta tar sands?

This isn’t good for a gardener to watch….
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 17, 2014, 06:26:27 PM
Thanks, werther.  That does indeed look as scary, or more so, than the tar sands excavation pictures I've seen.  I am reminded of what a great solution it appeared to be when factories were built with taller smokestacks, so the pollution didn't spoil the surrounding community....


Meanwhile, India moves full speed ahead with solar:
"NEW DELHI: India is planning on building the world’s biggest solar plant, which has the potential to triple the country’s solar capacity.

The planned site near Sambhar Salt Lake in Jaipur, Rajasthan measures 30 square miles, which is a larger space than Manhattan.

Once it is built the plant will boast a 4 gigawatts power capacity, an amount that would drastically increase India’s renewables offering.

Currently India has a grid-connected solar capacity of 2.18 gigawatts, but is aiming to get as much 20 gigawatts from renewables by 2022 and over 200 gigawatts by 2050."


The article mentions the argument that smaller, local solar plants would be of more benefit in places not served by the grid.


http://www.theclimategroup.org/what-we-do/news-and-blogs/india-building-the-biggest-solar-power-plant-in-the-world-and-it-will-be-the-size-of-manhattan/ (http://www.theclimategroup.org/what-we-do/news-and-blogs/india-building-the-biggest-solar-power-plant-in-the-world-and-it-will-be-the-size-of-manhattan/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on February 17, 2014, 09:01:55 PM
Sig

Interesting.  Playing devils advocate a bit and taking into account that this is just proposed at this point.  A few takeaways from the article.

It states that phase 1 (1GW) would cost $1.08 Billion.  But the 2013 utility scale cost per gigawatt is $1.37 billion. 

Note that the project fits the typical govt/industrial partnership paradigm found in India that is usually plumb full of problems with corruption.  A project that draws in huge amounts of World Bank money (this is almost never good for the citizens of any country but is great for the bankers) and enriches govt and industrial owners.  The article states that smaller scale projects would be a greater benefit to the people.

At 30 sq miles in size it is not 10 times bigger than any other solar project but 6 times.

Here is an article on some of the potential problems with the site.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/11/india-worlds-largest-solar-farm-wetlands (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/11/india-worlds-largest-solar-farm-wetlands)

Building in a flood zone?

Note the cost figures from this link.

Quote
Green ambition

The production cost of solar power in India has fallen by more than half in recent years, from 17 rupees ($0.27) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) three years ago to 7.50 rupees per kWh currently, according to Kapoor, and it could plummet further. But these costs are still high compared to coal (2.50 rupees per kWh), nuclear (3 rupees per kWh) or natural gas (5.5 rupees per kWh), says Mohanty

Solar is 3 times coal and 1.5 times natural gas.  I am not for fossil fuels as you know but they have to be able to pay for this and they are not rich.

http://www.nature.com/news/india-to-build-world-s-largest-solar-plant-1.14647 (http://www.nature.com/news/india-to-build-world-s-largest-solar-plant-1.14647)

It will be interesting the see how this actually turns out.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 19, 2014, 11:45:34 PM
U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast:

"Because of those new [coal plant emissions regulations], the EIA forecasts that 90 percent of the power plants expected to shut down by 2020 will actually be shut down by 2016."

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/flurry-of-coal-power-plant-shutdowns-expected-by-2016-17086 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/flurry-of-coal-power-plant-shutdowns-expected-by-2016-17086)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on February 20, 2014, 12:38:59 AM
Sig

That would be nice.  It will be interesting to see how it pans out.  I note the article indicates that a major factor in this projection is the low price of natural gas.  Which has been rising pretty rapidly the last year and if it continues up will disrupt this projection.  Plus the Republicans are going to go after any EPA regulations which impact business so it remains to be seen whether we actually get those new regulations.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on February 21, 2014, 09:04:18 PM
Interesting stuff going on in the price of natural gas.  This has equal impact on coal and renewables so it could have easily gone in that topic as well.

Quote
Gas rose as much as 4 percent after reaching a five-year high of $6.40 per million British thermal units in intraday trading yesterday. MDA Weather Services said temperatures may be lower than normal in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. from Feb. 26 through March 7. Government data yesterday showed that stockpiles tumbled 250 billion cubic feet to 1.443 trillion in the week ended Feb. 14, the least for that period since 2004.

This price rise makes coal more attractive to power producers.  It also boosts the competitiveness of wind and solar.  A typical two edged sword.  Note that the troubles in Ukraine, and by implication Russia, could easily bleed over into much higher natural gas prices in Europe with devastating consequences.  Russia supplies something like 25% of Europe's gas and much of it transits Ukraine.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-21/natural-gas-set-for-month-s-biggest-weekly-gain-as-cold-returns.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-21/natural-gas-set-for-month-s-biggest-weekly-gain-as-cold-returns.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on February 28, 2014, 06:02:09 PM
LOL  "You can't get a man to understand something if his salary depends on him not understanding it."

Wyoming’s Leading Paper Argues Coal Is ‘Relatively Good’ For The Environment

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/18/3302221/wyoming-coal-mead-editorial/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/18/3302221/wyoming-coal-mead-editorial/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 12, 2014, 04:51:28 PM
A capitalist solution to dissolving the US coal industry.  A steal at only $50billion.

http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/us-coal-industry-buyout (http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/us-coal-industry-buyout)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on March 12, 2014, 05:43:20 PM
Sigmetnow

About 2 weeks ago I read an analysis of what it would take to switch just New York states residential, transportation, industrial, and heating and cooling sectors over to all renewables.  The bottom cost estimate was at least $500 billion and would take at least 20 years. Note the 16,720 wind turbines are all 5MW units.

Quote
This time Jacobson showed in much finer detail how New York State’s residential, transportation, industrial, and heating and cooling sectors could all be powered by wind, water and sun, or “WWS,” as he calls it. His mix: 40 percent offshore wind (12,700 turbines), 10 percent onshore wind (4,020 turbines), 10 percent concentrated solar panels (387 power plants), 10 percent photovoltaic cells (828 facilities), 6 percent residential solar (five million rooftops), 12 percent government and commercial solar (500,000 rooftops), 5 percent geothermal (36 plants), 5.5 percent hydroelectric (6.6 large facilities), 1 percent tidal energy (2,600 turbines) and 0.5 percent wave energy (1,910 devices).

I note that your article indicates that it would cost $50 billion to buy out the coal mines.  I expect that it would cost much more than that, but let's for the sake of argument accept that number.  Now you also have to figure out what it will cost to buy out the coal power plants as that would be required as well.  There are nearly 600 large coal power plants in the US and another 900 or so small ones.  That is trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure.  It doesn't sound so cheap does it.  Not to mention the gargantuan political/financial fight this would entail as how to manage and pay for shutting all of that down while trying to build the replacement renewable infrastructure.  And it is certain that doing the above would take 20-30 years even if it was an all out effort.  After all one is talking about writing off trillions of dollars of coal infrastructure and simultaneously paying for at many time that trillions of dollars in new alternative energy infrastructure at the same time.  And the end result would be a version of a BAU civilization which was not sustainable and not solving AGW.

I am all for shutting off the coal plants.  But another version of BAU does not solve the problem we have.  So what do we do?   
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 16, 2014, 02:50:39 PM
JimD
Your information prices the elimination of all fossil fuels, not just coal....

Announcing that all coal mines will be shut in a decade will encourage major development and spending (out of desperation, and of profit-motives) by non-coal companies; the cost of transition won't all be born by one group.  It simply switches the country's investment direction.  Old, inefficient coal power plants will be closed; newer ones will switch to natural gas for a time; more importantly, no new coal plants will be built.  Oh, sure, oil and natural gas will try to take up the slack at first, but as renewables become more prevalent and more efficient, and more folks see their benefits first-hand, fossil fuel will become *so* last-century.

How about the savings involved?  No more transportation of coal.  (Renewables avoid all costs of transporting fuel, let alone the cost of fuel itself!)  The replacement of old, inefficient coal plants with more efficient power generation, saving wasted energy.  Major savings in health and pollution costs.  And don't underestimate the power that such a kick-in-the-pants would provide to get the whole country moving off fossil fuels entirely.  Yes, it will eventually involve trillions of dollars.  No, it won't be just one industry, or one government, paying for it.

Even France, with its 75% "clean" [sic] nuclear energy power sources, is feeling the brunt of FF pollution these days.  The cost of dirty fuel just got that much closer to the cost of replacing it.

http://mashable.com/2014/03/14/paris-air-pollution-crisis/ (http://mashable.com/2014/03/14/paris-air-pollution-crisis/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 16, 2014, 04:13:52 PM
As to Business As Usual -- well, that's what we currently have to work with. 

During the transition, energy will likely become more dear; homes and industry will learn to make do with much less, via efficiency or doing without.  I have no doubt the time will come when materials mining and food-growing will also become scarce enough that most manufacturing will stop, and most food will no longer be produced as it is today on farmland owned by Big Ag. 

I see "stuff" being produced on demand using 3-D printers -- most factories will close, their transportation and storage needs will plummet.  (Such printers are being used today to create rocket engine parts, for example.)

The majority of food will be produced on 3-D food printers -- Big Ag will be using krill, algae, insects and the like to make cartridges of carbohydrate, protein, and fat the printers will use to create food on demand, at a village or cafeteria or household level.  (Thus far, printers are making chocolate and pizza, so I'm good for a while!)  So food production and its transportation and storage needs will plummet, as will refrigeration needs and most kitchen appliances.  Small farms and home gardens will grow food where possible, but to most, "real food" will be a luxury item.  Call it Business As New.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on March 16, 2014, 05:48:44 PM
Sigmetnow

I hardly know where to begin.  Were your last 2 posts some kind of a joke that I am missing?  I will assume that you were serious but I don't think any thing you said makes sense.

Quote
JimD
Your information prices the elimination of all fossil fuels, not just coal....

No, my figures were just fossil fuel generation of electricity in the US.  Liquid fossil fuel elimination would be many trillions more.  And would take a similar amount of time.  The quote was just for New York state and would be about a trillion just for there if one is talking all fossil fuels.  Extrapolate to get the whole US.  One thing that many people do not understand is the scale of the change required when they start talking about this stuff.  They seem to think it could be done quickly and not cost much, but it does not follow from the data that this is realistic.  The quote I put in above was for New York state. Its population is about 20 million.  That is 1/16th of the US.  So roughly 16 trillion for the US.  The US is 4.4% of the worlds population.  See where it leads us?   

I don't think you understand the concept of EROEI.  Various studies/analysis over many years have indicated that to run something approximating our current civilization requires an overall EROEI around 12.  Renewables are looking like best case they will be under 5.  You can't maintain what we have with those kind of numbers. Physics rules.   

Those EROEI numbers already include all of the transportation costs for both renewables and fossil fuels so that entire part of your post was already included in the numbers. 

Build out time for industrial switch overs requires vast amounts of effort, resources and time.  It is simply impossible to transition in the timeframe you seem to think is possible.  And it does not solve the primary problem (see below).   

The detrimental effects on human health of burning fossil fuels will never become a deciding factor in switching from fossil fuels to renewables.  It is far too intangible, unmeasurable, and subject to argument for policy makers to ever get their minds around it and to over come the industrial lobbies.

Quote
The majority of food will be produced on 3-D food printers -- Big Ag will be using krill, algae, insects and the like to make cartridges of carbohydrate, protein, and fat the printers will use to create food on demand, at a village or cafeteria or household level.  (Thus far, printers are making chocolate and pizza, so I'm good for a while!)  So food production and its transportation and storage needs will plummet, as will refrigeration needs and most kitchen appliances.  Small farms and home gardens will grow food where possible, but to most, "real food" will be a luxury item.  Call it Business As New.

3-D printing of food as the main way of feeding people??  I'm sorry but this is Star Trek nonsense.  Care to try and back this up with any rigor?   Some science and links?  Describe the industry needed to support this and how many resources it takes to build it.  Not to mention the nutritional issues to overcome.

When one is considering solutions some rigor is required and one has to keep in mind what the primary problem one is trying to solve is.  The problem is not how to maintain some version of BAU based upon some fantastical new technology so we will all have comfortable lives.  The problem is how to stop making AGW worse and to survive the conditions dialed into the global system at the point where we reach zero carbon emissions.  There is no easy way out and no magic bullets.  A modern civilization  based upon all renewables will be still result in high carbon emissions and not be in any way sustainable.  So it will continue to make AGW worse, although perhaps at a slower rate (but that is still not a solution as it will eventually kill us all). 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 18, 2014, 01:32:27 AM
JimD
My apologies for shocking you with ideas that don’t fit nicely with the espoused doomsday scenarios.  You see, I don’t expect renewables to replace all the power we now get from fossil fuels.  Because they won’t have to, due to increases in efficiency we are only beginning to see today, plus the revamping (dieback) of industry, that I think we both agree must happen.  With less energy and less manufacturing comes new ways of life -- in much the same way telecommuting has restructured the traditional idea of “going to work.”   But less power does not, in itself, require a collapse.

I’ve started a new thread, “Better Tomorrows,” to encourage different ideas of the future to be presented.  If they are not “rigorous” enough for you, so be it.  Not all solutions are found using statistical analysis and published studies.  Maybe I’m looking “seven generations ahead” and skipping past the hard times that are indeed in the future.  But “down” does not necessarily mean “out” in my book.


By the way, it was pollution in the 1970’s in the US that led to the Clean Air Act and the establishment of the EPA.  Under a Republican administration, no less.  With industries screaming they couldn’t possibly survive such onerous restrictions.  Yet somehow they managed.  So it’s not true that bad air can't engender good changes.


And as for using Star Trek as a model for the future....  You could do worse.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on March 20, 2014, 02:44:11 AM
I'm not sure this counts as a commitment to renewable energy.

Quote
China is building a ‘coal base’ the size of Los Angeles

China, faced with ever-worsening pollution in its major cities—a recent report deemed Beijing "barely suitable for living"—is doing what so many industrializing nations have done before it: banishing its titanic smog spewers to poor or rural areas so everyone else can breathe easier. But China isn't just relegating its dirty coal-fired power plants to the outskirts of society; for years, it's been building 16 unprecedentedly massive, brand new "coal bases" in rural parts of the country...

The biggest of those bases, the Ningdong Energy and Chemical Industry Base, spans nearly 400 square miles, about the size of LA. It's already operational, and seemingly always expanding. It's operated by Shenhua, one of the biggest coal companies in the world. China hopes to uses these coal bases not just to host some of the world's largest coal-fired power plants, but to use super-energy intensive technology to convert the coal into a fuel called syngas and use it to make plastics and other materials.

Ouch!  Bring on that El Nino.

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/china-is-building-coal-base-size-of-los.html (http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2014/03/china-is-building-coal-base-size-of-los.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 20, 2014, 03:07:52 AM


Even France, with its 75% "clean" [sic] nuclear energy power sources, is feeling the brunt of FF pollution these days.  The cost of dirty fuel just got that much closer to the cost of replacing it.

http://mashable.com/2014/03/14/paris-air-pollution-crisis/ (http://mashable.com/2014/03/14/paris-air-pollution-crisis/)

I admire your optimism but the cost of dirty fuel to society has always exceeded the cost of renewables. It simply doesn't matter because the coal companies don't have to pay for the health costs due to dirty air or global warning. With regards to AGW we are pushing  those costs two generations into the future. They will continue to make gobs of money and not change  anything they are doing to make a  profit.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 20, 2014, 03:11:47 AM
I just read  up thread more and realize there is no point in engaging in this discussion......

You haven't mentioned how we will be mining all of the ore we need on the moon and sling shotting it back to earth.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 20, 2014, 03:58:09 PM
......
You haven't mentioned how we will be mining all of the ore we need on the moon and sling shotting it back to earth.

SH
No, no.  Mine asteroids, parked at a Lagrangian point.  Much closer!   ;)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 21, 2014, 02:05:50 AM
Planned coal-fired plant retirements continue to increase.

US Energy Information Administration:
"The need to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) regulations together with weak electricity demand growth and continued competition from generators fueled by natural gas have recently led several power producers to announce plans to retire coal-fired facilities."

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=15491# (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=15491#)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 21, 2014, 08:41:49 PM
The (US) Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming carbon rules for existing power plants could cut even more emissions than previously thought.

"...NRDC re-ran its initial projections and added a set of more aggressive targets — the “Ambitious” scenarios above — and found the reduction in carbon emissions could hit 30 percent by 2020."

"According to NRDC, they added the Ambitious scenarios because “the cases based on the moderate emission rate targets showed minimal to low compliance costs.” In plain English, when they ran the simulations, meeting the original emissions targets caused the power industry very little pain — which suggests more aggressive targets are entirely do-able."

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/21/3417467/nrdc-report-epa-update/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/03/21/3417467/nrdc-report-epa-update/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on March 22, 2014, 08:42:24 PM
Quote
But the Spring Creek mine's owner, Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy, believes coal is poised for a comeback. The U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, sees a long-term horizon for coal.

"Even the EIA projects that 40 percent of America's electricity in the future, in 2030, is going to come from coal," Cloud Peak CEO Colin Marshall told CNBC Thursday. "Internationally, the demand is tremendous," Marshall said....

at Spring Creek, production is steadily returning to what it was after the recession forced many coal producers to cut output as demand and prices slumped.....

The economics of coal are changing, proponents say, particularly for the cleaner, lower-sulfur thermal coal mined in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana. Natural gas prices are rising, making coal competitive again for power plants.....


Cue the polar vortex. The cold blast of arctic air that had settled over much of the country this winter sent power companies into overdrive. Natural gas prices spiked—up 24 percent over the past six months—pushing many utilities to burn less expensive coal instead. Then the weather stayed cold, and many plants burned through their coal reserves to meet the surge in electricity demand.

With spring here and the peak power demand of air conditioning season approaching, coal is more competitive with natural gas than it has been in years. The EIA last week projected the cost of natural gas to average $4.44 per million Btu in 2014. Coal, meanwhile, is projected to average just $2.36 per million Btu....

A mixed bag of news.  Some good, some bad, but no big changes.  Let's hope that the projection of 40% in 2030 is wrong as we are at 39% now and that would indicate no improvement overall 15 years from now.

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/ (http://www.desdemonadespair.net/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on March 30, 2014, 06:56:14 AM
heeheehee

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-26799660 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-26799660)

as a friend of mine likes to say, poor dumb plural_of_not_nice_word

tryin to raise 10m pounds for 80m of unburnable reserve

small fish in the coal biz, but one at a time is a good way to take em out

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 30, 2014, 05:40:20 PM
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal short of a collapse and that is simply not going to happen in the wealthier areas of the world where most of the coal consumption occurs. Given that China accounts for nearly 50% of world wide coal consumption and the use of coal is accelerating (driven by the growth in their economy) we will continue to see increased coal use indefinitely.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on March 30, 2014, 07:36:29 PM
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal [...]
SH - a global treaty could easily do that trick or global carbon emission certificates or just stopp burning that stuff. If the world likes to do that nothing could stop it (or us - since it is not the world but us who should stopp emissions). But probably still most poeple rate "growth" more important than "future" - so we would need some more El Ninos and an ice-free arctic soon before most of us start doing what must be done...

Until that happens we make big holes e.g. here: https://maps.google.de/maps?q=RWE+Power+AG&hl=de&ll=50.967076,6.627502&spn=0.397833,0.837021&sll=51.015051,6.634369&sspn=0.397422,0.837021&t=h&radius=21.84&hq=RWE+Power+AG&z=11 (https://maps.google.de/maps?q=RWE+Power+AG&hl=de&ll=50.967076,6.627502&spn=0.397833,0.837021&sll=51.015051,6.634369&sspn=0.397422,0.837021&t=h&radius=21.84&hq=RWE+Power+AG&z=11)

edit: can you find the attached thing in above link? It is not very small but still not so easy to find in the much bigger holes. And another picture of such a beast just to get an impression of its size and the magnitude of destruction - I believe these things are the biggest machines on earth able to move... (link to the source: http://www.viatoura.de/koelner-bucht/fotogalerie/4.html (http://www.viatoura.de/koelner-bucht/fotogalerie/4.html))

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on March 30, 2014, 08:56:51 PM
That is one impressive machine! It's a man thing but you gotta love it!  ;) ;D :o
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on March 30, 2014, 09:08:06 PM
That is one impressive machine! It's a man thing but you gotta love it!  ;) ;D :o
Shared Humanity - it is impressive but the holes it makes in the landscape are even more impressive. That fits quite well in werthers series of destruction: Just surf a bit in that google maps and look at that holes several hundreds meter deep: https://maps.google.de/maps?q=RWE+Power+AG&hl=de&ll=50.967076,6.627502&spn=0.397833,0.837021&sll=51.015051,6.634369&sspn=0.397422,0.837021&t=h&radius=21.84&hq=RWE+Power+AG&z=11

e.g. like this in Hambach (depth up to 293m below sea level) and Garzweiler I (below):
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Anne on March 31, 2014, 01:07:43 PM
Oh great.

Newly Discovered North Sea Coal 'Could Power Britain for Centuries' (https://uk.news.yahoo.com/newly-discovered-north-sea-coal-could-power-britain-123321211.html#XsBQWlm)
(The link is to a Yahoo story. The original Sunday Times article on which it's based is behind a paywall.)
Quote
"We think there are between three trillion and 23 trillion tonnes of coal buried under the North Sea," Dermot Roddy, former professor of energy at Newcastle University, told the Sunday Times.
"This is thousands of times greater than all the oil and gas we have taken out so far, which totals around 6bn tonnes. If we could extract just a few per cent of that coal it would be enough to power the UK for decades or centuries,"
They are planning to sink boreholes by the end of 2014.

Professor of petroleum exploration at Imperial College London Richard Selley said
Quote
"The big game-changer is seismic imaging, which has become so sensitive that we can now pinpoint the 'sweet spots' where shale gas, oil and coal are to be found.
"There have also been huge improvements in horizontal drilling . . . and in hydraulic fracturing [fracking], which lets us get the gas and oil out of rock. If we put aside the green issues, then in perhaps 10 years we could be self-sufficient in gas and possibly oil too."

"If we put aside the green issues"...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Neven on March 31, 2014, 01:11:01 PM
"If we put aside the green issues"...

Exactly what I thought, when I read it.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 31, 2014, 05:59:16 PM
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal [...]
SH - a global treaty could easily do that trick or global carbon emission certificates or just stopp burning that stuff. ...
Besides top-down regulations, bottom-up activities are beginning to have some effect today. Due to shareholder demand, Exxon will release an accounting of its unburnable reserves, for the first time.  Now, this does not mean they will do anything about it, but it is an important first step.

"Nonetheless, in 2012, the 200 largest publicly traded fossil fuel companies invested approximately 674 billion dollars to discover and develop new carbon reserves. Because companies cannot utilise new reserves without breaking the international community’s agreed-upon standards, some shareholders consider the exploration and development of additional carbon reserves to be a “stranded asset”, an asset that is obsolete and must therefore be recorded as a loss on a company’s balance sheets."

"The Carbon Tracker Initiative’s 2013 report on unburnable carbon and the large amount of shareholder money invested in new carbon reserves prompted Ceres, a group of 70 international investors with more than three trillion dollars in assets, to pressure the top 45 energy companies to assess and report on the risks that a global decrease in carbon demand could pose."

http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/03/exxonmobil-disclose-carbon-emissions-risk/ (http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/03/exxonmobil-disclose-carbon-emissions-risk/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on March 31, 2014, 06:36:02 PM
"The Carbon Tracker Initiative’s 2013 report on unburnable carbon and the large amount of shareholder money invested in new carbon reserves prompted Ceres, a group of 70 international investors with more than three trillion dollars in assets, to pressure the top 45 energy companies to assess and report on the risks that a global decrease in carbon demand could pose."
Sigmetnow, if we take that carbon trackers initiative seriously (and I really like to do that), than we would have a very sensitive proxy for detecting the point of time, at which green politics is taken seriously by economics - the London stock market. One third of FTSE 100 is fossils - for some reason they are all in London. If green politics is taken seriously by economics one day, they must rate down that "carbon bubble". That will shatter some banks like HSBC. (Source: http://www.zeit.de/2014/08/carbon-bubble-rohstoff-blase/seite-2 (http://www.zeit.de/2014/08/carbon-bubble-rohstoff-blase/seite-2) )

On the other hand: The fact that the bubble is not bursting now is a sure proove, that nobody is taking any 2°C or 4°C goal seriously in economics. Everybody is betting his money on exponential growth of CO2 emissions...

That brings me back to point my finger on the pictures 4-6 posts above: That is the area where the highest density of European CO2 emission is coming from (e.g. largest CO2 source per area). It makes some sense to negotiate CO2 emissions with Germany - we are really not that green today and a CO2-treaty would hit us as hard as others. And we like it when it hurts - as long as others feel the pain, too. (Is there a translation of "Schadenfreude" in any other language??).
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on April 01, 2014, 12:42:25 AM

"The big game-changer is seismic imaging, which has become so sensitive that we can now pinpoint the 'sweet spots' where shale gas, oil and coal are to be found.



The "sweet spot" leaves a sour taste in my mouth.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: prometheus on April 01, 2014, 05:09:41 AM
(Is there a translation of "Schadenfreude" in any other language??).
Schadenfreude is in the English lexicon, too. :)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on April 10, 2014, 05:00:14 PM
Why coal is the biggest enemy

Quote
Coal Emissions Equal an Athabasca Oil Sands Reserve Every 4 Years

.... I have argued that while Keystone XL has mobilized a lot of passion and energy, its threat is minuscule compared to the world’s growing carbon dioxide emissions from coal. Thus, I believe most of the effort being directed at stopping Keystone XL would be better directed at the world’s coal emissions.

Some took exception to this....

...estimated that burning the entire 170 billion barrel Athabasca reserve could raise global temperatures by 0.03°C. If you could actually burn all the oil in place, the calculated global temperature rise could be as great as 0.50°C. But you have to take into consideration the amount of time this would actually take. Even if Canada’s oil industry grew to 10 million bpd (putting it on par with Saudi Arabia and Russia), it would take slightly over 500 years to produce the 1.8 trillion barrels of oil in place. And that’s making the unrealistic assumption that you could produce all the oil in place.

Here is a more defensible assessment. In 2012, Canada produced 3.74 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil. The oil industry there has been increasing production by 3.1% per year over the past decade. At that growth rate, Canada could reach Saudi Arabia’s production level in 2045. If we assume that level of production could be maintained, it would take until 2070 to produce the 170 billion barrel Athabasca oil sands reserve. At that point, the temperature impact is estimated to be 0.03°C


Now consider the carbon dioxide impact of oil sands versus coal. Per the US Environmental Protection Agency, consumption of a barrel of oil produces 0.43 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Oil sands are more carbon intensive to extract, adding an additional 17% to the overall carbon footprint of the barrel of oil. So let’s assume that consumption of a barrel of oil sands produces 17% more, or 0.50 metric tons of carbon dioxide per barrel. That means consumption of the 170 billion barrels of Athabasca oil sands could result in an additional 85 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere. For just Keystone XL, over the course of 30 years it would carry oil that would generate 3.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Make no mistake, that’s a lot. But it’s relatively small given the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, hence the small temperature impact.

Now, let’s compare coal. Again, using the same EPA reference, burning a metric ton of coal produces 2.56 metric tons of carbon dioxide. In 2012, the world consumed about 7.6 billion metric tons of coal, which means 19.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide was emitted. At that rate, the world’s coal consumption emits as much carbon dioxide as the entire Athabasca oil sands reserve every 4.4 years — and the global rate has been accelerating. Or, in terms of just Keystone XL, the emissions from 30 years of transported crude is equal to a bit over 2 months of global coal emissions....

This kind of info probably does make it up into the decision making process.  I expect Obama to approve the Keystone pipeline for political reasons, but numbers like this do provide some logic and cover (from their perspective).

http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2014/02/04/coal-emissions-equal-an-athabasca-oil-sands-reserve-every-4-4-years/#more-16185 (http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2014/02/04/coal-emissions-equal-an-athabasca-oil-sands-reserve-every-4-4-years/#more-16185)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on April 10, 2014, 09:43:39 PM
Quote
[...] That means consumption of the 170 billion barrels of Athabasca oil sands could result in an additional 85 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere. For just Keystone XL, over the course of 30 years it would carry oil that would generate 3.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Make no mistake, that’s a lot. But it’s relatively small given the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, hence the small temperature impact.

Now, let’s compare coal. Again, using the same EPA reference, burning a metric ton of coal produces 2.56 metric tons of carbon dioxide. In 2012, the world consumed about 7.6 billion metric tons of coal, which means 19.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide was emitted. At that rate, the world’s coal consumption emits as much carbon dioxide as the entire Athabasca oil sands reserve every 4.4 years — and the global rate has been accelerating. Or, in terms of just Keystone XL, the emissions from 30 years of transported crude is equal to a bit over 2 months of global coal emissions....

I understand, that the impact of burning the Athabasca oil sands reserve is small compared to the impact of global coal burning. But I think it should not be neglected. Why?

I want to compare the numbers you gave with the numbers from "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier", which is the largest field of brown coal in Europe and the place the pictures on the previous page were taken: About 100 Mio. (metric) tons of brown coal are burned each year resulting in about 90 Mio. tons CO2 per year. The total reserve in "Rheinisches Revier" is estimated to be 55 billion tons brown coal and after about 500 years about 50 billion tons of CO2 would have been emitted. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheinisches_Braunkohlerevier (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheinisches_Braunkohlerevier)  http://www.bund-nrw.de/fileadmin/bundgruppen/bcmslvnrw/PDF_Dateien/Braunkohle/Materialien/braunkohle_im_rheinland.pdf (http://www.bund-nrw.de/fileadmin/bundgruppen/bcmslvnrw/PDF_Dateien/Braunkohle/Materialien/braunkohle_im_rheinland.pdf)

That numbers are smaller than the numbers for Athabasca oil sands - so it would be ok if we would keep on burning that stuff and should blame hard coal instead, because more of that stuff is burned globally? I think you are all able to get the error in this kind of stories...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 10, 2014, 11:23:54 PM
The third Koch brother, and multiple CEO's, flee the coal industry as company values plummet.   :)

http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/bill-kochs-coal-walkout-highlights-industry-decline/61331 (http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/bill-kochs-coal-walkout-highlights-industry-decline/61331)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on April 11, 2014, 04:58:44 AM
Remember, Bill and the other two hate each other.
Let me clarify: Bill hates the other two, and they hate him, but Charles and David hate each other less than they hate Bill.
Does that help ? If not, look up the history of litigation between them ...

Nyhoo, thanx for the article. It confirms what I am seeing, hard to keep rats on the ship, so to speak. 

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on April 11, 2014, 09:55:42 AM
I think you are all able to get the error in this kind of stories...
Maybe I want to be a bit more explicite with that:

Each single spot of major carbon source like e.g. "Athabasca oil sands" or "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier" is very small compared to global emissions - it is well below 1% of global emissions. So each and every place on earth does not seem to be the problem and one can argue that it is ok to keep it running. Therefore, the local poeple love to get some money and tell their politicians to plan accordingly.

The problem is, that there are many such places in a lot of different countries in the world. I would guess a few hundreds (e.g. 2 in Germany). It doesn't matter much whether that is hard coal, oil, gas or brown coal - since poeple just love to exploit the stuff they have where they life.

Therefore, it is not a specific carbon source to be blamed but our unability to see the hole picture and to agree on international reduction of exploitation. We will not reduce exploitation until someone far away reduces it, too. Since those remote poeple probably think very similar nothing will happen ever. Everybody is happily pointing with fingers to other poeple and making some cash by burning fossils in the mean time. That is humans' happy race to death ...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on April 11, 2014, 05:14:51 PM
SATire

I agree with that.  You are describing the way human nature works and likely will result in 

Quote
That is humans' happy race to death ...

"If" we could make a decision to start turning off fossil fuel capabilities coal would  be my first choice.  Followed by oil as quickly thereafter as possible.  But I expect to have died of old age long before either of those ever happens.   And I am sure we will figure out a bunch of other stupid things to do in between now and them. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on April 11, 2014, 10:44:46 PM
"Each single spot of major carbon source like e.g. "Athabasca oil sands" or "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier" is very small compared to global emissions - it is well below 1% of global emissions. So each and every place on earth does not seem to be the problem and one can argue that it is ok to keep it running."

Yes and no.

If you expand from 'spot' to country:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_coal_production (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_coal_production)

Only one country produces about half of the world's mined coal--China
Only three countries produce about 70%--China, USA, and India
And only the top 8 countries produce about 90% of the entire world's coal

We don't need every country in the world to sign on to reduce coal production. If only three could be convinced to dramatically reduce their consumption rapidly, there would be a nearly 70% reduction in global coal production. Add five more to that, and you get a whopping 90% reductions.

Since efforts at global treaties are not going so well, perhaps it is time to really focus on the biggest producers, and work toward getting them to cut back--especially China and the US.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on April 12, 2014, 03:51:02 PM
wili

I think SATire was being somewhat satiric with that comment in that he was referring to the tendency of most humans to self justify their bad behavior.  And thus make a bunch of money.  He was not advocating actually doing that.

But the point about getting the US and China to stop burning coal is one of those 'technical' ideas which would work but are impossible to execute in the real world.

This to me is our one of our greatest weaknesses.  That otherwise intelligent people fixate on technically possible solutions which anyone who spends a little time thinking about them can point to why they are not possible to implement.  And need to be discarded.  But people fall in love with these ideas and no matter how hard you try to show them their idea is fruitless they cling to it with all their might - a core reason why I say they think via faith based processes not via reason.  This is the crux of the Green-BAU problem.  And a fundamental reason why no solutions are likely to be attempted which have a significant possibility to dramatically improve our prospects.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on April 12, 2014, 08:48:16 PM
Wili, I was refering to probably >100 spots of carbon (areas with large extraction of brown coal, hard coal, oil or natural gas). That number just comes from the fact that large spots like "Athabasca oil sands" or "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier" contribute to < 1% of global carbon emission.

When I wrote "poeple just love to exploit the stuff they have where they life" that was neither my opinion nor satire - that is just an observation. I life quite close to such a spot and poeple consider the drawbacks small and the assets worth the exploitation. If I tell them that from global perspective or on the long run the drawbacks are larger they tend to agree but point to carbon sources elsewhere. So it makes no sense to close the burning of brown coal since all others keep on emitting CO2. I think they are right. We have to wait until also USA wants to reduce emissions and would be willing to start negotiations. If we stop emitting CO2 now they would not have any reason for international negotiations and will burn carbon for ever.

It is just a fact that we can not force USA or China to any agreement to save the planet but have to wait for them. To reduce that time it probably makes some sense to keep on burning carbon. But we are prepared for an agreement - we allready proved possibilities for reduction and feasilibilty between Kyoto and Copenhagen. Now it is time for USA and China to try a step.

 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on April 12, 2014, 10:12:29 PM
"have to wait for them"

Well, that strategy, widely applied, is a sure recipe for nothing ever getting done by anybody. Which is pretty much what we have.

There is such a thing as leadership. People can be inspired by efforts to move to low carbon emissions. It can also show others that such a thing is possible.

Lots of people around the Athabascan Tar Sands sites are certainly not happy to have that monstrosity in their back yard.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on April 12, 2014, 10:23:14 PM
JimD wrote: "But the point about getting the US and China to stop burning coal is one of those 'technical' ideas which would work but are impossible to execute in the real world."

That may well be true, but if it is really absolutely impossible, we are truly and utterly screwed (which we do pretty much seem to be). It does focus the mind a bit to see that really it boils down to just a couple big players. The intransigence of these two is largely responsible for the whole problem right now (particularly where coal is concerned).

But a few decades ago, most who had followed his career of continually bashing 'Red China' would have found it absolutely impossible to imagine that R. Nixon would be the person to normalize relations with that country. Yet he did. So occasionally in politics the seemingly impossible happens.

What we know is physically impossible is for us to burn all the coal reserves and not end up with a global climate fundamentally hostile to human (and most other complex) life.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on April 12, 2014, 11:46:44 PM
There is such a thing as leadership. People can be inspired by efforts to move to low carbon emissions.
I have been convinced here, that at least USA would not except foreign leadership.

I am also not sure, that reductions of emissions in the past did convince anybody to follow. No - China and USA will not follow - that is quite sure.

Poeple may be inspired and may find leadership great. But they will judge that leadership foolish and will continue to profite from not following.

No - I am a bit disappointed after the years since Rio & Kyoto and I can not see any followship in important countries. There is no way arround international agreements and some of the bigest players are not ready to sign any international contracts still. We have to wait until they will have changed their mind.

Anyway, we are not lazy in the mean time - just switching of nuclear first and not coal so we will be prepared if others are willing to start...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on April 13, 2014, 01:02:47 AM
"Anyway, we are not lazy in the mean time - just switching of nuclear first and not coal so we will be prepared if others are willing to start..."

Is that the official policy, or at least the predominant attitude, in Germany now, would you say?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on April 13, 2014, 11:46:12 AM
Is that the official policy, or at least the predominant attitude, in Germany now, would you say?
Wili, I am not in the position to give statements about the official policy here. But I think such official policies are overrated - you are able to clearly see what countries do or do not: USA never signed any international treaty about emission reduction and I agree to your conclusions that the planet is "truly and utterly screwed" because of this. EU did sign such contracts and did some reductions - but the effect is tiny and in vain, since nobody likes to follow. In contrary some countries did exit the Kyoto protocol.
Furthermore it is very easy to see, that Germany is on track to exit nuclear but by no means is exiting coal now. So - judge the poeple/countries by what they do and not what they "officially" say, since the latter is absolute meaningless.

Do you see any chance that USA could sign a treaty in Paris next year? What could be done to convince the American poeple to do so? Would they agree to shut down "Bakker in Dakota" and "Athabasca oil sands" in Canada if Germany shuts down "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier"?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on April 13, 2014, 05:36:36 PM
Do you see any chance that USA could sign a treaty in Paris next year? What could be done to convince the American poeple to do so? Would they agree to shut down "Bakker in Dakota" and "Athabasca oil sands" in Canada if Germany shuts down "Rheinisches Braunkohlerevier"?

An interesting question and suitable for a bunch of posts I expect.  My opinion...

The US is entering another one of its interminable election seasons (every two years with long campaigns which end in Nov of even years).  This election is for the Senators and Congressmen but not for President.  The US is a very conservative country overall with the exception that the youngest voting generation - The Millennials - is about 75% liberal (by the US definition).  However, in the US historically the young do not vote much so the impact of the Millennials is likely to be muted and until they assert power via the ballot box the political powers resident in the Republican and Democratic parties will not pay attention to them beyond some passifying rhetoric.  Both of the main US political parties in election seasons drift to the political right in general in order to win their individual elections.  The usual situation in an election like this one is for the party of the President to lose seats.   The polling and various experts expect this to happen once again.  The new Congress which will be seated following this election is almost certainly going to be more conservative than the current one and there is a strong possibility (some think more than that) that both the Senate and the House will be under Republican control following the election.

In the event that we end up with a more conservative Congress but not totally under Republican control one can expect pretty much a continuation of the current status.  No international environment agreements would be possible, a reduction in supports for renewables, a weakening of environmental regulations, and so forth.  BAU. 

In the event that Republican gain complete control of Congress it will be much worse than the above on AGW and environmental issues.  Either Obama will be resorting to using his veto power frequently or there will be even bigger negative impacts on trying to reduce carbon emissions, deal with AGW and environmental regulations.   BAU with a vengeance.

I expect, in an attempt to help the election prospects of vulnerable Democratic candidates, that Obama will approve the Keystone Pipeline as this would be a significant boost for a few of them.  Reports are that Obama does not accept the risk of the Tar Sands oil and looks at the opposition to the pipeline with some annoyance and this would ease his decision.  Obama is fundamentally a conservative as all main line politicians in the US are and his non-social views are directly in line with those of the first President Bush.  Do not expect much from him on AGW or environmental issues.

A long way to get to an answer. 

Do not expect the US to sign any treaty and if they do it will not be enforced.
The American people do not get to decide such things nor are they consulted.
There would be no chance of an agreement to shut down the Bakken and stop using Tar Sands oil.  We are going to expand such efforts for the foreseeable future.

Note:  It is the 2016 election we need to really be worried about.  Should the Republicans win the Presidency then it will likely make the problems we have now and the new ones generated by this years election seen small in comparison.  Not that Hillary Clinton would be much different than Obama if she won, but the alternative is scary.  Things can certainly get worse.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 13, 2014, 08:31:47 PM
I agree entirely with the analysis in the above comment by Jim D. I have nothing further to add.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ccgwebmaster on April 13, 2014, 11:07:54 PM
Note:  It is the 2016 election we need to really be worried about.  Should the Republicans win the Presidency then it will likely make the problems we have now and the new ones generated by this years election seen small in comparison.  Not that Hillary Clinton would be much different than Obama if she won, but the alternative is scary.  Things can certainly get worse.

Do you honestly believe it makes a real difference which party gets in? The sound bites might vary a little but on the whole I would say policy has been almost rock steady from one party to the next.

The illusion of choice, the pacifier of the masses, a convenient scapegoat to shield the corporations when the wheels really start to come off... what else are the politicians any good for?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on April 14, 2014, 12:37:45 AM
Note:  It is the 2016 election we need to really be worried about.  Should the Republicans win the Presidency then it will likely make the problems we have now and the new ones generated by this years election seen small in comparison.  Not that Hillary Clinton would be much different than Obama if she won, but the alternative is scary.  Things can certainly get worse.

Do you honestly believe it makes a real difference which party gets in? The sound bites might vary a little but on the whole I would say policy has been almost rock steady from one party to the next.

The illusion of choice, the pacifier of the masses, a convenient scapegoat to shield the corporations when the wheels really start to come off... what else are the politicians any good for?

If we elect a Republican president and the party controls both the House and the Senate, we are absolutely screwed. And by "we", I mean the planet. The base of the Republican Party has gone insane. The more reasonable party officials are even concerned.

A Republican controlled Congress and President gave us the illegal Iraq war. In the 2008 elections McCain was arguing for military action against Iran. The Republican base is still arguing for this. Please do not equate the parties.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: icefest on April 14, 2014, 02:04:50 AM
Elephant/Donkey aside (see what I did there?), here's back to the topic at hand:

Japan is replacing nuclear with coal. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-13/post-fukushima-japan-chooses-coal-over-renewable-energy.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-13/post-fukushima-japan-chooses-coal-over-renewable-energy.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on April 14, 2014, 05:24:25 PM
icefest

Good find.  I was just getting ready to post it also.

Some interesting tidbits from the article.

Quote
...In many ways, utilities are already ahead of policy makers. With nuclear reactors idled for safety checks, Japan’s 10 power companies consumed 5.66 million metric tons of coal in January, a record for the month and 12 percent more than a year ago, according to industry figures.

The Fukashima accident happened in 2011  of course.

Following the accident Japan at first replaced almost all of the lost nuclear power with a very large increase in the use of natural gas.  But as we have seen natural gas prices rise significantly due to high demand the last 2 years there has been a switch to coal.  This is something I (and others of course) predicted a couple of years ago.  There was a lot of excitement in some circles over the drop in coal use, but the supply and demand issues pretty well predicted that coal would eventually become much more competitive and its use would rise again.

Our loss of course.  Renewables have been largely ignored in Japan.

Quote
For renewable energy environmental groups, Japan’s policy is a mixed bag offers little in the way of policy direction. Instead, it backs the status quo, calling for reactors shut after the 2011 disaster to be restarted while offering no targets for the amount of power coming from wind and solar.

“What had been expected of the basic plan was to present a major policy to switch from nuclear power,” the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation said in a statement. “But the basic plan shows that the government has given up to fulfill that role. The plan does not promote a shift from old energy policies.”

And it turns out that Japan is marketing advanced coal technology and this may skew their outlook on what is important. 

Quote
“It’s crucial to have diverse energy sources for a country like Japan, which relies on imports for all energy,” said Akira Yasui, an official in charge of coal policy at the Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry. “Our basic stance is to use coal while caring for the environment as much as possible. Coal is economical and stable in supply.”

Abe’s government is supporting the development and export of advanced coal technology from Japan. According to a growth strategy released in June by the prime minister, the nation intends during the 2020s to commercialize A-USC technology. It’s also seeking to sell a equipment that combines fuel cells with a process called integrated gasification combined cycle to improve the efficiency of power generation.

“By applying Japan’s most advanced coal technology, the U.S., China and India can reduce a combined 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year,” far above Japan’s total emissions, Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s trade minister, told parliament in February.

For most governments it is not about AGW is it about the economy and growth.  Nothing else.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 25, 2014, 05:49:41 PM
Another pressure against coal is reported:  increasing water stress.
Quote
Of the 10 biggest coal-consuming countries, half are considered highly water-stressed... using more than the annually available freshwater supply.
...
It is predicted that world water supply could fall 40% short of demand by 2030.
http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/wri-coal-power-increasingly-threaten-global-water-resources/61752 (http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/wri-coal-power-increasingly-threaten-global-water-resources/61752)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 30, 2014, 08:48:48 PM
Quote
On Tuesday, Washington [state] Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order that creates a task force on reducing carbon emissions and directs it to design a “cap-and-market” program to meet emission goals. That program would set firm limits on carbon emissions and binding requirements to meet the limits.
Quote
Elsewhere in the northwest, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is also taking strong stands against climate change. In an April 19 keynote address to the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Kitzhaber said “it is time to once and for all to say no to coal exports from the Pacific Northwest.”

Oregon is home to one of three proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest that would allow for coal producers in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to ship coal to Asia. Those plans have spurred a broad-based opposition movement stretching from the northern Plains to the coast and including environmental activists, Native American tribes and ranchers.

Kitzhaber said he expects a state agency to reach a final decision on the proposed port on the Columbia River in Oregon by the end of May.

But the governor said he would “do all that I can within the context of existing Oregon law to ensure that we do not commit ourselves to a coal-dependent future….The future for Oregon and the West Coast does not lie in 19th century energy sources.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/30/3432504/washington-climate-change-fight/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/04/30/3432504/washington-climate-change-fight/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 01, 2014, 01:01:43 AM
This Australian paper's article, "The End of Coal," argues the huge Galilee coal mine in that country will never see a price for coal that will make it profitable to go forward, due to global coal oversupply and other financial factors.  And it quotes financial reports that say China's coal demand will peak between 2016 and 2020, because they have adequate supplies in their own country.  Even India's demand remains questionable, due to financial constraints.

Quote
Like this, from a Citibank report last November: “We believe that thermal coal demand is in structural decline as a result of both increasing environmental pressure and declining cost competitiveness compared to alternatives for power generation.”

Not only was gas generally cheaper in most of the world, Citibank said, wind power was rapidly achieving parity, and solar would become competitive within a decade.

An analysis by the respected, if greenish New York company Sanford C. Bernstein and Co found this month that solar was already cheaper across much of Asia than gas, meaning photovoltaic power no longer needed subsidies to compete with fossil fuel. While solar was yet a small part of the energy mix, Bernstein said, its rise could see it begin to depress fossil fuel prices within a decade.
...
This is a big deal, he says, when you consider China accounts for about half the world’s coal consumption. “And between 2007 and 2012, China accounted for all the growth in coal consumption; absent China, it fell globally.”
http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/NEWS/BUSINESS/2014/04/26/THE-END-COAL/1398434400#.U2F4nLS9KSP (http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/NEWS/BUSINESS/2014/04/26/THE-END-COAL/1398434400#.U2F4nLS9KSP)

Which is not to say the Australian government isn't pushing hard for the coal projects, despite the need for dredging for a new port that threatens the Great Barrier Reef:

Quote
Australia’s Queensland government is calling on citizens to boycott ice cream brand Ben and Jerry’s after it offered its support to WWF’s campaign to save the Great Barrier Reef.

The campaign – Fight for the Reef – aims to protect this natural wonder of the world from the threat of widespread, rapid and damaging industrial developments taking place in Queensland.
http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/australian-minister-calls-ben-jerrys-boycott-save-reef-campaign/61817 (http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/australian-minister-calls-ben-jerrys-boycott-save-reef-campaign/61817)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 03, 2014, 12:55:16 AM
Quote
But recent data released by the National Energy Administration (NEA) showed that newly installed coal and gas power capacity in China fell 38.9 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, a sign that the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix are slowly coming down.

New renewable energy and nuclear capacity grew in the same period. Since the beginning of last year, non-fossil fuels have accounted for nearly 60 per cent of new power capacity.
Quote
“The reduction in coal-fired capacity is due to the economic slowdown,” Li Junfeng, director general at government think-tank the National Center of Climate Change Strategy, told Reuters.

“But the reduction is also a result of the crackdown on air pollution,” Li told Reuters.
http://climatecrocks.com/2014/05/02/coal-plants-toppling-in-china/ (http://climatecrocks.com/2014/05/02/coal-plants-toppling-in-china/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on May 03, 2014, 02:01:41 AM
Quote
But recent data released by the National Energy Administration (NEA) showed that newly installed coal and gas power capacity in China fell 38.9 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, a sign that the share of fossil fuels in the energy mix are slowly coming down.

New renewable energy and nuclear capacity grew in the same period. Since the beginning of last year, non-fossil fuels have accounted for nearly 60 per cent of new power capacity.
Quote
“The reduction in coal-fired capacity is due to the economic slowdown,” Li Junfeng, director general at government think-tank the National Center of Climate Change Strategy, told Reuters.

But the reduction is also a result of the crackdown on air pollution,” Li told Reuters.
http://climatecrocks.com/2014/05/02/coal-plants-toppling-in-china/ (http://climatecrocks.com/2014/05/02/coal-plants-toppling-in-china/)

This is a big reason. They're flipping to syngas from coal to burn since it burns much cleaner. Of course, this actually hurts the CO2 problem, but that's not what the populace was pissed about either.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: jai mitchell on May 03, 2014, 07:36:14 PM
Re: China

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Foi61.tinypic.com%2F25a3qqs.jpg&hash=bcfdf97848e2503f49ace4b20f7756b6)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Anne on May 03, 2014, 11:08:10 PM
Interesting, jai. How does all that relate to total generation? I'm guessing that both are tiny proportions of coal or even hydro.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: jai mitchell on May 03, 2014, 11:38:24 PM
Right now they are both around 2% of total consumption according to this:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ftheenergycollective.com%2Fsites%2Ftheenergycollective.com%2Ffiles%2Fimagepicker%2F478171%2F2013_generation.png&hash=04a3d5df582bc3d0eee9062a51034cb3)

Additionally, this site (source of image above) projects that wind will be producing 175TWh this year.

http://theenergycollective.com/michael-davidson/346951/spilled-wind-update-china-s-wind-integration-challenges (http://theenergycollective.com/michael-davidson/346951/spilled-wind-update-china-s-wind-integration-challenges)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 06, 2014, 03:31:34 PM
This article argues that "India cannot afford to burn Australian coal in its plants."

Quote
As the end of coal continues to loom larger on the horizon, a new report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) has blown trench-sized holes in the industry’s latest attempt to talk up its future, dismissing the myth of coal alleviating poverty in the developing world.
...
"The new report makes the case that renewables are far better for developing nations as they are already cost competitive with coal, will get cheaper over time, can be built faster, do not impact public health, and require no on-going fuel costs.

The cost of electricity generation from solar power in India has fallen 65% in the last three years alone, while average coal prices are projected to escalate by 4% a year in rupee terms due to the cost of fuel.

Coal is bad for the climate, bad for public health, and bad for business; and it will entrench, not alleviate, poverty in the developing world.
http://tcktcktck.org/2014/05/new-report-busts-myth-coal-alleviating-poverty-developing-world/61871 (http://tcktcktck.org/2014/05/new-report-busts-myth-coal-alleviating-poverty-developing-world/61871)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 07, 2014, 01:28:47 AM
A big win for the divestment campaign:
The Stanford University Board of Trustees has decided to not make direct investments of endowment funds in coal-mining companies.
Quote
"Stanford has a responsibility as a global citizen to promote sustainability for our planet, and we work intensively to do so through our research, our educational programs and our campus operations," said Stanford President John Hennessy. "The university's review has concluded that coal is one of the most carbon-intensive methods of energy generation and that other sources can be readily substituted for it. Moving away from coal in the investment context is a small, but constructive, step while work continues, at Stanford and elsewhere, to develop broadly viable sustainable energy solutions for the future."

The resolution means that Stanford will not directly invest in approximately 100 publicly traded companies for which coal extraction is the primary business, and will divest of any current direct holdings in such companies. Stanford also will recommend to its external investment managers, who invest in wide ranges of securities on behalf of the university, that they avoid investments in these public companies as well.
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/may/divest-coal-trustees-050714.html (http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/may/divest-coal-trustees-050714.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: icefest on May 07, 2014, 01:27:19 PM
I wish more universities and institutions would have ethical investment guidelines like Norway's Soverign Weath Fund - except with the addition of Coal and Tar sands.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 14, 2014, 01:15:27 PM
If you are marketing a dangerous product like coal (or fracking), it's best to advertise to the people who don't know it's dangerous.  :o

http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/05/13/hector-lump-coal-world-s-most-inappropriate-mascot-kids (http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/05/13/hector-lump-coal-world-s-most-inappropriate-mascot-kids)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 14, 2014, 06:25:33 PM
Oakland, California, rejects coal port project:
Quote
Bowie Resource Partners LLC wanted to export coal from the port of Oakland, California, promising thousands of construction jobs and a $3 million-a-year payroll in a city whose unemployment rate was almost double the national average.

Oakland’s response: No, thanks.

“We weren’t going to sell our souls here,” Jack Fleck, a retired engineer and Oakland resident who spoke out against Bowie’s plan, said by phone on May 12. “Whatever the economic benefit would’ve been, it wasn’t worth destroying the planet over.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-13/coal-missing-boom-as-climate-foes-clean-asia-s-backyard.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-13/coal-missing-boom-as-climate-foes-clean-asia-s-backyard.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Stephen on May 15, 2014, 06:53:01 AM
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal [...]
SH - a global treaty could easily do that trick or global carbon emission certificates or just stopp burning that stuff. If the world .....

I think that you are missing the point here.  The point is that China burns most of the world's coal and the Chinese communist party have never been inclined to act for the good of the rest of the world.  They look after mainland China, first, last and always.  Sure they are also the world's largest  producers of solar, nuclear, hydro and wind power.  But their power demands are so huge that they will continue to mine and burn more and more coal.

And no international agreements will ever make the slightest bit of difference. 


Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 15, 2014, 08:59:56 PM
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal [...]
SH - a global treaty could easily do that trick or global carbon emission certificates or just stopp burning that stuff. If the world .....

I think that you are missing the point here.  .......the Chinese communist party have never been inclined to act for the good of the rest of the world.  They look after mainland China, first, last and always.

As a well informed U.S. citizen, I would argue that they learned this from us.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Stephen on May 16, 2014, 03:43:57 AM
Sorry, I was wrong.  Coal really is wonderful.

Hector (http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/05/13/hector-lump-coal-world-s-most-inappropriate-mascot-kids) is so cute that he convinced me.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.desmogblog.com%2Fsites%2Fbeta.desmogblog.com%2Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Fblog_teaser%2Fpublic%2Fblogimages%2Fhectorprofile.jpg%3Fitok%3DVa25zSCa&hash=6a67535b00d9fa4bfc2adb96d46f816d)

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on May 16, 2014, 12:34:16 PM
There is nothing over the next 30 years that will reduce the world's reliance on coal [...]
SH - a global treaty could easily do that trick or global carbon emission certificates or just stopp burning that stuff. If the world .....

I think that you are missing the point here.  The point is that China burns most of the world's coal and the Chinese communist party have never been inclined to act for the good of the rest of the world.  They look after mainland China, first, last and always.  Sure they are also the world's largest  producers of solar, nuclear, hydro and wind power.  But their power demands are so huge that they will continue to mine and burn more and more coal.

And no international agreements will ever make the slightest bit of difference.
Stephen, if you would be from China, I would accept your point. If not, I think you are missing the point here completely. Since USA never signed any treaty on reduction of CO2 emissions, it can not blame others for not signing that, too. You are responsible for what your country is dooing, since you are a democracy or at least could become one after a revolution. By no means you are able to blame other countries if you do not better (so I think I may say this just because my poeple signed such treaty).

Furthermore, from this side of the world it looks like China is following USA in the point, that freedom is the right to exploit all ressources available and individual freedom is something less important than homeland security.  The old and the new super power are on the way to become quite similar - so blame yourself and not the others. It would be nice to read some opinions from China here...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on May 16, 2014, 05:35:18 PM
SATire

Quote
It would be nice to read some opinions from China here...

They block a lot of certain kinds of traffic out of China.  It could be that AGW commentary is one of them.  I have never seen blog comments out of China on this subject now that you mention it.  interesting.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on May 17, 2014, 08:19:23 PM
Satire


"You are responsible for what your country is dooing"

As a Canadian I pray that you're wrong. In fairness to Americans (and ourselves) the oil oligarchs have pretty well destroyed democracy on this side of the pond. There was a piece showing that even programs wanted by 85% of the populace were never accepted by government if they were opposed by the elite. While that study was for the States, Canada is in at least as bad a situation. The last rally I attended was when our fearless leader shuddered parliament rather than allow a vote that would have seen him out of office.

I'm envious of those living where their vote might make a difference & I'd settle for a dictator that had my best interests at heart.

Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on May 18, 2014, 10:26:15 AM
Sorry TerryM, I am not wrong. The responsibility of the poeple for their country persists in a democracy as well as in any other systems - since the poeple could change each system anyway. I do not see lots of signs in the US-streets shouting for CO2 reduction...

Your "85%-example" could also point in the wrong direction - e.g. here such things happen, if politicans are more responsible than the poeple and do austerity instead increasing burdens for our children. Poeple do not like that but they would be to shy to go on the streets for such egoism...

I think we could sign such CO2-reduction-treaty with California anytime - but with Texas? The poeple are just different. I do not see that more than 50% of US poeple outside California want such a treaty. As I have often explained here - the reason may be the limited ability for compromises in the US. Instead of working together with the fossil industry for an agreement on CO2 reduction groups prefer to argue and to get most radical positions. Just because radical positions are cool and compromises are so womanish...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 18, 2014, 02:48:48 PM
Sorry TerryM, I am not wrong. The responsibility of the poeple for their country persists in a democracy as well as in any other systems - since the poeple could change each system anyway. I do not see lots of signs in the US-streets shouting for CO2 reduction...

While you are correct regarding the responsibility of U.S. citizens in driving decisions, I think you are seriously overestimating the power of the American public to influence decision making in the political process. And this weakness is not a recent phenomena. It became a salient feature in this country as the industrial revolution transformed the economic landscape.

It took 50 years, from 1880 to 1930, of increasing labor violence as well as the Great Depression before unions won resounding victories to unionize and put Franklin Roosevelt in the White House. Despite these victories, there were plots developed in the 1930's to assassinate the president and that same industrial and financial oligarchy supported Hitler's rise to power in Germany. It wasn't until the U.S. government threatened to put members of the oligarchy in prison that they withdrew most of their support of Hitler. Those hard fought labor gains, which created the American middle class have since been lost as the oligarchy mounted intense efforts, post WWII, to destroy the unions.

There are only two other instances in the 20th century where the American public was able to drive the political process.

It took a decade of increasing violence, including riots, bombings, campus buildings being burned down and the murder of students on campuses before the Vietnam War was ended and it took decades of dramatic violence, including having large portions of major American cities burned to the ground before the Civil Rights movement succeeded in getting legislation passed which, only in part, freed blacks from a 100 year bondage that was every bit as pernicious as the institution of slavery.

If we are going to wait for the American public, through mass political action, to drive the correct decisions regarding  fossil fuels, it will take decades and, I believe, a level of violence that will make the violence of the 20th century pale in comparison. I believe the violence will be worse because the decisions we will try to force on the oligarchy attacks the very core of the industrial economy they control.

This is not something that I am looking forward to. I actually believe it will be horribly counter productive as huge swaths of the American economy will be destroyed, the very infrastructure that we have worked so hard to build in the last 2 centuries. If you tour the cities that were burned in the 1960's large areas of each are still vast wastelands. It has been 50 years and those areas have not rebounded.

I believe we need to open a new front in the battle with the oligarchy and this front must be in the economic sphere. It is here that we can hurt them the most, in the pocketbook. It will be far more effective because the oligarchy is driven by one monumental vice, greed. When they realize they are going to suffer dramatic losses in wealth, and not before, they will come to the bargaining table.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on May 18, 2014, 03:42:38 PM
While you are correct regarding the responsibility of U.S. citizens in driving decisions, I think you are seriously overestimating the power of the American public to influence decision making in the political process.
While you are correct regarding the violence history of reformations in U.S.A. I think you are overestimating the will of the poeple to acutally reduce CO2 now. They are probably separated in <10% permaculture radicals and >50% radical-fossil BAU poeple and the rest does not mind at all. So I think right now your politics follows quite well the majority of your poeple. And since green BAU and such compromises are irrelevant (outside California at least), there is no party in the middle of your society going for an international treaty to reduce CO2 emissions.

Just ask your poeple - things like compromises or an international treaty are womanish and not a thing to consider for a super-duper-power. And please do not be surprised if China learns from you how a modern super power should act...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: werther on May 19, 2014, 12:31:54 AM
The original offset for this thread was the EIA prediction back in March 2013 for world coal output to rise by 40% in the period ’11-’35.
I’d very much like to attend the stretch of comments since. But I haven’t allocated the time to that cause. Instead, I’ve been reading in on world coal consumption. As a consequence, I got interested in another region to get scarred by huge excavations, Indonesia.

Here’s an Earth close-up of a coal mine in Sumatra. A worthy comparison to enterprises in the Ordos region of China, pits in Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany or Galilee Basin in Queensland, Australia.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FIndonesia3GEAyrLayaMineSumatrasmall_zpseab36bcc.jpg&hash=9aab2d91c100faaad6f3c96dbad2d721)

Read the IEA report 2013. See the facts for China, Poland, Russia, India. Coal is the low-cost bonanza through employing the poor (may those Turkish miners never be forgotten…) and tearing out a competitive economical advance over thy neighbour. This is a rat race and it should be obvious where it is heading for. A metaphore, but a reality too. The Port of Rotterdam, for instance:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FCoalinPortofRotterdam_zpsb4466ff8.jpg&hash=beb2d86fdec9f99280e0f7b1c9a9f4f7)

It is presently feeding the transition in Germany from nuclear to “clean coal”, like FI the new Lünen electric facility, that spills 2,1 Mton CO2 annually into the troposphere.

Or to Chinese Port of Qinhuangdao, which has more than twice the capacity of Rotterdam.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FQinhuangdaocoalport_zpsb1aa362f.jpg&hash=298f36506ff0010bb4ff683dec82d33a)

(G Earth isn't very clear over that port...) This sort of thing is driving the urge in Queensland, Australia, to build the largest export facility possible at Abbott Point. It will partly spoil Great Barrier Reef, but, after all, the reef is wasted already through coral bleeching….
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on May 19, 2014, 05:59:53 AM
I followed a link from the AIB by Francesco Meneguzzo in the PIOMAS thread and read the scariest paper I've seen. It that claims that fracked gas is worse for the climate than coal, probably over all time frames up to and including 100yrs. It's a follow-up from a 2011 paper & appears convincing to me.
If these results are sound the fracking frenzy that we're about to unleash globally could be about the last thing we do as a civilized species.

I've asked Francesco to open a thread at this forum where we would be able to discuss the paper & I hope that he grants my request. Sorry to leave everyone hanging like this but I'd much rather have Francesco, who has been involved in parallel research open the thread than to do so myself.
Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on May 19, 2014, 06:26:15 AM
SATire
In Canada I believe ~82% of the populace is aware and concerned about AGW, but our government's response has been to silence climate scientists, launch a disinformation campaign & lobby Washington to authorise Keystone, while building pipelines to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It's difficult for me at least to fault the public when the government simply ignores them and enacts legislation directly opposing their wishes.
I'll donate to, canvas neighborhoods for and cajole friend and foe to vote against them but I'm too old to take to the street with a baseball bat and a torch.
In the US the propaganda campaign has been going on for much longer and may be even more persuasive. I have difficulty faulting the populace for being taken in when the best minds that money can buy have been recruited to convince them that black is white and Big Oil is the only thing between them and penury.
Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on May 19, 2014, 03:42:31 PM
OK - TerryM, you convinced me again, that things are different on the other side of the Atlantic. Here most of the poeple are aware of AGW but the majority prefers to transit from nuclear to "clean coal" (as werther put it ironically) first. So our politicians are doing quite exactly what the poeple want and you may blame the most of us individualy.

Even next to the huge brown coal pits most poeple prefer burning that dirty stuff - just because they participate from that money quite well. Most of the villages and cities own RWE shares and thus pay the Kindergardens with the dividends...

Only green party wants to exit coal now, too - that is commonly considered not beeing realistic.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: werther on May 19, 2014, 04:06:22 PM
OK further on track for big scars… the people of Serbia may not think coal  exit to be realistic too.

This is GE overview of Kolubara mine, a set stretching 21 x 5 km2, feeding the Nikola Tesla power plant:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FKolubaracoalmineSrpskasmall_zpseb34546b.jpg&hash=7500641be7133c4f015cba9288a10dca)

Mother Nature itself may think otherwise; the AGW loaded cut-off low rainflood in the region has effectively halted production at the plant:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FNikolaTeslaPP_zps1ca5e7a7.jpg&hash=2edfaa0f57db4bf6ae02de0badffbca1)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 20, 2014, 01:15:12 PM
The recent deaths of over 300 coal miners in Turkey inspires a look at the cost of coal in human lives.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/coal/10836848/Killer-coal-finally-falls-out-of-fashion.html (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/coal/10836848/Killer-coal-finally-falls-out-of-fashion.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 24, 2014, 12:34:49 AM
Global investment bank Citigroup says coal is in structural decline because of regulation and rival technologies.
Quote
A new series of reports from global investment bank Citigroup has highlighted the dramatic changes that are sweeping the world’s largest energy markets -- events which will have a significant impact on the future of the coal industry.

The trio of reports -- A New Balance of Power, A Short Gas Bridge to Renewables, and Global Thermal Coal: When Cyclical Supply Met Structural Demand -- come to several key conclusions.

The first is that emission standards and rising costs will force a mass closure of coal-fired generation (more than 60 gigawatts) in the next few years in the world’s biggest market, the United States. And contrary to most expectations, the reports say gas will play only a minor role in this “energy transformation,” because it will be overtaken due to the falling costs of renewables.

The second conclusion is that increasingly strict environmental measures are severely limiting the feasibility of opening new coal plants, not just in the U.S. and Europe, but also in China – which for the past few years has dominated the global coal market and has been the world’s biggest consumer and importer.

In short, Citigroup says, the evolution in electricity markets is being driven by a combination of regulatory and technology changes.
Regarding India, Citi says coal imports are likely to be capped at lower-than-expected levels because consumption will be lower than forecast.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/beginning-of-the-end-for-coal-citi-sees-structural-decline (http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/beginning-of-the-end-for-coal-citi-sees-structural-decline)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 28, 2014, 09:30:19 PM
From March:  A "25-year, $7 billion contract" signed in 2012 for two Kentucky coal companies to ship coal to India has yet to see its first shipment sent -- because the Indian company is getting cheaper coal from Indonesia and South Africa.  $130/ton versus $72/ton.  And the coal jobs in Appalachia continue to decline.

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/ky-legislature/2014/03/01/eastern-kentucky-coal-deal-with-india-stalls/5940489/ (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/ky-legislature/2014/03/01/eastern-kentucky-coal-deal-with-india-stalls/5940489/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 05, 2014, 02:11:14 PM
It's all in the money: China's potentially stranded coal assets put investors and coal exporters at risk.
Quote
China's increasing efforts to shift away from coal to cleaner fuels could put annual investments of around $21 billion at risk of being stranded, a research report estimated on Thursday.
...
Chinese coal companies spent around $21 billion in 2013 on exploring and developing coal resources, despite a government push to use more natural gas, nuclear power and renewables to generate power.

Based on estimates from the International Energy Agency for coal demand in 2020 under "business as usual" and "new policies" scenarios, the report said that up to 437 gigawatts of installed coal capacity could be at risk in 2020.

That would equal 40 percent of expected installed capacity by that year.

The report said companies such as Shanxi Coal International Energy Group (600546.SS) and Datang International Power Generation Co (601991.SS) were at risk from high debt levels amid falling coal prices, while poor quality of coal produced by China Coal Energy Co (601898.SS) could put that company at risk if there were strategic shutdowns.

Falling consumption would also have an impact on coal producers worldwide, because China is the world's biggest coal importer, the report said.

"This risk is of notable interest to Australian and Indonesia exporters," it said.

China plans to cap its coal consumption from 2015 at 3.9 billion tonnes and has banned the construction of new coal-fired power plants in the region surrounding Beijing as well as in the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas. Those regions have been told to make absolute cuts in consumption.

He Jiankun, a top climate adviser to the government, said at a conference earlier this week he expected consumption to peak at around 4-4.5 billion tonnes between 2020 and 2025.
http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKKBN0EG01320140605?i=2 (http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKKBN0EG01320140605?i=2)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 07, 2014, 12:39:43 AM
OK, they are all Democrats.  But the fact that six legislators from coal states can speak out positively on the (US) EPA's proposal limiting carbon emissions from existing coal power plants -- that's encouraging.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/03/3444489/6-coal-state-lawmakers-epa-carbon-rule/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/03/3444489/6-coal-state-lawmakers-epa-carbon-rule/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 07, 2014, 04:13:44 PM
Wow!  The CEO of the (historically heavily coal-dependent, Appalachian-based) Tennessee Valley Authority power company, on a Financial TV channel, speaking about the proposed EPA emissions rule -- and no trash talk!  I am stunned.

http://www.businessweek.com/videos/2014-06-06/tva-ceo-carbon-rules-to-boost-nuclear-renewables (http://www.businessweek.com/videos/2014-06-06/tva-ceo-carbon-rules-to-boost-nuclear-renewables)


But maybe I shouldn't have been surprised.  The response to energy changes has been considerably more muted lately,  even among  financial folks:
Quote
What’s Wall Street’s reaction to Obama’s new proposal to attack climate change? A big fat “Meh.”

As of Friday afternoon, the stock market had reached record highs. It’s clear that, at least from the perspective of industry and business leaders, the much-feared “war on coal” isn’t going to wreck the economy. In fact, the new rules probably won’t change things much at all.
www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/06/06/obama_s_carbon_emissions_proposal_hasn_t_destroyed_the_economy.html (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/06/06/obama_s_carbon_emissions_proposal_hasn_t_destroyed_the_economy.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on June 15, 2014, 09:36:20 AM
Australian prime minister has understood everything, coal is cheap, brings lot of energy...and money...what else do you need ?
Plans for five 'megaports' along Queensland coast threatens Great Barrier Reef
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/plans-for-five-megaports-along-queensland-coast-threatens-great-barrier-reef-9537733.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/plans-for-five-megaports-along-queensland-coast-threatens-great-barrier-reef-9537733.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 17, 2014, 02:39:22 AM
Vintage U.S. coal-fired power plants now an ‘aging fleet of clunkers’

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-dilemma-with-aging-coal-plants-retire-them-or-restore-them/2014/06/13/8914780a-f00a-11e3-914c-1fbd0614e2d4_story.html (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-dilemma-with-aging-coal-plants-retire-them-or-restore-them/2014/06/13/8914780a-f00a-11e3-914c-1fbd0614e2d4_story.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 21, 2014, 08:43:21 PM
One down!
Quote
A proposed $10 billion Australian coal port expansion, one of two port expansions planned near the Great Barrier Reef, was shelved by its sponsors on Friday who pointed to a lack of demand for the extra capacity.
http://in.mobile.reuters.com/article/idINKBN0EV0L020140620 (http://in.mobile.reuters.com/article/idINKBN0EV0L020140620)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on June 22, 2014, 07:12:50 AM
The Chinese/Russian NG deal is hurting lots of coal, LNG, & Tar Sands exporters


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on June 24, 2014, 02:40:05 PM
To proceed our gallery of dirty spots in the world I want to link to the new multi-media article about the second brown coal spot in Germany, the "Lausitz": http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/braunkohle-boom-in-der-lausitz-warum-die-billig-energie-riskant-ist-a-970690.html (http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/natur/braunkohle-boom-in-der-lausitz-warum-die-billig-energie-riskant-ist-a-970690.html)
(It is German, but the pictures are probably worth a few clicks)

The biggest moving machine - a 500 m long moving bridge - is used to bring the soil from one side of the pitch to the other. This way the pitch "eats" itself through the landscape, wich is "recultivated" with some major problems and of course >20 m lower and equivalent more CO2 in the air...

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn4.spiegel.de%2Fimages%2Fimage-572057-galleryV9-rlwj.jpg&hash=08742285a891ff3664165d1b1b41dd8b)

The problem in the Lausitz is the same as allways: Cheap energy is available for multiple decades or even centuries and ~25,000 poeple work and life by eating that heritage - those (and the Swedish big utility company Vattenfall) must now be convinced to stopp doing so.

This spot "Lausitz" is the second largest CO2-source in Germany after "Rheinisches Braunkohlenrevier" mentioned earlier in our series (where German big utility company RWE is doing even worse than Vattenfall): http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,347.msg23233.html#msg23233 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,347.msg23233.html#msg23233)


Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 11, 2014, 08:12:59 PM
Two large Texas cities plan to completely remove coal from their energy mix.  El Paso may do so in two years, because of a recent huge solar contract.  Austin is looking for ways to eliminate coal plants on which it still owes debt.

http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/07/09/el-paso-may-become-the-first-texas-city-to-go-coal-free/ (http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/07/09/el-paso-may-become-the-first-texas-city-to-go-coal-free/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 25, 2014, 09:28:30 PM
BEIJING (Reuters) - More than 70 percent of China's coal firms are making losses, the head of the coal industry association said on Thursday, with prices eroded by falling demand growth, a worsening supply glut and a war on smog.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0FT1GG20140724 (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0FT1GG20140724)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 06, 2014, 07:32:22 AM
Quote
China, meanwhile, is moving ahead on plans to address its pollution problem by phasing out coal, with the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau announcing on Monday that the districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan would stop using coal and its related products, and close coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities, by 2020.

According to official Chinese government statistics, coal use accounted for 25.4 per cent of the capital’s energy consumption in 2012 – a figure that is expected to shrink to less than 10 per cent by 2017.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/worse-news-for-australia-as-india-taps-solar-beijing-bans-coal-66423 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/worse-news-for-australia-as-india-taps-solar-beijing-bans-coal-66423)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on August 19, 2014, 01:49:26 PM
UK lobbying to keep open one of Europe's dirtiest coal power stations
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/19/uk-lobbying-to-keep-open-one-of-europes-dirtiest-coal-power-stations (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/19/uk-lobbying-to-keep-open-one-of-europes-dirtiest-coal-power-stations)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 20, 2014, 08:06:20 AM
China appears to have hit peak coal...

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2F2014-08-18-china1-thumb.png&hash=c7ff85375ca50c0a710fd7977fc4cde7) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/2014-08-18-china1-thumb.png.html)


Coal and GDP growth have decoupled in China.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/chinese-coal-consumption-just-fell-first-time-century-49062 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/chinese-coal-consumption-just-fell-first-time-century-49062)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 23, 2014, 05:15:26 PM
@GreenpeaceUK: Over the border, through the river: 7500 people joined the #humanchain today against coal mines in Germany & Poland! http://t.co/gKl3n3mWYD (http://t.co/gKl3n3mWYD)

http://www.rtcc.org/2014/08/22/human-chain-to-protest-coal-mining-in-germany-and-poland/ (http://www.rtcc.org/2014/08/22/human-chain-to-protest-coal-mining-in-germany-and-poland/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 27, 2014, 07:40:56 PM
Here's an interesting graph produced by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.


(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FFossilFuelStockValues.png&hash=a467479f184da4cfd94d14a8126a5283) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/FossilFuelStockValues.png.html)


Starting over a year ago investors started devaluing coal industry stock.  It's not just rats, everyone gets off a sinking ship if they can.  Some just realize the ship is sinking before others do.

I'll bet with recent news of China's coal consumption starting to level out, perhaps drop, and India setting very aggressive goals for renewable generation installation that curve will continue toward "worthless".
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: deep octopus on August 28, 2014, 03:31:25 PM
I haven't been able to pin down any energy numbers from China's usage this year, but I have suspicions that a current leveling of China's coal use is in part from coal-to-gas use being counted as natural gas consumption, and not coal. This conversion process to synthetic natural gas is similarly as carbon intensive as straight-forward coal use. Such a trend would make the news more than meets the eye. Just my two cents.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/opinion/sunday/china-confronts-its-coal-problem.html?_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/opinion/sunday/china-confronts-its-coal-problem.html?_r=0)

http://www.rfa.org/english/commentaries/energy_watch/coal-08252014114944.html (http://www.rfa.org/english/commentaries/energy_watch/coal-08252014114944.html)

That said, there seems to be a global oversupply of coal that is sending prices lower and causing mines to operate at a loss for now, though other markets are expected to pick up the tab as China moves from heavy industry to... heavy consumerism:

http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/06/is-cheap-coal-bad-news-for-the-climate/ (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2014/06/is-cheap-coal-bad-news-for-the-climate/)

Quote
But while low prices might be causing pain for coal mining firms they can provide relief for coal-fired electric utilities in tightly regulated markets like China, Baruya says. These firms are prevented from passing on cost increases to consumers but will have become more profitable as a result of low coal costs.

Even if the cost of coal were to rise substantially, coal-fired power is likely to remain much cheaper in Asia than power from gas. Exports of shale gas from the US won't change that. Even though the gas is cheap, transport costs are not.

Will low coal prices lead to a surge in coal-fired power output and emissions? That depends, says Baruya. Power output cannot grow in a vacuum: there needs to be a corresponding rise in demand as a result of GDP growth.

Quote
The indications are that structural changes are at work, Sussams continues.

For example US coal consumption grew last year but that is unlikely to last as its overall electricity needs have fallen.

Quote
Sussams expects to see a structural shift to lower economic growth and coal demand in China, as it moves from a workshop-based to a consumer-based economy. The country's troubles with smog are another reason to expect structural change in the demand for coal.

There is a wide range of predictions for peak coal in China. Sussams says he's seen dates ranging from 2015 to 2030. Recent discussions of a possible carbon emissions cap make an earlier coal peak for China more plausible, he says.

Quote
Expected US and EU coal-plant closures probably won't counterbalance new Asian additions, Baruya thinks, so that line [global coal consumption] won't be turning south just yet.

That means despite the woes of some in the coal industry analysts are arguing that rumours of the death of coal have been greatly exaggerated. Predictions from the IEA, BP and others are for coal demand to keep on rising for years to come.

Very little will dent the developing world's "prodigious" appetite for coal-fired power according to Reuters market analyst John Kemp.

He writes:

"There is no conceivable energy future over the next 30 to 40 years in which coal does not play an enormous role."

...

All this means that without new efforts to curb coal use or install carbon capture facilities, coal remains likely to steer the world towards dangerous climate change - whether coal prices stay low or not.

Whereas it will be excellent when China's energy usage from coal will begin to fall back (how substantially remains to be seen), we (globally) have to keep a watchful eye, and we have a ways to go in this fight. When will global greenhouse gas emissions peak? From all sources: energy, transportation, forestry, agriculture, industry, etc.? Emissions need to start falling, globally, about 3 or 4 percent a year, roughly, to keep the trajectory below 2 C. As time goes by and with the delayed start of substantial reductions, the annual rate of decrease will have to increase.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 28, 2014, 08:24:24 PM
We've got "experts" claiming that coal use will increase.

We've got facts that say coal use is dropping in the countries that use the most coal

#1 China - 3,976,116.8845 short tons.   49.5% of world consumption in 2012.   
#2 United States - 890,483.0000 tons.   11.1%   
#3 India - 801,030.4473 tons.   10.0%   
#4 Russia - 275,685.9590 tons 3.4%      
#5 Germany - 262,564.2794 tons.    3.3%   
#6 Japan - 203,846.4471 tons 2.5%.

China may have plateaued.  The Chinese government is working on lowering coal consumption and has greatly ramped up renewable installations while making plans to move coal use out of heavily populated areas in the near year.

The US is closing about 25% of existing coal plants in the next couple of years while building no new plants.

India is working hard to cut coal use and has just announced very impressive renewable goal.

Russia - who knows?

Germany has been cutting coal use.  Their progress was temporarily interrupted by the decision to close nuclear plants early, but they seem to be past that adjustment and have recently applied to close 7.9 GW of coal capacity.

Japan has seen a rise in coal use following turning off all their nuclear plants.  That seems to be a short term change, similar to what has happened in Germany.  But it will take Japan a while longer while they bring more solar and wind on line.

Now, excluding Russia, that's where 76% of the world's coal is burned.  If the countries who burn over three quarters of all coal consumed in the world are cutting significant amounts, what countries are likely to pick up the slack?  And drop in consumption has to be covered before we can talk about increasing global consumption.

Will underdeveloped countries start building massive numbers of coal plants?  First they'll have to find financing.  The World Bank and several international banks will no longer finance new coal plants.

And why would developing countries put themselves in the position of having to import fuel for the next several decades when they can install renewables and pay nothing for fuel?

Here's an excellent article about renewables and developing countries which was just written by Carl Pope, former executive director of the Sierra Club.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Powering-the-Worlds-Poorer-Economies-A-Response-to-Bill-Gates-and-Jigar-S (http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Powering-the-Worlds-Poorer-Economies-A-Response-to-Bill-Gates-and-Jigar-S)   
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 29, 2014, 03:09:54 AM
Looks like the US might have hit peak coal about the same time as hitting peak CO2.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FUSCoalProductionConsumption.png&hash=92a4053183c3a97b103650319806ce2b) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/USCoalProductionConsumption.png.html)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FCO2DropbyRegion.png&hash=6bd786084566fa99fd2796ddf4a31c6f) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/CO2DropbyRegion.png.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on August 29, 2014, 05:04:35 PM
We have nice dreams, but reality is an ugly business.

Quote
Their report, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, says existing power plants fired by coal and gas will generate more than 300 billion tons of atmosphere-clogging carbon dioxide over the next 40 years.

They calculate that “committed” emissions – those coming from plants already in operation – will rise by about 4 percent each year as industry builds even more coal and gas fired plants. Their study is the first to quantify the rate at which such emissions grow.

The report estimates that just the new plants built around the world in 2012 will emit 19 billion tons of carbon dioxide during their expected four decades of operation. That’s significantly more than the 14 billion tons of CO2 emissions produced by all the plants operating worldwide built before 2012.

Coal is not dead and it is not dying.  It barely has a cold.  Incremental improvements in localized areas spread over time just will not do.  The situation is beyond serious and requires serious efforts.  Not pussy footing around.

http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Newly-Built-CO2-Emitting-Plants-Outpace-Closings.html (http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Newly-Built-CO2-Emitting-Plants-Outpace-Closings.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 29, 2014, 07:11:58 PM
Jim, please go back and read your linked article with a critical eye.

The authors put a ruler on the growth of coal up to 2012 and projected growth going forward. 

We've seen that the future is not a continuation of the past.  China is apparently plateauing with the intent of dropping use.  Germany intends to take all of its coal plants offline in less than 40 years.  It's unlikely the US will be burning much coal 30 years from now, we should be burning far less 20 years from now.  India is working to reduce coal use.  Coal use is dropping in Australia because consumers are being more efficient and installing rooftop solar. 

The authors of that article show no indication of what is currently happening in the world.

Serious moves are afoot.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: S.Pansa on August 30, 2014, 12:27:54 PM
@ Bob Wallace

Well after I had a look at the paper, I think this is not what they are showing and they do not miss "what is currently happening in the world" & "The authors put a ruler on the growth of coal up to 2012 and projected growth going forward" is not what they actually have done. They put it into a well needed perspective (which is not yet possible with the post 2012 years, as the data is not complete).

Fortunately the paper in question is not pay walled and accessible here (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/8/084018/ (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/8/084018/))

I'll try to give a "short" ;) summary, but as I usually do miss or misunderstand some things (what happens when laymen like me read scientific papers), please feel free to correct me if I have made some mistakes, because I do want to understand things better & I don't want to misrepresent anything. 

In short: I think they provide a valuable insight into how big the task of emission reduction really is. They show that the future emissions of the already existing ff-power-plants are huge, even if we would shot them down quite quickly and would not built new ones. But for a matter of fact we do built news ones - and we still do it with a growing pace, even if the growing is slowing a little bit (as they demonstrate).

Summary: The main target of the paper is the inertia of our socio-economic system (especially our energy system). The authors think that this inertia is not well represented in the RCPs and other emission pathways which leads to an underestimation of the task at hand.
In 2010 (Davis, Future Co2 emissions and climate change from existing energy infrastructure, Science 329 2010) they tried to quantify the inertia with the concept of "committed" emissions for the first time. The paper provided data for the year 2009, but no historical trends for a broader perspective.

The concept of "committed emissions" of the new paper is described as follows (emphasis mine, see also fig 1 bellow):
Note: they only look at the power generation sector, wich did account for ~40% of the total emissions in 2011.

Quote
"The general principle of commitment accounting is shown schematically in figure 1. Two views are contrasted for the case where a new device, when built, is expected to run for five years and to emit one unit of CO2 each year. Today’s carbon accounting would report annual emissions of one unit of CO 2 in each of the five years of operation. Commitment accounting instead assigns all five units to the year when the device begins to operate (figure 1(a)). We call these anticipated emissions‘ committed emissions ’ or simply ‘ commitments. ’ Figure 1(b) presents the same device three years after it begins to operate and shows (below the line) the initial commitments that have been realized as emissions and those that remain commitments. We depict realized and remaining commitments as negative numbers to re fl ect the fact that net commitments will be zero when fully realized.
‘Committed’ does not mean inevitable. If the device in figure 1 was shut down after operating only four years, its remaining commitment would go to zero, and both committed and realized emissions would be shortened to four units in all subsequent representations. Conversely, if the device continued to operate after fi ve years, both committed emissions and realized emissions would be increased by one unit each year until the device was retired." (p. 2)

For the "commitment accounting" you need at least 4 pieces of information about the ff-burning power plants:

(1) the year the device began operating,
(2) the expected operating lifetime of the device,
(3) the annual emissions from the device, and,
(4) if the device is no longer operating, the year the device ceased operating.

To get this infos, they used two sources:
The Platts World Electric Power Plant database  (http://www.platts.com/products/world-electric-power-plants-database (http://www.platts.com/products/world-electric-power-plants-database))
Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) database (http://carma.org/ (http://carma.org/))

(Interesting detail: from the 95.529 fossil-fuel generators included in the Platts list, only 13.000 are retired.)

A lot of data correction is needed for the available date, but in the end they get a estimate of mean lifetime for ff-power-plants:
37 (natural gas),
35 (oil),
and 32 years (coal)

They did a deeper analysis of the lifetimes, but in the end they found no specific regional trends. To make things simple, the choose a mean lifetime for their computations of 40 years. That seems a bit odd as 35 years would seem closer to the mean of all three ffs, but in the end it doesn't matter much as they provide results for lifetimes between 20 and 60 years.

Results see following post.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: S.Pansa on August 30, 2014, 12:30:27 PM
Here the results:

This basic estimates result in a committed emission by 2012 (the last date with full data) of (see also fig 4):

Quote
"Global committed emissions from these generators total 629 (508 – 761) Gt CO 2 (light green area; only the central estimate reflecting a 40 year lifetime is shown), of which 322 Gt CO 2 were realized emissions by 2012 (black area), and 307 (192 – 439) Gt CO 2 were remaining commitments as of 2012 (dark green area). The error estimates in parentheses here are for assumed lifetimes of 30 and 50 years."

If the mean lifetime is reduced two 20 years, the committed emissions go down to 98 Gt CO2, if they run 60 years its 580 Gts.

Nota bene:
- This are the emissions only for the power generation sector.
- This are the future committed emissions for the applied lifetime, i.e. these are the emissions if not a single ff-plant would have gone online after 2012.

On top of these emissions we, of course,  have to add the emissions from the power-plants that were built since 2012 and will be built in the comming years. David and Socolow do not give an estimate of future emissions of theses ff-generators, they instead look at the growth-rates of the "committed emissions" since the 1950. They have found a lot of very interesting trends, for details see their paper p. 5ff.
In short: "committed emissions" are still growing, albeit slower as they have done in the past, at least for some ffs and some countries.
But if we want to really reduce our CO2-emissions the "committed emissions" would have to decrease, actually, and not grow further (in fig. 5 below that would be R-values below 0).

Hence while we should slow down, we are just accelerating slower.

Or as they put it in the conclusion:

Quote
"For instance, we estimate that the ‘ New Policies ’scenario in the IEA ’ s World Energy Outlook 2013 entails new global commitments of roughly 5 Gt CO 2 yr – 1 of coal generators and 3 Gt CO 2 yr – 1 of gas generators between 2012 and 2020, while the ‘ 450 scenario ’ would require overall reductions in the commitments from existing coal- fi red generators ( − 0.5 Gt CO 2 yr – 1 between 2012 and 2020, e.g., by early retirement or CCS retro fitting) and allow new commitments of ∼ 2 Gt CO 2 yr – 1 of gas generators over the same time period (assuming new generators with the lowest plausible carbon intensity given their fuel type) [24]. In comparison, figure 3(c) shows that gas generators brought online in 2012 represented ∼ 5 Gt CO 2 of new commitments — roughly twice the level of commitments in the IEA scenarios." p. 8
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: S.Pansa on August 30, 2014, 12:31:52 PM
Uuups, the results, figure 4 is missing
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 30, 2014, 03:18:42 PM
Looks like the US might have hit peak coal about the same time as hitting peak CO2.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FUSCoalProductionConsumption.png&hash=92a4053183c3a97b103650319806ce2b) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/USCoalProductionConsumption.png.html)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FCO2DropbyRegion.png&hash=6bd786084566fa99fd2796ddf4a31c6f) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/CO2DropbyRegion.png.html)

In part, this just captures the dramatic contraction in the U.S. economy during the "Great Recession".
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 30, 2014, 03:23:41 PM
Worldwide coal consumption increased 2.9% in 2012. This represents a dramatic reduction in growth over the previous couple of decades. We may be close to peak consumption of coal.

http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/coal-statistics/ (http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/coal-statistics/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on August 30, 2014, 04:10:58 PM
Bob you express the same grasping at straws reaction that is crippling our chances of ever having a chance of substantially altering our future prospects.  Incremental improvements are not going to make much difference in the end result.  And constantly cherry picking localized and highly varying short term numbers are not providing an accurate picture.  Look at the totality of "progress"  on the issues like fossil fuel consumption, vehicle manufacturing, population growth, etc, etc over the last 5 years.  When compared to the scale of the problem we have made no meaningful difference.  In fact things are still getting worse.  Not that we  had time 5 years ago, but we certainly do not have time to wait the 40 years for this all to play out.

Even if 5 years from now the world is consuming only 80% of the coal we do now we will still be fucked.  And that result would constitute a miracle.

Well enough of this.  Back to my summer vacation.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 30, 2014, 05:58:21 PM
Looks like the US might have hit peak coal about the same time as hitting peak CO2.

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FUSCoalProductionConsumption.png&hash=92a4053183c3a97b103650319806ce2b) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/USCoalProductionConsumption.png.html)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FCO2DropbyRegion.png&hash=6bd786084566fa99fd2796ddf4a31c6f) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/CO2DropbyRegion.png.html)

In part, this just captures the dramatic contraction in the U.S. economy during the "Great Recession".

You might want to see if coal consumption and CO2 emissions have turned back up toward the 'bad old days' as we've recovered from the Great Recession.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 30, 2014, 06:09:37 PM

Jim, you've put a lot of energy into writing a lot of words.  It seems that you are working very hard to deny progress, for what reason I can't fathom.

Let's look at this part of your posts.

Quote
The BP 2013 Statistical Review of World Energy was released Wednesday.

Coal remains the worlds fastest growing fossil fuel.

http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/26015975 (http://www.platts.com/RSSFeedDetailedNews/RSSFeed/Coal/26015975)

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/statistical-review-of-world-energy-2013.html (http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/statistical-review-of-world-energy-2013.html)

The 2013 BP Review covers data up to 2012.  Your first link states "Coal remained the world's fastest-growing fossil fuel in 2012".  That's two years ago, Jim.

China did not increase its coal consumption in 2013.  Consumption was flat.  That happened in the year after 2012.   In the first half of 2012 Chinese coal consumption fell a small amount.

All that inertia stuff?  Seems to have ended in China - the world's largest coal consumer.

The US has been reducing coal use and that will accelerate over the next few years.  One cannot burn coal in a closed plant.

Germany will burn less coal going forward.  Again, can't burn coal in a closed plant.



Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 30, 2014, 06:14:54 PM

You might want to see if coal consumption and CO2 emissions have turned back up toward the 'bad old days' as we've recovered from the Great Recession.

I said "in part" and this is true. There was a dramatic drop in 2007 through 2009. I would imagine the consumption of coal has not rebounded as quickly as the economy because of the fracking revolution.

Also, part of China's reduction is due to a near collapse of their steel industry as construction across the country has ground to a halt.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 30, 2014, 06:18:17 PM
Bob you express the same grasping at straws reaction that is crippling our chances of ever having a chance of substantially altering our future prospects.

.....

Even if 5 years from now the world is consuming only 80% of the coal we do now we will still be fucked.  And that result would constitute a miracle.



In my humble opinion, Jim, you do yourself and others a disservice by refusing to recognize progress. 

If we don't see what is working then we don't know where to focus our efforts.  If we don't recognize the progress we are making, while perhaps small, we stand to discourage ourselves and sit on our butts declaring that we are fucked as opposed to making an concerted effort to keep from getting fucked.

Quote
“A leaked draft of the (IPCC) report sent to governments in December suggests that in order to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) by the end of the century — the stated goal of international climate talks — emissions need to fall by 40-70 percent by 2050.”

http://www.evwind.es/2014/04/05/what-is-the-future-of-fossil-fuel/44609 (http://www.evwind.es/2014/04/05/what-is-the-future-of-fossil-fuel/44609)



If we can cut coal CO2 emission by 20% in the next 5 years then we are making tremendous progress toward a 40% to 70% cut in coal emissions by 2050.  We would have achieved 50% of the lower bound in only 14% of the allotted time.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 30, 2014, 06:18:42 PM
Basically, this is how I feel. Until we are able to decouple the economy and its need for growth from fossil fuels, we are in deep trouble.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 30, 2014, 06:27:43 PM
Basically, this is how I feel. Until we are able to decouple the economy and its need for growth from fossil fuels, we are in deep trouble.

Do you mean in the way that China has managed to decouple their economic growth from their use of coal?

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2F2014-08-18-china1-thumb.png&hash=c7ff85375ca50c0a710fd7977fc4cde7) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/2014-08-18-china1-thumb.png.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 30, 2014, 06:31:32 PM
Basically, this is how I feel. Until we are able to decouple the economy and its need for growth from fossil fuels, we are in deep trouble.

Do you mean in the way that China has managed to decouple their economic growth from their use of coal?

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2F2014-08-18-china1-thumb.png&hash=c7ff85375ca50c0a710fd7977fc4cde7) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/2014-08-18-china1-thumb.png.html)

Chart looks good....clearly making progress although I am not entirely confident about the growth numbers. I do feel we are close to plateauing with coal, worldwide. Some of this reduction is due to an increasing reliance on natural gas for electricity generation. China is working hard on installing renewables. The U.S.? Not so much.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 30, 2014, 07:05:37 PM
Quote
China is working hard on installing renewables. The U.S.? Not so much.

Just last night I was taking a look at the 2014 year to date numbers for US electricity generation.  Decided to update some graphs...

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FSolar1stHalf2014.png&hash=c96f8c629b1332ed45771742781a941d) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/Solar1stHalf2014.png.html)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FWind1stHalf2014.png&hash=e422a8b306d0d964f85b77cfc48af0cc) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/Wind1stHalf2014.png.html)

Now, I'll beat out the 'half full' crowd and point out that solar is not 1% of total US generation and wind is only 5%.  OK?  Still small.

But what the 'half full' crowd misses is that those are some very fast uptake rates.  And those rates come from recently massive cost decreases. 

Take a look at the relationship between cost and solar installation rates.  (BTW, they feedback on each other.  Dropping prices increases amounts installed.  Increasing installation rates helps drops price.)

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FUSSolar2013-1.png&hash=a9d1830ed28497f2e690029af4dd8436) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/USSolar2013-1.png.html)

Wind and solar installation is happening much faster than we observed with nuclear.  And since wind and solar are already affordable with clear downward price curves they are not likely to stall out as nuclear did when it could not be produced for an acceptable cost.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on August 30, 2014, 07:10:37 PM
Again, very encouraging.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on August 30, 2014, 07:14:50 PM
Perhaps. Unfortunately, total CO2 levels in the atmosphere continue to rise at an accelerating rate. If coal is in fact plateauing, what is being burned faster? Or have feedbacks already kicked hard enough already to show up in increased atmospheric CO2 data?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 30, 2014, 07:48:22 PM
CO2 (July to July) rose on average 2.07 ppm 2007 to 2013.  July 2013 to July 2014 the increase was 1.80%  That's 13% less than the previous six year average.

http://co2now.org/ (http://co2now.org/)

Now, as I said earlier, one year does not demonstrate a change in slope.  It will take a few years to determine whether rate of growth has changed or whether 2014 was just 'noise'.

We're seeing coal use dropping in China and the US, the countries that burn 60% of all coal consumed in the world.  We're seeing increasing fuel efficiency in cars and planes.  Assuming that the recent decrease in CO2 growth might be the first year of slope change isn't totally ridiculous.

We'll have to wait to see how things work out.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 30, 2014, 08:35:54 PM
After downloading annual CO2 levels, an 1.8 pmm is not unusual.  Year to year variation is fairly large. 

During the last 10  years the amount of growth has ranged from 0.89 ppm (2004) to 3.17 ppm (2005).
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on August 30, 2014, 08:41:50 PM
Hi folks - in case use of carbon is flat these years, we can safely assume that CO2 increase is about maximal these years. As Shared Humanity mentioned (edit: in the cars thread...), that is still similar to worst case, because there is no sign we will stop carbon emission anytime soon.

And still they plan new coal plants in Germany... OK, they are planned to replace older ones - but future emission is guaranteed by doing so. The only hope we may have is, that they plan dynamic plants, which burn only in times without wind and sun...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 30, 2014, 08:58:02 PM
Several years ago Germany decided to replace inefficient coal plants with more efficient "supercritical" plants as a way to decrease coal use and reduce emissions.  The initial plan was that by 2020, 11.3 gigawatts would be built allowing 18.5 gigawatts of coal power capacity to be decommissioned. 

Due to the success of renewables it appears that the 11.3 gigawatt number will be lowered by at least 3 GW.  Furthermore the newer plants will be more efficient, releasing less CO2 per unit electricity produced than are the ones they are replacing.  And the new coal plants are partially load-following which further cuts total emissions.

As of November 2013 some 49 power plants with a collective capacity of 7.9 GW have been submitted for decommissioning and 246 MW of generation has been closed.  Utilities in Germany are not allowed to close plants without receiving prior clearance by the government and this can take several months.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on August 30, 2014, 11:09:36 PM
Bob, you are right with that. I only want to explain the last point (Utilities are not allowed to close plants): That is not because government loves regulations but to maintain grid stability. We have much higher quality standards here so a the grid control has to work out the consequence of each shut-down on grid stability. That become even more important with >25% renewables fluctuating in the grid.

And still it is not good to build new coal plants - within the life-time of those plants we will probably reach the limit of CO2 in the air. All additional coal burned makes it necessary to sequester that carbon later. It would be much more efficient and profitable in the long run, if we leave that wet dirty lignity in the soil instead of producing fine char coal later, just to bury it in the soil... Same is true of course for US fracking gas and Canada tar sands and Chinas black coal and so on.
So maybe we are doing much better here in Europe and also over there in China (per person that is very clear) - but again: Better is still far from good... and at some point US will have to start to keep up.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 30, 2014, 11:52:51 PM
Yeah.  I probably should have added a bit about the closure review process re: making sure there's enough capacity available to keep the grid operating 24/365.

A couple points about Germany building coal plants. 

First, that decision was made when wind and solar were a lot more expensive.  There wasn't any way to know that prices would drop so quickly.

Second, Germany doesn't have large natural gas reserves but gets most of its NG from Russia.  We've been harshly reminded recently that it is not a good idea to link one's economy to Russia behaving "nice".

I'm not sure when the decision was made to build new coal plants in Germany was made.  At least a few years ago since it takes several years to take a large project from conception to completion.  That decision of pre-2010 (pre-cheap renewables and pre-Fukushima) is resulting in 18.5 GW of coal capacity being replaced with less than 8.5 GW of coal capacity.  And the ~8.5 GW will produce less CO2 per MWh.  So that's a 57+% drop in CO2 emissions for that portion of Germany's coal use.  And that ain't shabby. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on August 31, 2014, 12:48:41 AM
"CO2 (July to July) rose on average 2.07 ppm 2007 to 2013.  July 2013 to July 2014 the increase was 1.80%  That's 13% less than the previous six year average."

Oh, pullease.

Please don't cherry pick.

It just makes you look like a denialist.

Really, I need see nothing else to convince me that you are essentially a troll here. I will attempt not to 'feed you' further.

But for others, I will point out the following graph from NOAA:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.esrl.noaa.gov%2Fgmd%2Fwebdata%2Fccgg%2Ftrends%2Fco2_data_mlo_anngr.png&hash=597641c2736911cdd53b601bc6632957)

Out side of expected annual (not to mention f'ng monthly for X's f'ng sake!!!!) variation, the general trend is CLEARLY upward.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 31, 2014, 01:31:02 AM
"CO2 (July to July) rose on average 2.07 ppm 2007 to 2013.  July 2013 to July 2014 the increase was 1.80%  That's 13% less than the previous six year average."

Oh, pullease.

Please don't cherry pick.

It just makes you look like a denialist.


I suppose you failed to read this comment?

Quote
After downloading annual CO2 levels, an 1.8 pmm is not unusual.  Year to year variation is fairly large. 

During the last 10  years the amount of growth has ranged from 0.89 ppm (2004) to 3.17 ppm (2005).
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on August 31, 2014, 10:40:07 AM
Well, thanks for admitting that your statement that I quoted is irrelevant.

Meanwhile: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28942403 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-28942403)

Full extent of global coal 'binge' is hidden
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 31, 2014, 04:57:03 PM
Well, thanks for admitting you pulled the trigger before clearing leather.

Meanwhile, I'll just copy this over from the other place you posted the same thing -

Quote
wili - you link 2012 data.  I gave you 2013 and 2014 data that shows no growth of coal use in China past 2012.  In fact, a slight reduction in the first half of 2014.

How about we all leave 2012 behind and look at what is happening in the world in 2014?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on August 31, 2014, 06:30:30 PM
Yes, there are some promising sounds coming out of China lately.

Of course, they are still burning nearly half of all coal burned in the world.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 31, 2014, 07:02:14 PM
"Of course, they are still burning nearly half of all coal burned in the world."

You just found Waldo!!!

If China, which burns about half of all coal consumed in the world, has stopped increasing their coal use and started to reduce use (yes, yet to be confirmed) then we have turned a very major corner.

First you have to slow down going in the wrong direction.  Then you have to stop going in the wrong direction.  Finally you get to reverse direction.  But  you've got to slow and stop first.

Some of the other larger coal users (US, Germany) have already started cutting usage.  China is "half the world", if China has reversed direction that is incredible news. 

Again, for all you who wear the goggles of skepticism, we'll have to wait a couple of years to see if this is a real happening.  Just saving you some keyboard time.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on August 31, 2014, 07:52:38 PM
"we'll have to wait a couple of years to see if this is a real happening"

Here, we can agree. And, yes, a reduction in the rate of increase is better than in increase in the rate of increase. Of course, we are still left with increase.

I am also happy to announce that the rate at which I am being stabbed to death seems to be not increasing quite at an exponential rate anymore. This is quite fortunate, and much better than an increase in the rate of increased stabbing, since my assailant will obviously have to first slow down his rate of stabbing before he finally stops and then starts wrapping up my blood-gushing rash of stabbing.  ;D :P

I will say that, in theory, since nearly 80% of all coal that is mined is produced by just five countries/entities--China, US, India, EU, Australia--it should (again, in theory) be possible for them to come up with some kind of treaty. It should be easier to get an agreement between five than between all countries on the planet.

Should I add 'in theory' again? There are problems with all of these, but right now the government of Australia seems particularly unlikely to sign on to any such agreement.

Meanwhile, the stabbings continue!

Global CO2 emissions reach 36 billion tonnes this year, driven by China and coal
http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1360022/global-co2-emissions-reach-36-billion-tonnes-year-driven-china-and-coal (http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1360022/global-co2-emissions-reach-36-billion-tonnes-year-driven-china-and-coal)

This for 2013, of course. Has anyone seen preliminary estimates for this year, yet?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 31, 2014, 08:36:21 PM
"Of course, we are still left with increase."

Please show me where, exactly, this increase will take place.  If the largest coal consumers are cutting back that means that the countries that now consume 1% or less would have to really step up use in order to just replace what the US, Germany, Australia and China will not be burning.

China 49.5% in 2012, the US 11.1%, India 10%, Germany 3%, Australia 1.6%.  Those countries account for 75.2% of the coal burned in 2012.  All have either cut coal consumption since then or are working at cutting. 

Who is going to fill in and expand coal consumption?  The countries that now burn 0.1%? Or 0%.  Where is this growth happening?  What countries are building the 200 new coal plants needed to replace the 200 plants the US is in the process of closing?  Who is replacing the 7.9 GW of coal capacity Germany is right now closing?

New builds will have to replace and exceed.  What are those countries?  What numbers do we have that supports the claim of "still left with increase"?

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on August 31, 2014, 08:44:33 PM
Here's a ranked list of coal consuming countries in 2012.  The percentage of world coal consumed is listed for each.  (Anyone know how to make columns line up/format?)

When several of the big boys are cutting back where is the action going to pick up that overrides that cut back and increases burn rates?

China   49.5
United States   11.1
India   10.0
Russia   3.4
Germany   3.3
Japan   2.5
South Africa   2.5
Poland   1.8
Korea, South   1.7
Australia   1.6
Kazakhstan   1.2
Ukraine   1.0
Indonesia   0.9
Taiwan   0.9
Greece   0.9
United Kingdom   0.8
Czech Republic   0.6
Canada   0.6
Thailand   0.5
Bulgaria   0.5
Romania   0.5
Spain   0.3
Brazil   0.3
Malaysia   0.3
Italy   0.3
Vietnam   0.3
Mexico   0.3
Philippines   0.2
France   0.2
Israel   0.2
Hong Kong   0.2
Netherlands   0.2
Hungary   0.2
Mongolia   0.1
Chile   0.1
Slovakia   0.1
Pakistan   0.1
Slovenia   0.1
Finland   0.1
Colombia   0.1
Denmark   0.1
Austria   0.1
Portugal   0.1
New Zealand   0.0
Belgium   0.0
Uzbekistan   0.0
Sweden   0.0
Iran   0.0
Ireland   0.0
Argentina   0.0
Bangladesh   0.0
Croatia   0.0
Egypt   0.0
Norway   0.0
Guatemala   0.0
Lithuania   0.0
Latvia   0.0
Honduras   0.0
Venezuela   0.0
Luxembourg   0.0
Panama   0.0
Nicaragua   0.0
Jamaica   0.0
Uruguay   0.0
Paraguay   0.0
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on September 01, 2014, 12:51:33 AM
Here's a recent take by Robert Rapier:

http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2014/07/30/king-coal-deposed-in-west-but-reigns-in-east/ (http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2014/07/30/king-coal-deposed-in-west-but-reigns-in-east/)

Quote
So if you live in the West, and you tend to get your news sources from the West, you might believe that global coal consumption is on the decline.

But you would be very wrong...

...coal’s gains in the developing world are shocking...

...The global coal markets are the story of skyrocketing consumption in the Asia Pacific region that far more than offsets the consumption declines in the West.

But, on the other hand:

Quote
...China, which has only enough reserves for 31 years of production at its 2013 consumption rate.

So, yeah, at some point, China is going to have to scale way back on its dependence on coal or become completely dependent on the US, Russia and Australia (few others have the reserves to come anywhere close to slaking China's currently enormous appetite for coal).

I'm sure they will want to paint this necessity as a virtue. And it may in fact be. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 01, 2014, 04:44:11 AM
OK, digging into the BP database on coal.  BP doesn't report a flattening of coal consumption of coal in China in 2013 as does the Greenpeace report.  Here's what BP has to say about coal in 2013...

"China recorded the weakest absolute growth since 2008 but the country still accounted for 67% of global growth. India experienced its second largest volumetric increase on record and accounted for 21% of global growth. "

Greenpeace was using domestic production data (down 1.8%) and "The growth of imports ground almost to a halt" to derive their flat growth in 2013.  The do caution "there is uncertainty over the changes in coal stockpiles - running down stockpiles could have enabled consumption to grow while production and imports declined - stockpiles are reported to be high and increasing, making it very likely that consumption did indeed drop."

http://m.greenpeace.org/eastasia/high/news/blog/chinas-coal-use-might-just-have-dropped-first/blog/50204/ (http://m.greenpeace.org/eastasia/high/news/blog/chinas-coal-use-might-just-have-dropped-first/blog/50204/)

So let's assume BP has better data and China did not plateau out in 2013, just showed "weakest absolute growth since 2008".

Average annual percentage increase for the ten years prior to 2013 (2003 - 2012) was 9.9%  The annual percentage in 2013 fell to 3.7%. 

Now let's go on to the rest of the world....

25 countries consumed less coal in 2013 than 2012.  A total reduction of 28.4 million tonnes oil equivalent.

12 countries were unchanged 12 to 2013.

25 countries increased consumption from 2012 to 2013 for a total of 131  million tonnes oil equivalent .   Only three countries - China, the US and India account for 84% of all increased consumption.   Take out the 'big three' and there was a small decrease in coal consumption for the rest of the world.  Hardly

China has stated they are working to reduce coal use and China appears to be slowing.

The US is in the process of closing 200 coal plants.  It's hard to see how the US would burn more coal in the future with fewer places to burn it.

India is less far along on cutting coal, but that is their intent.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on September 01, 2014, 06:08:05 PM
"The US is in the process of closing 200 coal plants."

Do you have a (non-rightwing/industry) source for that? There are indeed lots of rabid Pro-Industry and rightwing sources that shout about this, naming it a 'war on coal.' But I can only find one independent source for it--http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/08/05/utilities-firstenergy-coal-idINL1N0G60S820130805

The first sentence of which is:
Quote
U.S. power companies have shut or converted over 15,000
megawatts (MW) of coal-fired power plants since 2009 and have plans to shut or
convert nearly 36,000 MW over the next 10 years or so.

So they are in fact not all being shut. And presumably a large number of these have outlived their usable lifespan and would need to be shut down in any case.

Kind of thin thread to hang the future of the planet on, imvho.

Thanks to tireless work by the Sierra Club and others, about 100 (iirc) proposed coal plants have been stopped. That is a good thing.

Note that the BP report shows an increase in US coal consumption. I was frankly surprised by that. I do wonder if anybody really has accurate data in this areas, at least data that is accessible for free by plebes like us.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 01, 2014, 08:09:09 PM
Here's an EIA report from 2012 stating 175 closures from 2012 to 2016.  175 plants for 27 GW.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=7290 (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=7290)

And here's an EIA report from 2014 stating 60 GW closures from 2012 to 2020 but no number of plants is specified.  That's more than twice the capacity stated in the 2012 report.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=15491 (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=15491)

Then there's this further EIA publication from this year.

"At the end of 2012 there were 1,308 coal-fired generating units in the United States, totaling 310 GW of capacity. In 2012 alone, 10.2 GW of coal-fired capacity was retired, representing 3.2% of the 2011 total. The table below shows the progression of coal-fired generating unit retirements between 2010 and 2012. Units that retired in 2010, 2011, or 2012 were small, with an average size of 97 megawatts (MW), and inefficient, with an average tested heat rate of about 10,695 British thermal units per kilowatthour (Btu/kWh). In contrast, units scheduled for retirement over the next 10 years are larger and more efficient: at 145 MW, the average size is 50% larger than recent retirements, with an average tested heat rate of 10,398 Btu/kWh."

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=15031 (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=15031)

A 60 GW reduction is about 20% of US capacity.  Given that the plants most likely to be closed first are likely smaller (less efficient, older) plants the number of plant closures is likely higher than 20% of the total.  20% of 1308 = 262.

As to "converted".  Some have been converted to biomass.  Some to natural gas.  They've been closed in terms of coal burning plants.  The hardware has been used for a different purpose.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 01, 2014, 08:16:05 PM
"Note that the BP report shows an increase in US coal consumption. "

NG prices went up and that resulted in an increase in coal consumption.  Combined fossil fuel use (coal and NG) was down by a 1.3% market share 2012 to 2013.  Down by 1.8% in terms of total generation for the same period.

We saw the same thing happen in Germany.  The fuel market will change the mix while overall use falls.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 01, 2014, 09:30:26 PM
Here's something interesting from one of the right-wing publications reporting on a coal industry association - the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), a partnership of industry groups.

Quote
In September, ACCCE estimated that more than 200 coal-fired generating units — more than 31,000 megawatts of power — would be shut down across 25 states due to EPA regulations and other factors inducing cheap natural gas.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/03/report-epa-rules-to-shut-down-more-than-280-coal-fired-units/#ixzz3C5rvzVns (http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/03/report-epa-rules-to-shut-down-more-than-280-coal-fired-units/#ixzz3C5rvzVns)

31,000 MW, 31 GW is about half of the 60 GW the EIA says will be closed by 2020.  If, using the ACCCE math, 31 GW = >200 plants, then how many plants would have to be closed in order to add up to 60 GW?

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on September 02, 2014, 12:06:46 AM
Coalgate: India urges supreme court not to close coal mines
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/01/coalgate-india-supreme-court-narendra-modi (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/01/coalgate-india-supreme-court-narendra-modi)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on September 02, 2014, 04:49:43 AM
"31,000 MW, 31 GW is about half of the 60 GW the EIA says will be closed by 2020."

Good catch. That's funny. Kind of.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 02, 2014, 06:44:53 AM
EIA - 189 US plants planned for closure 2013 - 2017.  24.4 GW.

http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_04_05.html (http://www.eia.gov/electricity/annual/html/epa_04_05.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on September 02, 2014, 11:03:37 PM
Thanks for the link. I wish it were higher yet!

Meanwhile:  (Thanks to Keith_McClary at POForums for this link and quote):

Existing power plants will spew 300 billion more tons of carbon dioxide during use


 
Quote
   Assuming these stations will operate for 40 years, the power plants constructed globally in 2012 alone will produce about 19 billion tons of CO2 during their existence, the researchers project.

    "Bringing down carbon emissions means retiring more fossil fuel-burning facilities than we build," said Steven Davis, assistant professor of Earth system science at UCI and the study's lead author. "But worldwide, we've built more coal-burning power plants in the past decade than in any previous decade, and closures of old plants aren't keeping pace with this expansion."
    "Far from solving the climate change problem, we're investing heavily in technologies that make the problem worse," he added.

    According to the study, the CO2 emissions that will come from existing power plants represent a substantial portion of the emissions budget that would keep global temperatures from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius relative to the preindustrial era – the current international target.
   
Power plants now operating in the U.S. and Europe account for about 11 percent and 9 percent of committed emissions, respectively, but these commitments have been steady or declining in recent years.

Increasing worldwide commitments, therefore, reflect the rapid growth of China's power sector since 1995, as well as new facilities in such developing countries as India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Plants in China and India represent 42 percent and 8 percent of committed future emissions, respectively.

    About two-thirds of these emissions from the power sector are due to coal-burning stations. The share of commitments related to natural gas-fired generators – which emit less CO2 per unit of energy than coal – has escalated from about 15 percent in 1980 to 27 percent in 2012, as more such plants are being put into use.

http://phys.org/news/2014-08-coal-dominance-vivid-climate-accounting.html (http://phys.org/news/2014-08-coal-dominance-vivid-climate-accounting.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 02, 2014, 11:45:50 PM
Quote
Assuming these stations will operate for 40 years


That appears to be a bad assumption.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on September 07, 2014, 03:38:30 PM
Bob will like this one:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/china-coal-carbon-emissions-17985 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/china-coal-carbon-emissions-17985)

China May Be Ready to Kick its Coal Habit
Small Signs Indicate Change

Quote
Greenpeace, the environmental NGO, said in a recent analysis of China’s coal sector that growth in coal imports, which had been going up at an annual rate of between 13 percent and 20 percent in recent years, has come to a virtual halt.

Meanwhile, the official Xinhua news agency says Beijing – a city of nearly 12 million people – will ban the sale and use of coal in its six main districts by 2020.

Coal-fired factories and power plants around the Chinese capital are being shut down and replaced by natural gas facilities. Coal generated 25 percent of Beijing’s energy in 2012, and the aim is to bring that figure down to less than 10 percent by 2017. Other cities and regions are following Beijing’s lead.

Just how meaningful these cutbacks in coal use are is difficult to gauge. Air pollution – much of it caused by the burning of low-grade thermal coal − is not only a big environmental issue in China but also a political one as well.|

China’s leaders have promised a population increasingly angry about the low quality of the air they breathe and the water they drink that the government is determined to tackle pollution.

A coal-fired power station at Yangzhou in China’s central Jiangsu province. Latest figures indicate that change is on the way for China. 

BUT:
Quote
Yet coal-fired power plants are still being built at a considerable pace, and many more are planned.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 07, 2014, 05:51:06 PM
Greenpeace reached that conclusion by looking at Chinese coal production and import data.  They apparently failed to include coal burned from stockpiles. 

Check my comment of September 01, 2014, 04:44:11 AM, a few comments up the page.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 09, 2014, 02:09:55 PM
Turning point?
Massachusetts prosecutor drops charges against coal protestors, expresses grave concern about climate change, and plans to join the climate March in New York later this month!!!

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/lobster-boat-blockade-dismissed-18002 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/lobster-boat-blockade-dismissed-18002)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 09, 2014, 04:49:02 PM
(Somle of) What the District Attorney said:

Quote
The decision that Assistant District Attorney Robert Kidd and I reached today was a decision that certainly took into consideration the cost to the taxpayers in Somerset, but was also made with our concerns for their children, and the children of Bristol County and beyond in mind. Climate change is one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced. In my humble opinion, the political leadership on this issue has been gravely lacking. I am heartened that we were able to forge an agreement that both parties were pleased with and that appeared to satisfy the police and those here in sympathy with the individuals who were charged. I am also extremely pleased that we were able to reach an agreement that symbolizes our commitment at the Bristol County District Attorney's Office to take a leadership role on this issue.
http://m.thenation.com/blog/181525-charges-were-just-dropped-against-these-climate-activists-most-stunning-way (http://m.thenation.com/blog/181525-charges-were-just-dropped-against-these-climate-activists-most-stunning-way)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 09, 2014, 05:05:36 PM
Oregon says a big heck no to Big Coal port that would export coal to Asia.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024340270_coalterminalxml.html (http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024340270_coalterminalxml.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on September 09, 2014, 09:09:10 PM
Thanks for the links, Sig. It's nice to see glimmers of hope and resistance, even though in the big picture, total emissions and atmospheric levels continue to increase:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/09/3564900/wmo-climate-change-co2-report/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/09/3564900/wmo-climate-change-co2-report/)

U.N. Scientists See Largest CO2 Increase In 30 Years

Quote
Some scientists say the 2°C increase could happen if average carbon concentrations reach 405 ppm...

Oops. We're basically there already.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 12, 2014, 01:16:16 AM
Some news from the world of coal...

Quote
Coal miner New World Resources (NWR), controlled by Czech billionaire Zdenek Bakala, has secured the support of bondholders for a restructuring plan that will help it avoid bankruptcy.

"The company has received an overwhelming degree of support for the transaction: 99.4% in value of the holders of secured notes and 95.3% in value of the unsecured noteholders present and voting at the meetings," NWR said in a statement on its website on August 29.

The deal, which is still conditional on courts' approval, will reduce NWR's outstanding debt by EUR 325mn to EUR 500. It includes raising a total of EUR 185mn via a EUR 118mn rights issue, a EUR 32mn placing and a EUR 35mn credit facility.

Loss-making NWR has been hit by falling coal prices and weak demand from its steel industry customers. The miner posted a seventh consecutive loss in Q2 of EUR 30.2mn, narrower than in the same period of 2013 when it had a loss of EUR 319.1mn.

http://bankruptcy.einnews.com/article/222464652/a3UWz1ruNJ61OCQI (http://bankruptcy.einnews.com/article/222464652/a3UWz1ruNJ61OCQI)


Quote
The US Energy Information Administration Tuesday lowered its estimates for coal-fired electricity generation in 2014-2015, while natural gas and renewables were revised higher.

The EIA's updated forecasts were included in its September Short Term Energy Outlook.

Coal-fired electricity generation for all sectors, including residential, commercial, and industrial, was revised 0.8% lower to 4.502 million MWh/d from 4.541 million MWh/d in 2014, and 0.6% lower to 4.374 million MWh/d from 4.398 million MWh/d in 2015.

Natural gas-fired generation was revised 0.4% higher to 2.995 million MWh/d in 2014, and 0.3% higher to 3.112 MWh/d in 2015.

http://www.platts.com/latest-news/coal/washington/coal-fired-power-generation-in-us-revised-lower-21204700 (http://www.platts.com/latest-news/coal/washington/coal-fired-power-generation-in-us-revised-lower-21204700)



Quote
Poland's state-owned coal mines produced 34.1 million mt of hard coal in the first half of the year, down 7.6% year on year, the Ministry of Economy said in a report released Tuesday.

The mines also made a net loss of Zloty 772.3 million ($237.2 million) in the period due to falling prices and rising costs, the report said.

Europe's thermal coal market was characterized by "low demand, high levels of stockpiled coal and strong competition from alternative energy sources (above all renewable energy and natural gas)," which led to the lowest weekly coal price index in four years, the report said.

Thermal coal production in Poland in January-June totaled 28.45 million mt, down 8% year on year, while coking coal production fell 5.6% to 5.66 million mt.

http://www.platts.com/latest-news/coal/warsaw/poland-h1-hard-coal-output-falls-76-on-year-ministry-26876730 (http://www.platts.com/latest-news/coal/warsaw/poland-h1-hard-coal-output-falls-76-on-year-ministry-26876730)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on September 15, 2014, 11:14:58 PM
More on the EIA report that was mentioned in Bob's second link above:

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/coal-power-shows-zero-growth-in-2014-report-shows-18025 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/coal-power-shows-zero-growth-in-2014-report-shows-18025)

Coal Power Shows [Essentially] Zero Growth in 2014

Quote
New natural gas-fueled power generators are quickly coming online across the country as the U.S. continues its move away from coal.

Natural gas produced from the U.S. fracking boom is fueling many new power plants nationwide, and it is often seen as a more climate-friendly alternative to coal-fired power plants because it emits relatively little carbon dioxide. Natural gas distribution systems, however, leak methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

The U.S. added nearly 2,200 megawatts of natural gas power generating capacity in the first six months of 2014, up 60 percent over the same period in 2013, according to the EIA report.

Solar is growing fast, too, as more than 1,100 megawatts of new solar power generating capacity came online in the first six months of 2014, up 70 percent over the same period last year.

New wind power capacity grew less than half as much as solar early this year. Wind farms added 675 megawatts of wind power capacity in that time, all from new wind turbines built in California, Nebraska, Michigan and Minnesota.

It is no longer at all clear (to me, at least) that fracked gas is environmentally better than mined coal wrt to GW or other issues. But at least NG plants have the advantage (as I understand it) to be relatively easily turned on and off quickly, so in that sense, if perhaps in no other, NG could be playing a crucial and necessary roll as a transition fuel.

But I'd be happy to be corrected with those more fully on top of these issues.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 16, 2014, 12:53:01 AM
Ifwe regulate and enforce regulations then methane leaks can be held to a small amount.

And that would mean that every every MWh of electricity generated with NG would release only 50% as much CO2 as a MWh generated with coal.  A 50% cut in GHG emissons would be a major step forward.  (Reread the very first sentence before continuing.)

Gas plants have low capital costs and come on line very rapidly.  They give grid operators the security they desire in keeping the grid running 24/365.

Now, fracking.  I honestly don't know how bad the problem is or is not.  Is fracking any worse than mountain top removal/open pit coal mining, coal pollution and coal ash dumps?  If it's not significantly worse then that's an environmental wash.  If data shows that drilling/fracking casues a lot more damage then that tips the scale the other direction.  But we'd still need to consider climate change vs. fracking damage.  It's not a simple thing.

Then there's the fact that NG plants can be turned on and off quickly.  That cannot be done with coal.  If the wind is going to be blowing hard for a couple of hours gas plants would close down but coal plants would sell electricity at a loss in order to avoid closing down. 

Storage is expensive.  Right now.  Storage prices will almost certainly drop.  Storage is starting to replace gas generation for short term peaking.  As the price of storage drops more will get added to the grid in amounts justified by storage's ability to take business away from gas.

If we had only coal then we would have to get the price of wind/solar/storage down to where coal would be forced to shut down for long periods of time and that would be well into the future.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 16, 2014, 01:56:09 AM
NPR (National Public Radio) just ran a story that it has been confirmed that methane found in three household wells has been determined to be due to leaks in natural gas well casings.

In 2012 the US had 482,822 natural gas wells.  If the number of leaking wells is 3/482,822 then we have a problem incredibly smaller than the 1.4 million acres of mountain top removal.  Over 500 mountains have been flattened for coal.

We need data to put things in perspective. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on September 16, 2014, 04:23:01 AM
I didn't hear the story, but as you presented it, that sounds a bit more like anecdote than 'data.'

And if you are saying that NG would be better if it were regulated more, it seems to me that the same could be said about coal.

But yeah, it's hard to top mountain top removal for shear blatant nastiness.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 16, 2014, 05:02:49 AM
A MWh of electricity generated with coal releases 2x as much CO2 as a MWh of electricity generated by natural gas.

Coal does not "leak" into the atmosphere.  Natural gas/methane does.

Control the leaks and we could cut our coal CO2 emission levels 50% by switching to natural gas.

Now, we need to get close to zero GHG emissions but we don't have a magic button to push in order to get there in one move.  We'll have to go through a  series of steps.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 16, 2014, 06:02:08 PM
Here's more on the reports that found "the chemical fingerprint of the methane at high levels in drinking water was the same as natural gas in deeper formations".  In one case, the numbers were 2 out of 20 homes. 
(Yet I still prefer fracking, with more safeguards for the environment, over coal.)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-gas-wells-drinking-water-contamination-20140915-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-gas-wells-drinking-water-contamination-20140915-story.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 16, 2014, 07:38:51 PM
Quote
NPR (National Public Radio) just ran a story

First, it was a BBC story and not NPR.  (One of our public stations plays BBC news and the NPR.)

Second, I wasn't paying close attention.  I'm not sure how I ended up with "three wells", it was "113 wells in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and 20 in the Barnett shale in Texas".

The findings were that when methane has been found in water supplies it's come from well problems, not from fracking. 

""In about half the cases we believe the contamination came from poor cementing and in the other half it came from well casings that leaked."

Cement is used in the oil and gas extraction industry to fill the spaces between the well casing and the sides of the well.

In one case the methane was linked to the failure of an underground well. In none of the investigated wells was there a direct link to fracking."

"They also point to the pressure that drillers are under to finish and move on to the next site. The historically low price of gas could also be affecting spending on well integrity as profit margins shrink.

The scientists believe that most of the problems they have identified can be resolved with better enforcement of existing regulations.

"You need strong rules and regulations on well integrity," said Prof Jackson.

"You need generous setbacks that protect homes and schools and water sources from drilling, sometimes farther than the drillers would want. You need enough inspectors on the ground to keep people honest and you need separation between the industry and the inspectors and you don't always have that in the US."


http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29206704 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29206704)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 17, 2014, 07:54:57 AM

Quote
The headlines this morning were impressive. “China dumps our dirty coal,” trumpeted the Sydney Morning Herald, in response to news that China was looking to impose import rules that could disqualify much of Australia’s coal because it was of such lousy quality.
...
Whether these rules prove to be so damaging or not, it is yet another development that has underlined the fact that the reign of coal is in terminal decline. China has signalled that it will cap coal consumption and cease to be an importer, as it focuses on cleaner generation. India is baulking at the infrastructure nightmares of coal and focusing on a “saffron revolution” instead, boosting solar. The US is likely to scrap one quarter of its coal generation within the next five years.

As Goldman Sachs said in a report just a few months ago, the window for profitable capital spending in new thermal coal mining and infrastructure capacity “has closed.” Numerous other reports from leading investment banks have supported that view. Even the International Energy Agency has questioned the wisdom of more coal investment.

... pushed on by a powerful mining lobby, international investors have already fled the scene. As this graph below shows, listed coal investments have been a disaster over the last few years.

The top graph shows the Bloomberg Coal Index, an average of 40 stocks, has slumped two thirds since 2011. The second graph shows how that same index has compared to the broader benchmark, the MSCI World Index. It highlights, perfectly, the disconnect between coal and the global economy. Divestment decisions by large pension funds are just a matter of common sense.



(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2Fcoal-graph-590x332.jpg&hash=c78ef1623776182b40f8d1b88f40beb7) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/coal-graph-590x332.jpg.html)

Quote
As we reported on Wednesday, the coal industry is on a terminal decline, and Big Oil will soon follow. It is not just battling falling market prices, the higher costs of extraction, and the likelihood of tighter climate rules, it is also losing out to new technologies – wind and solar in particular.

As French broking firm Kepler Chevreux pointed out, $100 billion invested in either solar or wind energy will actually deliver more net energy to consumers than $100 billion invested in oil. And it will be cheaper. Within 10 years, Kepler Chevreux says, the global energy markets will be radically different.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/ (http://reneweconomy.com.au/)

As a Deutsche Bank executive said a couple years back - Coal is a dead man walking.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 22, 2014, 08:01:23 PM
Gloomy financial write-up for coal ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds -- an index fund that is traded directly on the Exchange).  Goldman Sachs downgraded Peabody, the largest US coal producer, to "Sell" last week.

Quote
China, the world's largest coal producer as well as consumer, is the main driver of the global coal market. Though coal production in China dropped 1.4% annually in the first eight months of the year, it has risen 40% since 2000 and thus still facing a supply glut given the declining demand.

This is especially true as China is on track to decrease its consumption of coal gradually from 69% in 2011 to 65% in 2017, 63% in 2020 and 55% in 2040, as per the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In addition, the Chinese government has put a ban on the sales or import of coal with 40% or more of ash content and 3% or more of sulfur content effective next year. Since China accounts for about one-fourth of Australia's coal exports, the move will hit most Australian miners, pushing down the prices of coal further.

Further, rising export volumes from Indonesia, Columbia, Russia and other coal producing countries are exerting downward pressure on prices and making the coal export market highly competitive (read: Indonesia ETFs Set to Climb Higher).

Apart from weak global industry fundamentals, the negative outlook is confirmed by a sluggish outlook for Peabody – the largest U.S. coal producer and a bellwether for the space. This is especially true as Goldman Sachs (GS) downgraded Peabody to ‘Sell’ from ‘Neutral’ last week, citing persistent pressure on the global coal markets.
http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/147954/black-days-ahead-for-coal-etfs (http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/147954/black-days-ahead-for-coal-etfs)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: AbruptSLR on September 22, 2014, 08:23:50 PM
The linked reference indicates that as coal-fired power plants last an average of 40 years, the current world construction of power plants represents a commitment to future CO₂ emissions that have not been fully captured in prior CO₂ emission projections:

Steven J Davis and Robert H Socolow, (2014), "Commitment accounting of CO2 emissions", Environ. Res. Lett. 9 084018, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/8/084018


http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/8/084018/article (http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/8/084018/article)


Abstract: "The world not only continues to build new coal-fired power plants, but built more new coal plants in the past decade than in any previous decade. Worldwide, an average of 89 gigawatts per year (GW yr–1) of new coal generating capacity was added between 2010 and 2012, 23 GW yr–1 more than in the 2000–2009 time period and 56 GW yr–1 more than in the 1990–1999 time period. Natural gas plants show a similar pattern. Assuming these plants operate for 40 years, the fossil-fuel burning plants built in 2012 will emit approximately 19 billion tons of CO2 (Gt CO2) over their lifetimes, versus 14 Gt CO2 actually emitted by all operating fossil fuel power plants in 2012. We find that total committed emissions related to the power sector are growing at a rate of about 4% per year, and reached 307 (with an estimated uncertainty of 192–439) Gt CO2 in 2012. These facts are not well known in the energy policy community, where annual emissions receive far more attention than future emissions related to new capital investments. This paper demonstrates the potential for 'commitment accounting' to inform public policy by quantifying future emissions implied by current investments."
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 22, 2014, 08:59:21 PM
The coal plants built in Germany and China have been "supercritical" plants.  They produce more electricity using less coal and releasing less emissions.  They are replacing inefficient coal plants.

The US is in the process of closing down about 200 coal plants.  They will not be replaced with more coal plants.

The US coal fleet is aging out.  It will not be replaced with coal.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on September 22, 2014, 09:42:47 PM
Latest coal statistics from (WCA) World Coal Association.

http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/coal-statistics/ (http://www.worldcoal.org/resources/coal-statistics/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 22, 2014, 09:46:42 PM
2012 data and 2013 estimates.

Might be the latest, but not up to date.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on September 23, 2014, 01:56:38 AM
2012 data and 2013 estimates.

Might be the latest, but not up to date.

Agreed....just thought I would post some numbers. Looking at the numbers, substantial reductions in coal consumption is a  huge challenge. We need to accelerate our efforts.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 23, 2014, 02:45:32 AM
Carbon Tracker has a new report out.
"@jackcushmanjr: There are signals that Chinese demand for coal is close to peaking which will cause a seismic shift in the market."

Quote
Is coal a sinking ship?
The current slump in the coal market puts the coal sector in a weak position. Over the last three years the Bloomberg Global Coal Equity Index has lost more than half of its value during a period when the MSCI World Index has increased by over thirty percent.
In the US, recent years have seen 26 companies go bankrupt – including once-major producers such as Patriot Coal Corp. and James River Coal. Remaining listed US coal miners have debt ratings below investment grade. These companies are having to pay more to borrow, on the assumption that the market for their coal will pick up in the near future. This may just be delaying the inevitable, rather than creating value for shareholders.

Structural decline or cyclical downturn
Coal analysts are already questioning whether the current slump in the seaborne coal market is just the bottom of a commodity cycle, or a trough that the sector cannot escape. The decline of demand in key markets has created oversupply, further weakening prices and devaluing assets.
http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/CTI-Coal-report-Sept-2014-WEB1.pdf (http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/CTI-Coal-report-Sept-2014-WEB1.pdf)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DungeonMaster on September 23, 2014, 07:07:23 AM
Heard in Paris during the Climate Walk:

Leave the oil
In the soil,
Leave the coal
In the hole !
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 23, 2014, 09:19:09 AM
Bloomberg has a piece up about the Carbon Tracker report. 

In their version they quote Robert E. Murray of Murray Energy who predicts the new EPA regulations  will lead to the closing of 411 plants by 2016, accounting for 100,000 megawatts of capacity.

That's more than twice the number I've heard to date.  We can only hope.

And there's this choice bit...

Quote
Murray said he’s helping to fund Republican Party efforts for the November mid-term elections and that global warming is a hoax.

“The insane, regal administration of King Obama has ignored science, economics, our poorer citizens and those on fixed incomes, our manufacturers, and the constitution, as it has bypassed our Congress,” he said today.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-22/coal-mogul-murray-says-more-bankruptcies-probable.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-22/coal-mogul-murray-says-more-bankruptcies-probable.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on September 23, 2014, 06:43:05 PM
Quote
Robert Murray, the founder and CEO of US coal miner Murray Energy, offered a gloomy view of the US thermal coal market at Platts' annual Coal Marketing Days conference in Pittsburgh Monday, saying that anyone who believes the US coal industry is poised for a comeback "doesn't understand the industry."

"There is nothing on the horizon to make me think positive about coal markets in 2015," said Murray, who delivered the keynote address at the event.

"We make our cash flow based on being right, and if anything, there is going to be a continued decline internationally and domestically," Murray said.

A passionate supporter of the US coal industry, Murray said he expects the equivalent of 230 million st of thermal coal production to come offline by 2020 as more coal-fired generating capacity is shut because of environmental regulations.

He said the majority of that shuttered coal production will come from the Powder River Basin, where output will be reduced by roughly 160 million st. He added that Northern Appalachia production is expected to decline 11 million st, while production in the Illinois Basin will decline roughly 30-40 million st.

http://www.platts.com/latest-news/coal/pittsburgh/us-thermal-coal-industry-faces-continued-slide-21270220 (http://www.platts.com/latest-news/coal/pittsburgh/us-thermal-coal-industry-faces-continued-slide-21270220)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on September 24, 2014, 06:20:31 AM
Schadenfreude is tempting.

I see Goldman Sachs downgrade Peabody, and the first thing i think is that the thieves are telling their victims, ooo sorry, clients, sumpn about sumpn that they cashed out of a while ago, and have already organized a short on.

But it does reveal the vultures are getting more confident ... next they will go for the innards, the juicy assets. Not the coal, of course, but, for example, the rail lines owned (i was surprised at how much rail infrastructure is actually still owned by the coal companies themselves), the real estate (buncha strip mines have already leveraged ownership of the ridge lines into wind, like you can see in the USA on I81 in PA), lotsa nice juicy bits like a large fraction of transmission infrastucture. And lets not mention some of other scams with PJM and FERC like Reliable Power Pricing (RPR) and Reliable Must Run(RMR) clauses that have locked up MWH hour blocks many years into the future. Those started as insurance for baseload coal and nuke generation for the power companies, but now are valuable assets in play  that the vultures will gorge on. And don't get me started on the Marcellus/Utica plays under the PA coal. This is a multiway knifefight between feds,states,miners,generators,transmission, and banks. In about 7-10 yrs they will unload the coal and natgas carcasses onto US taxpayers for remediation and cleanup. But till then, it's raining money and they're putting out buckets.

Only in America.

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 25, 2014, 06:23:24 PM
Quote
It’s widely known that Robert Murray, the founder of the country’s largest privately-owned coal company, likes to use colorful language. And on Monday, the Murray Energy Corp. CEO took his personal hyperbole to new heights, saying proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations will have the effect of permanently destroying the coal industry in the United States.

“It isn’t coming back. It’s permanent,” Murray said at a coal marketing conference in Pittsburgh, repeatedly using the word “destroyed” to describe the state of the industry....

What Murray projects is an eventual decrease in U.S. coal generation from its current rate of 39 percent to between 30 and 34 percent, according to SNL’s report. That means 230 million tons of coal-fired generation lost by 2020, Murray said, and anyone who believes the industry will bounce back is either bad at business or “smoking dope.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/23/3570853/murray-ceo-coal-grandma-is-going-to-be-cold/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/09/23/3570853/murray-ceo-coal-grandma-is-going-to-be-cold/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 25, 2014, 09:47:35 PM
Brave decision from the Supreme Court of India against corruption in the coal industry.

Quote
MUMBAI, India — India’s top court on Wednesday canceled years’ worth of coal field leases, a judgment that drew wide attention in a nation with persistent fuel shortages.

The leases, an earlier investigation had found, had been sold below market price and cost the government about $30 billion, a scandal that has added to concerns of corruption and crony capitalism at high levels.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/25/business/international/indias-supreme-court-revokes-hundreds-of-coal-concessions.html?_r=1 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/25/business/international/indias-supreme-court-revokes-hundreds-of-coal-concessions.html?_r=1)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 02, 2014, 03:31:18 AM
"Today, [a US federal court] upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s veto of a permit for one of the largest and most extreme mountaintop removal coal mines ever proposed in Appalachia, the Spruce No. 1 Mine. The court found no merit in the coal industry’s case, and found that EPA’s decision to veto the Clean Water Act permit for this mine was reasonable and fully supported by the scientific record."

http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2014/federal-court-upholds-epa-veto-of-spruce-mountaintop-removal-mine (http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2014/federal-court-upholds-epa-veto-of-spruce-mountaintop-removal-mine)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 03, 2014, 01:26:39 AM
"The world’s first power station with large-scale carbon capture and storage has been inaugurated in Canada this week."

(Good luck with that.)

http://newsroom.unfccc.int/clean-energy/first-power-station-with-large-scale-carbon-capture-and-storage/ (http://newsroom.unfccc.int/clean-energy/first-power-station-with-large-scale-carbon-capture-and-storage/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on October 03, 2014, 02:51:38 AM
Looking forward to seeing what the $/MWh is going to be.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on October 03, 2014, 05:23:53 AM
US coal -

Quote
As many as 329 coal-fired power generators in 38 states — representing 58.7 gigawatts (GW) of power capacity — are no longer economically competitive compared to a typical existing natural gas plant. They are ripe for retirement and should be considered for closure.

This 2013 update to the report, Ripe for Retirement: The Case for Closing America's Costliest Coal Plants, also includes a comparison with new wind power facilities and determines that as much as 71 GW of coal-fired generating capacity is uncompetitive with this renewable energy source.

These currently operating, ripe-for-retirement generators are in addition to the 138 coal generators (18 GW) that retired between 2011 and 2013, and the 170 coal generators (35 GW) that have already been announced for retirement as of December 2013. Collectively, these three categories account for more than a third of the country's coal-generating capacity.

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/smart-energy-solutions/decrease-coal/economic-analysis-us-coal-plants.html#.VC4Vx_ldXfJ (http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/smart-energy-solutions/decrease-coal/economic-analysis-us-coal-plants.html#.VC4Vx_ldXfJ)

Time to crank up the wind and solar some more.  Opportunity rears its head....
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on October 07, 2014, 10:57:29 PM
Biting the dust:

James River Coal Company (2014 and 2003);
Trinity Coal Corporation (2013);
America West Resources Inc. (2013);
Patriot Coal Corporation (2012);
Americas Energy Company (2011);
Clearwater Resources LP (2009);
Consolidated Energy (2007)

The dates are those of bankruptcy proceedings ...

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on October 10, 2014, 08:48:03 PM
Lab official admits faking coal water quality reports
http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141009/GZ01/141009217/1419 (http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141009/GZ01/141009217/1419)

Quote
A Raleigh County man pleaded guilty Thursday to repeatedly faking compliant water quality standards for coal companies, in a case that raises questions about the self-reporting system state and federal regulators use as a central tool to judge if the mining industry is following pollution limits. - See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141009/GZ01/141009217/1419#sthash.iG5NsfbP.dpuf (http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141009/GZ01/141009217/1419#sthash.iG5NsfbP.dpuf)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 11, 2014, 02:42:53 AM
The politics of coal in the upcoming US Senate election in Kentucky.

Quote
But the industry that Grimes and McConnell have spent so much time and money fighting over is a bit of an illusion, several experts said. Coal has been dying for decades within Kentucky.

Production has plummeted in recent years, dropping 11.8 percent in 2013 to 80.5 million tons, the lowest level since 1963. The number of coal workers dropped from more than 75,000 in the 1940s to 11,885 in 2013. The state lost 2,222 mining jobs in 2013 alone. Coal currently makes up only .06 percent of Kentucky's total employment.
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20141008/coal-fired-politics-kentucky-senate-race-bitter-rivals-woo-dying-industry (http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20141008/coal-fired-politics-kentucky-senate-race-bitter-rivals-woo-dying-industry)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on October 11, 2014, 04:17:39 AM
Coal jobs largely went away due to the incorporation of large machines and then mountain top removal.  Not many guys going down into the Earth's innards with a pick and shovel in Kentucky any longer.

And then there's both western open pit mining as well as a shrinking market.  It's about the end of trying to pump up coal miners for votes.  Time to start working on getting some job replacement programs in place.  Start building some geothermal and wind in the eastern coal areas.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 11, 2014, 03:23:31 PM
Severe coal shortage causing power cuts in India. 

Quote
State-owned Coal India, the world's largest miner of the fuel, accounts for more than 80 percent of the country's total production but has failed to raise its output fast enough to cater to the increasing needs of the power sector.

Its April-September production fell short of its target of 220.11 million tonnes by more than 9 million tonnes. Coal India's production shortfalls have already made India the third-largest importer of coal despite sitting on the world's fifth largest reserves.

But a Coal India official told Reuters on Friday that the company cannot be expected to supply all the coal that power companies need and that they should import a percentage of their requirement.

Forced by populist governments to sell power at regulated rates, many debt-laden state power companies shy away from importing coal, given the higher costs. Importing coal can cost twice as much as buying it from Coal India.
http://in.mobile.reuters.com/article/idINKCN0HZ0Z220141010?irpc=932 (http://in.mobile.reuters.com/article/idINKCN0HZ0Z220141010?irpc=932)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on October 14, 2014, 10:13:05 AM
How big coal is lobbying G20 leaders and trying to capture the global poverty debate
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/oct/14/how-big-coal-is-lobbying-g20-leaders-and-trying-to-capture-the-global-poverty-debate (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2014/oct/14/how-big-coal-is-lobbying-g20-leaders-and-trying-to-capture-the-global-poverty-debate)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on October 17, 2014, 06:52:41 PM
Momentum Builds in Louisiana, the Latest Front in the Fight Against Coal Exports
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-anne-hitt/momentum-builds-in-louisi_b_6003088.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-anne-hitt/momentum-builds-in-louisi_b_6003088.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on October 20, 2014, 06:14:10 PM
Are U.S. Taxpayer Dollars Supporting Coal Industry Human Rights Violations Overseas?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/justin-guay/are-us-taxpayer-dollars-s_b_6014790.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/justin-guay/are-us-taxpayer-dollars-s_b_6014790.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 22, 2014, 07:36:41 PM
India sees more harm than good in new mines exporting coal to them from Australia.
Quote
... when a village is more than 5km from the grid, the cost of supplying electricity from decentralised renewable sources is far below the costs of supplying from conventional sources when grid transmission infrastructure is taken into account.
...
[Australia's] Abbott said “coal has a big future as well as a big past.” He and the coal companies want us all to believe that coal is inevitable. Coal helped build the economies of developed countries and so it must be the right choice for the rest of us. Yet by that logic, the opium trade and slavery should also be reintroduced, since they also contributed to the enrichment of many countries.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/22/take-it-from-us-in-india-the-world-needs-renewables-not-more-australian-exported-coal (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/22/take-it-from-us-in-india-the-world-needs-renewables-not-more-australian-exported-coal)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on October 23, 2014, 11:32:31 PM
BW's going to eat this one up!


China's coal use falls for first time this century, analysis suggests


   
Quote
Fall of 1-2 per cent in amount of coal burned offers ‘window of opportunity’ to bring climate change under control, Greenpeace energy analysts say

    The amount of coal being burned by China has fallen for the first time this century, according to an analysis of official statistics.

    China’s booming coal in the last decade has been the major contributor to the fast-rising carbon emissions that drive climate change, making the first fall a significant moment.

    The amount of coal burned in the first three-quarters of 2014 was 1-2 per cent lower than a year earlier, according to Greenpeace energy analysts in China. The drop contrasts sharply with the 5-10 per cent annual growth rates seen since the early years of the century.

    "The significance is that if the coal consumption growth we have seen in China in the last 10 years went on, we would lose any hope of bringing climate change under control," said Lauri Myllyvirta at Greenpeace East Asia. “The turnaround now gives a window of opportunity."

    Such a turnaround would potentially have a large impact on the biggest coal exporting countries such as Indonesia and Australia, which have profited from China’s demand for the fuel.

    At the UN climate change summit in New York in September, China said it would start to reduce the nation’s huge carbon emissions "as early as possible".

    Myllyvirta warned that year-to-year fluctuations in energy use and industrial prediction could see coal burning grow again in future. "It may not be the peak yet, but it is a sign that China is moving away from coal." Climate scientists say that global carbon emissions need to peak by 2020 and rapidly decline to avoid dangerous climate change.

    Myllyvirta said the greatest significance of the current drop in coal use was that economic growth had continued at 7.4 per cent at the same time, although that is a lower rate than in recent years. "The Chinese economy is divorcing coal," he said.

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2377306/chinas-coal-use-falls-for-first-time-this-century-analysis-suggests (http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2377306/chinas-coal-use-falls-for-first-time-this-century-analysis-suggests)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on October 24, 2014, 01:22:30 AM
If true, great!

There are a few wrinkles to sort out before we start uncorking champagne bottles though:

1) Stockpile drawdowns.

2) Syngas production and natural gas imports. These will help solve the air pollution problem, but not the CO2 problem. Ironically, with a steeper drawdown of SO2 emissions, warming will accelerate. (The "Faustian Bargain" Hansen has been hammering on for a couple of decades.) As a silver lining, perhaps a strong regional temperature response will invoke more serious action from the Chinese.

3) Sustained, multiple years of decline. India needs to be on board for the cuts to be meaningful, and so far, Modi's comments haven't exactly inspired confidence.


Again: Cumulative emissions are what matters. There's a reason RCP 2.6 has to go carbon negative to stay below 2C. Removing the screening effect of aerosols means we will need to get CO2 back under 405-415 ppm to have a decent chance of staying under 2C. Risk increases exponentially from here, and the further we penetrate above the cap, the harder and riskier it becomes due to carbon cycle feedbacks.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on October 25, 2014, 05:49:19 PM
"China's coal use falls for first time this century, analysis suggests"

One swallow does not the summer make.  Best we wait a bit for more data to start celebrating.  But it is a pretty swallow....

As for China importing natural gas, if leaks are controlled I'll take a GWh mix of 40% wind, 30% solar and 30% NG over a GWh of 100% coal produced electricity.  That's only 15% as much CO2 per GWh.

As storage drops in price we'll see NG forced out.  Or, if storage doesn't get cheap enough to force out NG we'll see the rising price of NG force the switch in a decade or so when our NG supplies start to tighten.

Go for what works now and keep looking for even better solutions as we go along.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on October 26, 2014, 06:39:51 AM
Oh sure, so long as the NG comes from drilled wells and not liquefaction of coal (which is great for particulate emissions and terrible for CO2). I've seen some mixed signals about syngas lately from them. The smaller plants haven't passed economic muster, but the larger ones seem to be on track.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on October 28, 2014, 02:05:45 PM
First Solar just bid two new solar farms in India at $0.086 and $0.087 per kWh.

That is cheaper than coal-electricity using imported coal. 

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/solar-cheaper-in-india-than-imported-coal-latest-auction-confirms-60317 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/solar-cheaper-in-india-than-imported-coal-latest-auction-confirms-60317)

That's a price that will lower India's coal consumption and bring more damage to Australian coal exporters.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: AbruptSLR on October 28, 2014, 11:26:07 PM
Per the linked article, the Obama admin is considering giving the coal-fired power plants more time to convert to natural gas (see extract):

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-10-28/power-plants-may-get-more-time-to-cut-carbon-in-epa-plan (http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-10-28/power-plants-may-get-more-time-to-cut-carbon-in-epa-plan)

Extract: "The Obama administration is considering a change in its timetable to curb carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants, a proposal that would give electric utilities more time to meet the reduction targets.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued additional information on its proposal after some states and utilities said the required switch to gas from coal by 2020 -- a major part of the original plan -- may cause prices to jump or crimp supplies of electricity. The agency said it would consider a “glide path” for the requirement over an additional nine years so that coal plants won’t be taken out of service early."
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 29, 2014, 04:47:57 PM
Quote
Ninety-two leading banks last year provided at least EUR 66 billion in financing to the coal industry, according to new coal financing data released today in BankTrack's ‘Banking on coal 2014' report. [1] This, believes the global campaigning network, represents a highly regrettable ‘record year' for financial support extended to the top 65 coal companies in both the coal mining and power sectors.

Released just days ahead of the publication of the fifth United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report, the EUR 66 billion figure represents a more than fourfold rise in climate-busting coal financing when compared to 2005, according to BankTrack's research.

Analysing what is now one of the primary forms of life support for a global coal industry in crisis, the new report also reveals that leading banks have provided 373 billion euros (500 billion dollars) in financing for the coal industry between 2005 and April 2014. The top 20 financiers, including JPMorgan Chase, Citi and RBS in the top three, have alone provided 73% of this amount. [2]

The new BankTrack research accompanies the launch of the ‘Banks: Quit Coal' campaign that aims to pressure commercial banks to cut their ties with the coal industry and instead divert capital to clean energy and energy efficiency. A new ‘Coal banks' website, also launched today, provides extensive data about the banking industry's ongoing deep links with the coal industry, and gives people around the world an opportunity to directly encourage banks to finally end their coal financing. [3]
http://www.banktrack.org/show/news/_record_year_for_bank_coal_financing_as_latest_un_climate_warning_looms (http://www.banktrack.org/show/news/_record_year_for_bank_coal_financing_as_latest_un_climate_warning_looms)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 29, 2014, 05:05:38 PM
Quote
Citigroup Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., all of the U.S., also have joined a roster of international lenders worried about Abbot Point’s environmental impact. Britain's Barclays PLC, HSBC Holdings PLC and Royal Bank of Scotland PLC also have said they were unwilling to get involved. Deutsche Bank AG in May said it wouldn’t offer funding for Abbot Point after the U.N. condemned a government plan, since reversed, to allow mud and rock dredged from the sea floor during an expansion to be dumped in waters near the reef
http://m.wsj.com/articles/morgan-stanley-to-advise-on-stake-sale-of-disputed-coal-port-1414412910 (http://m.wsj.com/articles/morgan-stanley-to-advise-on-stake-sale-of-disputed-coal-port-1414412910)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 29, 2014, 05:14:11 PM
So if the coal industry is increasingly dependent on the banks for money to survive, but the banks now increasingly refuse to give money to the coal industry….
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on October 29, 2014, 10:53:11 PM
Fasten your seat belts.  It's going to be rough landing in Coalville...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 31, 2014, 01:43:54 AM
Quote
Denmark is looking into how the country can stop using coal as an energy supply by 2025, the Climate and Energy Minister Rasmus Helveg Petersen said on Wednesday (29 October). The Scandinavian country's centre-left government had previously aimed at being coal-independent by 2030.
The problem: how to do this without increasing importation of German energy from coal.

http://www.euractiv.com/sections/energy/denmark-wants-be-coal-free-2025-309593 (http://www.euractiv.com/sections/energy/denmark-wants-be-coal-free-2025-309593)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 10, 2014, 07:23:26 AM
Quote
New analysis from Deutsche Bank notes the precarious nature of the coal industry even in the world’s most voracious consumer. It notes that even in China, coal is on a downward trend, and it has written down the value of some coal companies in China by an astonishing 92 per cent.

...

It shows that coal imports into China fell by half in November, and nearly that much in October.

Deutsche Bank expects that could continue for all of 2015, as the government seeks to rebalance domestic supply and demand. “There is no defying the fall,” it notes.

China coal consumption may not rise at all over calendar 2015, and new domestic projects may not be encouraged. To address the plunging cost of coal, the government is likely to focus its measures on restricting imports, with a cut in half the most likely outcome in most of the scenarios mapped by Deutsche Bank.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/china-slashes-coal-imports-coal-generation-slumps-47396 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/china-slashes-coal-imports-coal-generation-slumps-47396)

This puts the Australian government in a bind.  They've bet their economy on exporting coal to China.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on November 10, 2014, 06:04:33 PM
Quote
To address the plunging cost of coal, the government is likely to focus its measures on restricting imports, with a cut in half the most likely outcome in most of the scenarios mapped by Deutsche Bank.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/china-slashes-coal-imports-coal-generation-slumps-47396 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/china-slashes-coal-imports-coal-generation-slumps-47396)

This puts the Australian government in a bind.  They've bet their economy on exporting coal to China.

"The government is likely to focus its measures on restricting imports."

This phrasing is very interesting. The U.S. pursues a dramatic increase in the production of unconventional sources of petroleum and natural gas and we are seeking "energy independence". China has a drop in domestic consumption of coal which results in lower demand for imported coal and they are "restricting imports".
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 11, 2014, 03:29:43 PM
Quote
Australia continues to frustrate efforts by fellow G20 members to include climate change on the agenda at the upcoming leaders' summit in the eastern city of Brisbane this weekend.
...
Campbell Newman, premier of Queensland state, put the political equation bluntly in June, saying: "We are in the coal business. If you want decent hospitals, schools and police on the beat, we all need to understand that."
...
"Australia's politicians should take a deep breath and look for other options," said Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. "Realistically, there will be no recovery of coal prices in the foreseeable future, and a response other than one that produces more of something that's not profitable is required."
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/11/coal-versus-climate-australia-2014111012491252509.html (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/11/coal-versus-climate-australia-2014111012491252509.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 11, 2014, 03:33:08 PM
Satire:
G20 Seating Plan Places Tony Abbott At The Kids' Table.

http://www.sbs.com.au/comedy/article/2014/11/10/g20-seating-plan-places-tony-abbott-kids-table (http://www.sbs.com.au/comedy/article/2014/11/10/g20-seating-plan-places-tony-abbott-kids-table)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on November 14, 2014, 08:24:16 AM
The wolves drag down the weakest first

http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141113/GZ01/141119629 (http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141113/GZ01/141119629)
http://www.wvgazette.com/assets/PDF/CH62291113.pdf (http://www.wvgazette.com/assets/PDF/CH62291113.pdf)

Hey, Don, thought you were in the predator class ? I guess they cut you loose ... so sad.

sidd

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Neven on November 14, 2014, 09:00:40 AM
The wolves drag down the weakest first

http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141113/GZ01/141119629 (http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141113/GZ01/141119629)
http://www.wvgazette.com/assets/PDF/CH62291113.pdf (http://www.wvgazette.com/assets/PDF/CH62291113.pdf)

Hey, Don, thought you were in the predator class ? I guess they cut you loose ... so sad.

sidd

This bit on Wiki says it all really: "When groundwater pollution from coal slurry injection by Massey Energy, began contaminating wells around Blankenship's home, Massey paid to build a water line to his home from a neighboring town. Blankenship did not offer to provide uncontaminated water to any of his neighbors."

I wonder if he will really be imprisoned...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on November 14, 2014, 10:42:39 PM
That sleazeball has a lot of blood on his hands. He was so wired into the West Virginia power structure that he was untouchable for a long time. That's why it's a federal indictment. It took a couple of his major henchmen rolling over on him to get this to trial.

He will try a plea deal eventually, if not he will appeal. Will probably wind up in Club Fed. Best justice money can buy.

I am looking carefully at Alpha who bought Massey out, and has lost a large fraction of a billion on that deal.

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 18, 2014, 03:21:10 AM
Quote
India’s Energy Minister Piyush Goyal, who is in Australia for the G20 meet, recently announced that India plans to completely stop coal imports within a period of 2 to 3 years.
Because India's domestic coal is so much cheaper.  But still, it's another nail in the coffin for Australia coal exports.  And, I imagine, a boost for renewables, when India's domestic coal production continues to fail to hit targets.

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/11/14/india-shocks-australia-stop-coal-imports-three-years/ (http://cleantechnica.com/2014/11/14/india-shocks-australia-stop-coal-imports-three-years/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: deep octopus on November 18, 2014, 04:48:38 PM
Then there's this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/18/world/coal-rush-in-india-could-tip-balance-on-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/18/world/coal-rush-in-india-could-tip-balance-on-climate-change.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0)

Emphasize mine in bold.

Quote
Coal Rush in India Could Tip Balance on Climate Change

DHANBAD, India — Decades of strip mining have left this town in the heart of India’s coal fields a fiery moonscape, with mountains of black slag, sulfurous air and sickened residents.

But rather than reclaim these hills or rethink their exploitation, the government is digging deeper in a coal rush that could push the world into irreversible climate change and make India’s cities, already among the world’s most polluted, even more unlivable, scientists say.

“If India goes deeper and deeper into coal, we’re all doomed,” said Veerabhadran Ramanathan, director of the Center for Atmospheric Sciences at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and one of the world’s top climate scientists. “And no place will suffer more than India.”

India’s coal mining plans may represent the biggest obstacle to a global climate pact to be negotiated at a conference in Paris next year. While the United States and China announced a landmark agreement that includes new targets for carbon emissions, and Europe has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, India, the world’s third-largest emitter, has shown no appetite for such a pledge.

...

Mr. Goyal has promised to double India’s use of domestic coal from 565 million tons last year to more than a billion tons by 2019, and he is trying to sell coal-mining licenses as swiftly as possible after years of delay. The government has signaled that it may denationalize commercial coal mining to accelerate extraction.

...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also vowed to build a vast array of solar power stations, and projects are already springing up in India’s sun-scorched west.

But India’s coal rush could push the world past the brink of irreversible climate change, with India among the worst affected, scientists say.

India is intent on delivering electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It has more than one way to skin a cat--"all of the above"--and coal is a key way it plans to see this through. Fair access to cheaper solar power should be pushed to the extent possible to compete with coal. More tragically, in spite of air and water pollution coming into sharp relief, on par with or even worse than Chinese cities, awareness of coal's dangers has not yet reached critical mass in a call for action as it has in China (particularly with respect to respiratory problems):

Quote
One reason for the widespread domestic support for India’s coal rush is the lack of awareness of just how bad the air has already become, scientists say. Smog levels that would lead to highway shutdowns and near-panic in Beijing go largely unnoticed in Delhi. Pediatric respiratory clinics are overrun, but parents largely shrug when asked about the cause of their children’s suffering. Face masks and air purifiers, ubiquitous among China’s elite, are rare here. And there are signs Indian air is rapidly worsening.

“People need to wake up to just how awful the air already is,” said Rajendra K. Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading intergovernmental organization for the assessment of climate change.

India has a mixed record at best on its approach to climate, having the largest solar plant in Asia and yet intent on doubling coal consumption in five years--reading this article, I think India has substantially little concern for climate at this time, especially following from what it sees as Western hypocrisy.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 18, 2014, 08:17:14 PM
I think you sell Indian citizens short.  Many (I'd guess most) are very aware of how bad their air is and the dangers of climate change.  But life is still difficult for most people living in India.  When one is concerned with feeding their family today it's hard to put much energy into worrying about your health 10, 20 years from now or how climate changes will impact  your grandchildren and their grandchildren.

China is in the initial stages of fighting back pollution.  That didn't get underway until China had achieved some degree of wealth.

I suspect increasing domestic production of coal and reducing/eliminating imports is all about improving the economy.  And while coal consumption is being moved from offshore to onshore India is pushing ahead with wind and solar and increasing their push.

It has to be very clear to the decision makers in India that new wind and solar are cheaper than new coal plants.  The first step is to slow/stop the construction of new coal plants, then to start closing the most inefficient.  Where the coal comes from is less important or perhaps is very important if it means that India's economy is stronger, allowing more investment in renewables.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: deep octopus on November 18, 2014, 08:52:21 PM
I think you sell Indian citizens short.  Many (I'd guess most) are very aware of how bad their air is and the dangers of climate change.  But life is still difficult for most people living in India.  When one is concerned with feeding their family today it's hard to put much energy into worrying about your health 10, 20 years from now or how climate changes will impact  your grandchildren and their grandchildren.

That observation originally came from the article as I quoted, though you're right, I don't think "awareness" is really the appropriate choice of word, at least as a generalization (for instance, some regions may be more exposed to acute pollution than others.) I also agree with the quandary you observe, which is that abject poverty in India presents difficult choices of priorities for many of its people. I don't think mining owners and industry at-large are particularly worried about the financial well-being of its poorest citizens however and aren't pushing for coal out of altruism as much as they are profits, but that's solely my opinion (I suspect I'm not alone.) It would be beneficial to the world at large for wealthier countries to continue to push for fairer access to cheaper solar to developing countries. Whether or not the coal is burned here, there, or anywhere else, it adds to our existential crisis--so for the better do we remove coal from the equation as soon and as efficiently as possible.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: P-maker on November 18, 2014, 11:29:28 PM
Chinese coal imports 22 % lower in Q3 2014:

http://shippingwatch.com/secure/carriers/Bulk/article7198460.ece (http://shippingwatch.com/secure/carriers/Bulk/article7198460.ece)

That is what you could call coal-lateral damage!

On the other hand, empty ships may be used for something more valuable, such as this:

http://shippingwatch.com/secure/carriers/Bulk/article7216170.ece (http://shippingwatch.com/secure/carriers/Bulk/article7216170.ece)

It could be a way forward for the shipping industry, if they figure out how to drive their engines on sustainable biomass.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on November 19, 2014, 06:30:46 PM
"coal-lateral damage" Nice!

Here's something to warm (or cool?) Bob's heart:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/19/3593567/china-climate-target-peak-coal-2020/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/11/19/3593567/china-climate-target-peak-coal-2020/)

China To Cap Coal Use By 2020 To Meet Game-Changing Climate, Air Pollution Targets

Quote
The Chinese government announced Wednesday it would cap coal use by 2020. The Chinese State Council, or cabinet, said the peak would be 4.2 billion tonnes, a one-sixth increase over current consumption.

This is a staggering reversal of Chinese energy policy, which for two decades has been centered around building a coal plant or more a week. Now they’ll be building the equivalent in carbon-free power every week for decades, while the construction rate of new coal plants decelerates like a crash-test dummy.

The 2020 coal peak utterly refutes the GOP claim that China’s recent climate pledge “requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years.” Indeed, independent analyses make clear a 2020 coal peak announcement was the inevitable outcome of China’s game-changing climate deal deal with the U.S. last week, where China agreed to peak its total carbon pollution emissions in 2030 — or earlier.

I would think that if their coal use really peaked by 2020 that they would be able to get to peak CO2 emissions well before 2030. Are they really thinking that NG and petrol will increase that much from 2020 to 2030?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 20, 2014, 09:20:48 AM
A few years back China stated that they were going to hit peak coal, then later they said that was impossible but were shooting for 2017.

I think China's leaders really, really dislike missing goals.  I'd watch for Chinese coal use to peak before 2020 by a year or three.  I'm hoping we see firm signs of a slowdown by this time next year.  A conformation of the slowing we seem to be seeing followed by an even  larger drop in coal consumption.

If China shows significant slowing over the next couple of years watch for India to step up their game.  I really don't think India wants to be a left-behind country.  Moving off coal is likely to be seen as a sign of progress.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 21, 2014, 08:50:19 PM
NRG Energy, the US's largest independent power company, has committed itsel to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050.  NRG operates about 20 coal-fired plants.

They expect to do some of the job with carbon capture but I suspect that idea won't fly far and they'll find a cheaper route.

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/11/20/nrg-sets-ambitious-target-of-90-cut-in-greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-2050/ (http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/11/20/nrg-sets-ambitious-target-of-90-cut-in-greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-2050/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on November 23, 2014, 07:27:37 AM
No one has explicitly mentioned this, but the Chinese announcement of peak coal at 15% over current in 2020 will bankrupt several Australian coal operations. Billiton and Peabody take a hit too, which is all good. I wonder if anyone shorted Australian coal longterm debt before the announcement ...

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 24, 2014, 04:01:16 PM
Germany aims to shut down eight additional coal plants.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0TD0EG20141123?irpc=932 (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0TD0EG20141123?irpc=932)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on November 24, 2014, 06:25:20 PM
Germany aims to shut down eight additional coal plants.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0TD0EG20141123?irpc=932 (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0TD0EG20141123?irpc=932)
Sigmetnow - not so fast please. Remember last weeks news
http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1009.msg40150.html#msg40159 (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,1009.msg40150.html#msg40159)
and keep in mind, that Mr. Gabriel and the head of the economy ministry in your link are the same person. After last weeks news the green poeple shouted loudly. Today there was a scream from industry thinking about bringing the government to trial if forced to shut down 8 plants.

This is the process to get a law in Germany: It bounces from left to right and each time a lot of voices ask for corrections and slingering to some point in the middle. This way a consensus is derived which could also last a change of government. So please be patient and wait until all parties said there thing and finaly agreed to a law. Neither will 8 plants be forced to shut down nor will Germany move away from targets. Perhaps they will agree on reaching that target freely somehow. We will see - but it can not be seen today.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 24, 2014, 06:51:48 PM
Well, OK, how about:  German economy ministry drafts legislation that could require 8 additional coal-powered power stations to be shut down.   ;)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 24, 2014, 06:57:12 PM
India coal miners have threatened to strike over the government's planned divestment from coal.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/coal-india-trade-unions-call-off-monday-strike-114112300816_1.html (http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/coal-india-trade-unions-call-off-monday-strike-114112300816_1.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 24, 2014, 07:50:53 PM
RE:  Germany and India.

No one expected fossil fuels to go down without a fight.  Coal has slowed progress in the US and taken Australia hostage.

Coal will slow things down as they squeeze some more revenue out of their dying industry but they'll loose. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 24, 2014, 09:00:14 PM
Yes; it seems to me the India government wants to reap what it can from selling out Coal India while it's still worth something.  Private coal companies going bankrupt -- someone else's problem!
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on November 24, 2014, 09:22:41 PM
Alpha, Patriot Coal lay off 190 in Ky., W.Va.
http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/briefs/x1229561974/Alpha-Patriot-Coal-lay-off-190-in-Ky-W-Va (http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/briefs/x1229561974/Alpha-Patriot-Coal-lay-off-190-in-Ky-W-Va)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 24, 2014, 11:38:42 PM
Hedge funds betting that coal companies will go bankrupt...  and that future coal prices will rise.

http://m.wsj.com/articles/hedge-funds-bet-on-coal-mining-failures-1416790137 (http://m.wsj.com/articles/hedge-funds-bet-on-coal-mining-failures-1416790137)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 25, 2014, 08:20:26 AM
Quote
Citigroup says the impact of the China-US climate deal signed earlier this month could total $US3.9 trillion ($A4.5 trillion) – that’s the loss in revenue for Big Oil and Big Coal over the next 15 years from the joint undertaking on greenhouse gas emissions by the world’s two biggest economies.

Citi’s global commodities team say the most tangible impact of the US-China climate deal will be a $US1.3 trillion revenue hit for Big Oil between now and 2030, and a $US1.6 trillion hit against Big Coal.

That is the loss in revenue compared with commonly used baseline assumptions, just for those countries – as oil demand growth rates slow as engines become more efficient and many go for electric vehicles, and renewable are used in place of coal.

But the impact could be greater if the world moves towards an agreement in Paris next year that sets it on a path to limit average global warming to 2C.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/china-us-climate-deal-delivers-4-5-trillion-blow-big-oil-coal-82211 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/china-us-climate-deal-delivers-4-5-trillion-blow-big-oil-coal-82211)

"Oh, beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly,
And play the dead march as you carry me along;
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on November 27, 2014, 09:52:44 AM
Germany cuts coal to reach climate targets
http://www.dw.de/germany-cuts-coal-to-reach-climate-targets/a-18084472 (http://www.dw.de/germany-cuts-coal-to-reach-climate-targets/a-18084472)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on November 29, 2014, 01:11:11 AM
Quote
France will eliminate export credits for energy projects in developing countries which involve coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, President Francois Hollande said on Thursday.

The European Union is phasing out subsidies for domestic coal plants by 2018 in line with its efforts to take a global lead in the fight against climate change.

But an EU policy paper seen by Reuters in June said European makers of coal-fired power plants such as France's Alstom should get financial help to export the equipment, flying in the face of environmental opposition to any form of subsidy for coal.

"Eventually, subsidies to all fossil fuels should be phased out," Hollande said at France's annual environmental conference. "We are eliminating all export credits in the support that we give to developing countries whenever coal is used."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/27/us-france-energy-coal-idUSKCN0JB17J20141127?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/27/us-france-energy-coal-idUSKCN0JB17J20141127?feedType=RSS&feedName=environmentNews)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 01, 2014, 04:12:55 PM
West Virginia coal country sees new era as mine boss Donald Blankenship is finally indicted for actions disregarding mine safety.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/us/west-virginia-coal-country-sees-new-era-as-a-mine-boss-is-indicted.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/us/west-virginia-coal-country-sees-new-era-as-a-mine-boss-is-indicted.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 02, 2014, 02:19:35 AM
EPA says Texas must act to clear up its hazy skies.
Quote
The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday rejected parts of a key Texas clean-air plan, setting up a conflict with deep implications both for the state’s electricity mix and air quality across much of the country.

The partial rejection of Texas’ regional haze plan, a federally required strategy for reducing pollution that causes hazy skies, would require 15 coal-burning generating units at eight Texas power plants to install or improve controls that limit emissions of sulfur dioxide.
http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2014/11/epa-rejects-a-texas-clean-air-plan-orders-pollution-upgrades-on-some-big-coal-plants.html/ (http://thescoopblog.dallasnews.com/2014/11/epa-rejects-a-texas-clean-air-plan-orders-pollution-upgrades-on-some-big-coal-plants.html/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 03, 2014, 09:54:34 PM
Germany's plan targeting coal plants is moving forward:
Quote
BERLIN, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Germany's cabinet will on Wednesday agree plans to cut CO2 emissions by up to 78 million tonnes by 2020, pushing operators to shut some coal-fired plants, to help Europe's biggest economy meet ambitious targets to fight climate change.
...
The most contested step in the package will be compelling operators of coal plants to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 22 million tonnes, equivalent to shutting about eight coal plants.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0TM2W720141202 (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0TM2W720141202)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 06, 2014, 02:25:49 AM
Coal ash waste from closed Duke Energy plant threatens river in North Carolina.
Quote
Contaminated waste from a retired coal plant in Rowan County, North Carolina, has been found leaking into a tributary of the second largest river in the state, environmental groups charged on Thursday.

The groups Waterkeeper Alliance, Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Yadkin Riverkeeper said they discovered extensive leaks of coal ash coming from Duke Energy’s Buck Power Plant flowing into High Rock Lake, a tributary of the Yadkin River. Though the power plant no longer actively burns coal, it is surrounded by ponds filled with more than six million tons of coal ash — a waste byproduct from coal-burning.

Pete Harrison, an attorney representing the groups, told ThinkProgress that the seep was initially discovered in mid-November, after reports of a quarter-mile long area of orange-colored streaks along the river bank. The groups took samples of the seep, and found that it contained high levels of pollutants such as arsenic, lead, and selenium, the groups said in a press release. Coal ash usually contains similar chemicals.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/12/05/3600131/thick-orange-gooey-stuff/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/12/05/3600131/thick-orange-gooey-stuff/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 06, 2014, 06:00:06 AM
Lovely.

I wonder if we will be able to make Duke pay for the cleanup or whether taxpayers will have to foot the bill?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 13, 2014, 07:59:17 PM
I count eight reasons for coal industry trouble in the first paragraphs of this article, "How the 'War on Coal' went global."
Then this:
Quote
The upshot: Coal exports, which more than doubled from 2007 to 2012, are expected to fall by nearly one-fifth this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says. In 2015, the number of tons exported could hit its lowest level in five years.
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/war-coal-epa-pollution-113550.html (http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/war-coal-epa-pollution-113550.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on December 15, 2014, 08:39:26 PM
The True Cost of Turning on the Lights
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/j-henry-fair/the-true-cost-of-turning-_b_6317040.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/j-henry-fair/the-true-cost-of-turning-_b_6317040.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on December 16, 2014, 03:05:43 AM
Quote
Global coal use is on an upwards march despite calls to halt fossil fuels demand at a UN climate summit in Peru and will hit a record 9bn tonnes by 2019, according to the International Energy Agency.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/15/coal-demand-set-to-break-9bn-tonne-barrier-this-decade (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/15/coal-demand-set-to-break-9bn-tonne-barrier-this-decade)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 16, 2014, 04:15:42 AM
Quote
Global coal use is on an upwards march despite calls to halt fossil fuels demand at a UN climate summit in Peru and will hit a record 9bn tonnes by 2019, according to the International Energy Agency.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/15/coal-demand-set-to-break-9bn-tonne-barrier-this-decade (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/15/coal-demand-set-to-break-9bn-tonne-barrier-this-decade)

Will it?  Let's look at how consumption growth as been since 2000...

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi619.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt275%2FBob_Wall%2FWorldCoalConsumptionGrowth.png&hash=c07aa63e34a9f4867e8474d354467287) (http://s619.photobucket.com/user/Bob_Wall/media/WorldCoalConsumptionGrowth.png.html)

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html (http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/about-bp/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy.html)

There's a clear drop in growth rate from the 2003-2004 point.  And the last three years are showing declining growth.

If we look at the top coal consumers, China is working hit peak coal.  The US is in the process of closing 25% of its capacity.  Germany is now at it's second lowest consumption rate in modern history and heading lower.  India is making noise about cutting coal use.  Japan is unlikely to increase as they are working to get more wind and solar in place.

I wouldn't bet with the IEA.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 16, 2014, 04:55:18 AM

July 11, 2014

Quote
The newly elected India government of Narendra Modi has announced a suite of initiatives for solar energy across the country that will be partly funded by a doubling of the tax on coal.

Modi – a long time supporter of solar – has promised a “saffron” revolution that will include ambitious targets for small, large and off-grid solar and a switch away from an assumed reliance on coal as the country seeks to deliver on its momentous task of bringing electricity to the entire country.

In its first budget announced this week, Modi’s government announced funding for a series of “ultra mega” solar PV farms to be located in four Indian deserts, in Rajasthan,  Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.

The government also launched a scheme for 100,000 solar power driven agricultural pump sets and water pumping stations in off grid areas.

It has also announced plans to dramatically extend a plan to cover canals with a series of 1MW solar farms, using availabl space to generate electricity and to reduce evaporation.

And it has also announced tax cuts and excise exemptions for arrange of solar components and machinery to help reduce the cost of domestic manufacturing of solar PV cells and modules.


http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/modi-accelerates-india-solar-revolution-doubles-tax-on-coal-57890 (http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/modi-accelerates-india-solar-revolution-doubles-tax-on-coal-57890)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on December 16, 2014, 03:32:34 PM
Over the last decade, from 2000 to 2010, coal use has grown more strongly than any other primary energy source (+ 28%).

http://www.euracoal.be/pages/layout1sp.php?idpage=427 (http://www.euracoal.be/pages/layout1sp.php?idpage=427)

Even growth at about 2% per year gets us to about 9 billion tonnes by the end of the decade.

But yeah, let's hope China really does put on the breaks on coal use and that India's growth in electricity use comes mostly from solar and wind.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 16, 2014, 07:46:43 PM
What coal did between 2000 and 2010 tells us nothing about what coal will do between 2015 and 2025.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 16, 2014, 08:59:17 PM
Quote
Global coal demand growth will slow in the five years through 2019 as China, the world’s biggest consumer of the fuel, takes steps to cut energy intensity and diversify supply, according to the International Energy Agency.

Coal use will increase by 2.1 percent a year through 2019 to 6.5 billion metric tons of coal equivalent, less than the 2.3 percent growth predicted last year for the five years through 2018, the Paris-based agency said in its Medium-Term Coal Market Report.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-15/coal-demand-growth-to-slow-in-next-five-years-on-china-iea-says.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-15/coal-demand-growth-to-slow-in-next-five-years-on-china-iea-says.html)

I imagine if we were to go back 2-4 years and look at the IEA predictions for coal they would be higher than the 2.3% growth predicted a year ago that has now been rolled back to 2.1%.

And I'd bet (were I a betting person) than that 2.1% number will shrink going forward.  I really think that people making these sorts of predictions fail to understand the economics of renewables and the growing social pressures to move away from fossil fuels.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 16, 2014, 09:07:47 PM
In 2012 -

IEA - coal consumption will rise 2013 to 2019 at 2.6% per year.

Then, the year before -

"A report released recently by the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that under current polices, primary world energy demand will grow 51% between 2009 and 2035, with global demand for coal increasing by as much as 65%."

http://im-mining.com/2011/11/24/iea-2011-report-predicts-surge-in-global-coal-use/ (http://im-mining.com/2011/11/24/iea-2011-report-predicts-surge-in-global-coal-use/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on December 16, 2014, 09:27:19 PM
"What coal did between 2000 and 2010 tells us nothing about what coal will do between 2015 and 2025."

Then why did you include a graph that covers roughly those years?

Quote
In 2012 - IEA - coal consumption will rise 2013 to 2019 at 2.6% per year.
Then, the year before -
"A report released recently by the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that under current polices, primary world energy demand will grow 51% between 2009 and 2035, with global demand for coal increasing by as much as 65%."

Is there a point in there somewhere?

"And I'd bet (were I a betting person) than that 2.1% number will shrink going forward.  I really think that people making these sorts of predictions fail to understand the economics of renewables and the growing social pressures to move away from fossil fuels."

I hope so. But as you point out above, making predictions from a few years of data is not particularly probative, either way.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 16, 2014, 11:29:00 PM
"Then why did you include a graph that covers roughly those years?"

Because they show us what has happened over time.  History, in this case is not necessarily a good predictor.  Do you understand the difference?


"Is there a point in there somewhere?"

Yes, as the years go by, the IEA has been lowering its growth rate predictions.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 17, 2014, 11:41:33 PM
India's Prime Minister wants to privatize the national coal industry, to increase efficiency and reduce blackouts.  Coal miners say they will strike.
Quote
Last week, Modi made a move toward ending shortages, winning partial passage of a bill that will allow him to end a 40-year government coal monopoly. The plan is to bring in more efficient private companies. The coal unions say that will mean job losses, and that they will fight the legislation.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-16/india-s-modi-gets-his-maggie-thatcher-moment-with-coal-unions.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-16/india-s-modi-gets-his-maggie-thatcher-moment-with-coal-unions.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 17, 2014, 11:57:01 PM
Privatizing the coal industry would make it easier to kill off?

 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 21, 2014, 03:11:16 AM
Good news, or bad?
U.S. trains filled with oil and grain are preventing coal from getting to power plants -- which are using more natural gas to save their dwinding coal stocks -- causing power prices to rise.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-17/cheap-oil-jamming-rails-means-higher-u-s-power-bills.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-17/cheap-oil-jamming-rails-means-higher-u-s-power-bills.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on December 21, 2014, 04:16:52 AM
Basically good news for renewables if crowded rails are causing price increases for oil and coal.  Not good for consumers in the short run.  Neither is the resulting price in grain.

BTW, PBO is starting to make noises that sound like the Keystone pipeline is not going to be approved....
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 27, 2014, 04:44:39 PM
Mild temperatures, recently and forecast, in the US cause natural gas futures to sink to levels not seen since 2012 -- competitive with coal.  A surplus is building, and high futures contracts are caving.
Quote
Low gas prices are “eventually going to provide some sort of floor” by prompting power generators to switch from burning coal, said Calder. “This withdrawal shows that it’s going to be a while coming. In the meantime, we are going to see bears take over this market.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-26/natural-gas-futures-drop-below-3-for-first-time-since-2012.html (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-26/natural-gas-futures-drop-below-3-for-first-time-since-2012.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on January 08, 2015, 04:54:11 PM
Yet another reason to hate coal.

Coal Companies Are Selling Coal To Themselves To Get More Government Subsidies

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/07/3609210/coal-companies-selling-to-themselves/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/01/07/3609210/coal-companies-selling-to-themselves/)

Quote
In what is being described as a fundamental shift in how the coal industry does business, over 40 percent of all coal produced in Wyoming is now being first sold not to a power plant or a utility, but to a subsidiary of the same company that mined the coal — a 17-fold increase since 2004 for the U.S.’s largest coal-producing state.

According to a new report by the Center for American Progress, these inside deals between coal companies and their own subsidiaries (known as “captive transactions”) are aimed, in part, at intentionally dodging federal and state royalty payments and maximizing taxpayer-funded subsidies from the U.S. Department of the Interior....
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 14, 2015, 04:24:58 AM
2014:  One after the other, coal export terminal projects in the U.S. were defeated.
Quote
The U.S. coal export industry continued its losing streak as 2014 ended and 2015 began. A coal terminal project in Louisiana lost its permit in state court, and one in Washington ran into a stiff legal challenge. Last month, the company behind several other planned terminals sold its remaining projects to a high-risk investment firm at a major loss.

The developments continue a string of victories for environment groups fighting the export of coal to developing economies such as China. Of 15 proposals to build major new coal export facilities across the U.S., all but four have been defeated or canceled within the past two years. And only a few existing facilities have won approval to expand.
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20150112/losing-streak-continues-us-coal-export-terminals (http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20150112/losing-streak-continues-us-coal-export-terminals)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 15, 2015, 09:51:32 PM
UK coal use to fall to lowest level since industrial revolution
http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/uk-coal-use-to-fall-to-lowest-level-since-industrial-revolution/ (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/uk-coal-use-to-fall-to-lowest-level-since-industrial-revolution/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on January 22, 2015, 10:16:33 PM
Coal's dark cloud hangs over Germany's energy revolution
http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2724011/coals_dark_cloud_hangs_over_germanys_energy_revolution.html (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/2724011/coals_dark_cloud_hangs_over_germanys_energy_revolution.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 04, 2015, 02:12:46 PM
Energy Department Kills Troubled Bush-Era Coal Electricity Project
http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/rip-futuregen-energy-department-kills-troubled-bush-era-coal-electricity-project-20150203 (http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/rip-futuregen-energy-department-kills-troubled-bush-era-coal-electricity-project-20150203)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on February 06, 2015, 10:00:08 AM
Tony Abbott denies China's carbon trading plan shows he is out of step
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/06/tony-abbott-denies-chinas-carbon-trading-plan-shows-he-is-out-of-step (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/06/tony-abbott-denies-chinas-carbon-trading-plan-shows-he-is-out-of-step)

World's biggest sovereign wealth fund dumps dozens of coal companies
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/05/worlds-biggest-sovereign-wealth-fund-dumps-dozens-of-coal-companies (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/05/worlds-biggest-sovereign-wealth-fund-dumps-dozens-of-coal-companies)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 07, 2015, 04:04:40 AM
350.org calls for moratorium on Australia's Abbot Point coal port expansion in light of “Adani-gate” findings
Quote
“According to India’s own energy minister, the country is likely to stop importing coal within two years,” Palese said. “We have to ask what happens to these mega coal mines and ports as coal demand drops and renewables’ competitiveness rises. It is completely unconscionable to dredge the Reef and destroy our climate for a massive new coal project that may well end up as a stranded asset.”
http://350.org.au/blog/350-org-calls-for-moratorium-on-abbot-point-coal-port-expansion-in-light-of-adani-gate-findings/ (http://350.org.au/blog/350-org-calls-for-moratorium-on-abbot-point-coal-port-expansion-in-light-of-adani-gate-findings/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 07, 2015, 04:41:20 PM
The coal industry is following oil's example: desperately maximizing production as prices plummet.  Don't expect this to continue for long.

Quote
Coal prices in the United States have reached a six-year low and could fall further in 2015. The situation is little better internationally, where Australian coal prices fell more than 8% between July and December 2014 and European coal prices fell by nearly 4.4% in the same period. Forecasts for 2015 indicate Australian coal could lose nearly 9% more and European coal could drop as much as 25%.

There are two reasons for fix that the industry finds itself in today: lower demand from China and a stronger U.S. dollar. China imposed restrictions on coal imports last year and foreign supplies fell by 11%. Demand from the Middle Kingdom is expected to slide another 9% in 2015.

The stronger dollar helps producers from Russia to South Africa to Australia. Russia, where the ruble has sunk to the bottom of Lake Baikal, is expected produce as much coal as it can this year in an effort to drive higher-priced producers out of the market. Australia will adopt a similar policy. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it is essentially the same strategy that Saudi Arabia has adopted and forced on its fellow OPEC members to maintain oil market share as crude prices drop.
...
The lift some U.S. producers got from exports to China is disappearing and exports to other countries are hurt by the strength of the dollar. In domestic sales, coal prices are being challenged by continuing low prices for natural gas and increasing requirements for emissions reductions at coal-fired electricity generating plants.

http://247wallst.com/commodities-metals/2015/02/06/can-coal-make-a-comeback/#ixzz3R4Ud87JB (http://247wallst.com/commodities-metals/2015/02/06/can-coal-make-a-comeback/#ixzz3R4Ud87JB)


Like this:
TVA announces replacement of 55-year-old Memphis, Tennessee -- a heart of coal country state! -- generating plant (3 coal-fired units) with 2 high-efficiency gas turbine generators.

http://www.pennenergy.com/articles/pennenergy/2015/01/ge-to-replace-tva-s-coal-units-with-cleaner-high-efficiency-gas-power-turbines.html (http://www.pennenergy.com/articles/pennenergy/2015/01/ge-to-replace-tva-s-coal-units-with-cleaner-high-efficiency-gas-power-turbines.html)


(I've addressed the "yes, but it's still carbon" argument earlier today here (https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,256.msg44861.html#msg44861) , so I'll not repeat it now.  U.S. CO2 emissions growth is slowing.   Which is good.  :) )
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on February 19, 2015, 09:26:49 AM
A Look Behind the Headlines on China’s Coal Trends
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/a-look-behind-the-headlines-on-chinas-coal-trends/?partner=rss&emc=rss (http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/02/18/a-look-behind-the-headlines-on-chinas-coal-trends/?partner=rss&emc=rss)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 23, 2015, 08:20:05 PM
Quote
Duke Energy is facing multiple criminal charges for years of dumping coal waste into North Carolina’s rivers.

Federal prosecutors charged Duke with nine counts of misdemeanors under the Clean Water Act late Friday, saying that the energy company had been dumping coal ash from power plants in five North Carolina locations since at least 2010. Duke isn’t challenging the case — instead, it has already worked out a proposed plea bargain with the federal government. If approved, the bargain would require the company to pay a total of $102.2 million — $68.2 million in fines and restitution and $34 million for community service and projects to help mitigate the effects of the pollution.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/23/3625717/duke-energy-coal-ash-charges/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/23/3625717/duke-energy-coal-ash-charges/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 23, 2015, 08:27:53 PM
Quote
The German capital of Berlin will shut its four remaining coal-fired power plants by 2020, according to provisional results from a parliamentary inquiry committee on the city’s future energy supply, Die Welt reports.
http://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/media-city-berlin-exit-coal-2020 (http://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/media-city-berlin-exit-coal-2020)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on February 27, 2015, 04:14:12 AM
WSJ and now a few other sources are claiming that China's total coal consumption actually fell last year (didn't just grow at a slower rate) by 2.9%.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/26/3627490/china-coal-peak/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/02/26/3627490/china-coal-peak/)

If confirmed, this is potentially pretty big news, especially if its a result of policy and not just slowdown or some random temporary set of coincidences.

I guess Bob Wallace is traveling probably be all over this with plenty of gloat and 'I told ya so'!  ;D

CarbonBrief claims that their total CO2 emissions may have fallen, too (last graph), though this is preliminary. http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/02/official-data-confirms-chinese-coal-use-fell-in-2014/ (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/02/official-data-confirms-chinese-coal-use-fell-in-2014/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 27, 2015, 05:47:31 PM
WSJ and now a few other sources are claiming that China's total coal consumption actually fell last year (didn't just grow at a slower rate) by 2.9%.
This is indeed great news.  Even if China fudged the numbers a bit to pacify everyone (after all, they insisted on calling their choking air "fog" instead of "smog" for years) -- it verifies they are now clued in about the importance of the carbon face they show the world.  Not insisting they must still grow at any cost.


Besides, we are ramping up satellite measurements of CO2 emissions.  Soon no one will be able to hide the truth.
http://t.space.com/all/26403-nasa-oco2-carbon-dioxide-satellite-launch#1 (http://t.space.com/all/26403-nasa-oco2-carbon-dioxide-satellite-launch#1)

And as to China's added coal capacity in 2014, the CarbonBrief article has this:
Quote
Chinese coal plants have been running fewer hours, however, suggesting capacity is being added but not used. Coal overcapacity will lead to losses for all coal plant and will, ultimately, mean closure for older stations, according to Greenpeace.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on February 27, 2015, 06:02:50 PM
I suppose some of that added capacity may be newer plants that don't create as many (noon-CO2) pollutants specifically so that they can retire some of the older, dirtier plants. So perhaps shouldn't be seen as adding net capacity in the long run.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: AbruptSLR on February 27, 2015, 06:16:05 PM
The linked article discusses the complications associated with the US EPA's efforts to promote the use of CCS to develop "clean coal" in the USA:

http://www.bna.com/mccarthy-defends-viability-n17179923414/ (http://www.bna.com/mccarthy-defends-viability-n17179923414/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 27, 2015, 09:22:57 PM
The linked article discusses the complications associated with the US EPA's efforts to promote the use of CCS to develop "clean coal" in the USA:

http://www.bna.com/mccarthy-defends-viability-n17179923414/ (http://www.bna.com/mccarthy-defends-viability-n17179923414/)

From the article:
Quote
Dropping the carbon capture component of the proposed rule could help insulate the final rule from some legal challenges....

I’m quite confident they’re looking seriously at whether they’re going forward with CCS and whether they want to take on vulnerability,” Holmstead said.

Does anyone see CCS as anything more than a political dodge, used only so the EPA can say they are not banning coal?  With the evidence so lacking that CCS will work, doesn't it effectively mean coal is ruled out?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 02, 2015, 09:43:44 PM
Support growing for a quick phase-out of coal in the UK.
Quote
A YouGov survey for Greenpeace shows that the majority of people (56%) support the phasing out of coal fired power stations in the early 2020s as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions, more than double the proportion (24%) who oppose such a move.
...
The Government's climate advisers have said there is no role for conventional coal power generation beyond the early 2020s if the UK is to meet its long term goals to cut emissions in the most cost-effective way.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2974997/Plans-phase-coal-power-urged.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2974997/Plans-phase-coal-power-urged.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on March 03, 2015, 12:24:21 AM
A couple of points on the China drop:

The solid drop, if confirmed, is indeed good news. It shows that, at the very least, the Chinese are taking the air pollution problem seriously. Since relocation of coal-fired power generation away from the major population centers will naturally include some supplanting with lower/no carbon generation and higher-efficiency plants, it represents at least a temporary reprieve from the massive increases in CO2 emissions of the last decade.

The impact of weather on cooling and heating needs was substantially less in 2014 than in the previous year (and likely less than average). This had a strong net negative effect on power demand, and thus coal (since most generation is still coal-fired at this point). Also, hydropower had a very good year, with the surpluses helping supplant fossil generation.

Some coal is being diverted to CTG and CTL and this is expected to increase, despite lower oil prices, since coal prices have dropped precipitously in tow.


So, to recap, there's likely a bit more going on than meets the eye:

1) Longer-term downward pressure due to air pollution.
2) Re-location of generation leading to higher efficiency plants and some substitution.
3) Strong decrease in heating and cooling degree days over the previous few years.
4) Strong hydropower year (related to weather and new construction).
5) CTL and CTG projects will exert upward pressure on emissions over the longer term.


Points 3 and 4 are temporary and will turn around. Points 1 and 2 will likely keep the pressure on, at least until the pollution problem starts to abate. Point 5 will unfortunately offset some of the gains made.

We really need more than one data year point to declare victory. It's a bit early to be uncorking the champagne on this one yet.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 03, 2015, 02:25:20 AM
NYT says Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest mining company, may be exiting coal business entirely.
Quote
In its latest effort to slash costs as commodity prices fall, Rio Tinto is letting go its energy chief and rolling its coal and uranium businesses into two other units, a move that could signal its intention to divest its coal assets.
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/02/27/business/27reuters-rio-tinto-costs.html (http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2015/02/27/business/27reuters-rio-tinto-costs.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 04, 2015, 02:15:58 AM
Modi Commits to Clean Environment by Doubling India’s Coal Tax.
( and promoting electric vehicles and renewable-energy projects )
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-28/modi-commits-to-clean-environment-by-doubling-india-s-coal-tax (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-28/modi-commits-to-clean-environment-by-doubling-india-s-coal-tax)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 12, 2015, 07:00:37 PM
Florida Utility Company To Buy Coal Plant Just To Shut It Down.
Quote
The reason it’s doing this, FPL has said, is simple: the plant is outdated, and shutting it down will save customers money — $70 million a year to be exact, according to the utility.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/12/3632518/florida-coal-plant-shutdown/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/12/3632518/florida-coal-plant-shutdown/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 17, 2015, 04:41:17 PM
Proposed coal plants are being cancelled all over the world.
Quote
The global coal boom has started to slow, a new  report says, as more plans for new power plants are now being shelved than completed.

The number of cancelled coal projects across the world has outstripped those completed at a rate of two to one since 2010, according to Sierra Club and CoalSwarm - two campaign groups that have tracked the progress of 3,900 intended plants since 1 January 2010.
...
The highest proportion of coal projects were canned in Europe, where the failure rate was 7:1.

The lowest was in east Asia, where only one project failed for every success. And the majority of these were in China, where around 228 gigawatts were added between 2010 and 2014, compared to 119 gigawatts cancelled.

However, in terms of tonnes of carbon dioxide avoided, the cancellations in east Asia were more than double that of Europe, due to the sheer scale of projects being proposed in the first place.

In India, the story is of a particularly rapid slowdown in the rate at which proposed coal plants are being constructed.

From the beginning of 2010 to mid-2012, the ratio of plants halted to plants completed was nearly 2:1. From mid-2012 to mid-2014, this increased to more than 6:1. The report puts this down to a variety of factors, among them the  "Coalgate" scandal concerning the corrupt allocation of coal mining rights between 2004-9.
http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/03/more-coal-plants-are-being-cancelled-than-built/ (http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/03/more-coal-plants-are-being-cancelled-than-built/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 25, 2015, 01:54:08 AM
US coal crash serves as a warning to investors betting on carbon
Quote
“We’ve known for decades that coal posed serious health and environmental risks, but now coal has also become an investment risk as countries take serious actions to clear their air and protect the climate,” said Andrew Logan, director of the oil and gas program at Ceres, a non-profit sustainability organization.

“Investors have been pushing for coal and other fossil fuel companies to face facts and adapt their business models to thrive in a carbon-constrained world.”

The financial think-tank says the fate of US coal should serve as a warning to investors in other fossil fuel markets worldwide who fail to prudently read a structural shift away from hydrocarbons and blindly continue to invest in assets that are in increasingly in danger of becoming stranded. Earlier this month the International Energy Agency said that for the first time in 40 years CO2 emissions had stalled in 2014, a development that was not tied to a downturn in economic growth. It attributed the fall to changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries with the use of renewables and greater energy efficiency measures cited as contributing factors.

“The roof has fallen in on U.S. coal, and alarm bells should be ringing for investors in related sectors around the world,” said Andrew Grant, Carbon Tracker’s financial analyst and report co-author. “These first tremors are amongst the clearest signs yet of a seismic shift in energy markets, as high carbon fuels are set to be increasingly outperformed by lower carbon alternatives.
...
The industry’s plan B, to export production to assumed perennial growth markets in Asia, has also floundered amid a global market awash with supply from other countries and weak demand; Chinese coal consumption fell nearly 3% in 2014 while India, the world’s third largest buyer, says it may stop imports of thermal coal in the next three years With domestic markets collapsing and no lifeline from abroad, 264 US mines were closed between 2011 and 2013.
http://www.carbontracker.org/in-the-media/us-coal-crash-serves-as-a-warning-to-investors-betting-on-carbon/ (http://www.carbontracker.org/in-the-media/us-coal-crash-serves-as-a-warning-to-investors-betting-on-carbon/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: anotheramethyst on March 25, 2015, 05:14:54 AM
wow thats awesome!!! thats a lot of good news on one page :D
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 25, 2015, 08:10:13 PM
Quote
The US coal sector is in a “structural decline” which has sent 26 companies bust in the last three years, according to financial analysts.

A report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative found that in the past five years the US coal industry lost 76% of its value. At least 264 mines were closed between 2011 and 2013. The world’s largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, lost 80% of its share price.

These declines were in spite of the Dow Jones industrial average increasing by 69% during the same period. Authors said this indicated a decoupling of US economic growth from coal.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/24/us-coal-sector-in-terminal-decline-financial-analysts-say (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/24/us-coal-sector-in-terminal-decline-financial-analysts-say)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: AbruptSLR on March 25, 2015, 08:34:33 PM
The linked article indicates that the implementation of mercury emission limits on coal-fired power plants will make the economics of keeping such polluting plants open:

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-mercury-20150324-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-mercury-20150324-story.html)

Edit: Also, the linked article indicates that the coal industry will argue against putting limits on mercury on coal emissions before the US Supreme Court:

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/25/3638157/supreme-court-mercury-rule-preview/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/25/3638157/supreme-court-mercury-rule-preview/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: werther on March 31, 2015, 10:37:14 AM
In the search for large coal pits, here’s another one near Talcher, Orissa, India:

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FClimate%25202015%2FCoal%2520mine%2520Talker%2520India%2520GE_zpsuhclsh2d.jpg&hash=7b8c5cd1081d97e30f58601622476354)

It measures about 10 x 6 km2. From GE, of course.

Associated to this, I read (oil-price) that, although coal-consumption seems to decrease in several countries, it doesn’t in India (at least, based on imports):

(https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1036.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fa446%2Fhanver1%2FClimate%25202015%2F2015%252003%252027%2520Indian%2520coal%2520imports%2520PIB%2520of%2520India%2520OP%2520D.Forest_zpsq9u4tfvb.jpg&hash=1ee2a2e8090e42b1ec8d8e23f7e3605e)
( PIB of India / Oilprice.com – D.Forest)

It will make the burden a lot heavier if a basis for international cooperation to meaningfully reduce  coal-consumption isn’t found.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on March 31, 2015, 08:23:24 PM
I guess the bankers for coal haven't yet got enuf free money from the Fed to make it possible to eat the loss they will take ...

"It’s partly the result of a 1977 law that requires companies to reclaim closed mine sites. That includes restoring grasslands, removing waste water and sealing the mine shafts.

So while a 4 million-ton-a-year mine in Central Appalachia, which has the nation’s highest coal costs, may lose $15 on every ton, the one-time expense to permanently close it could reach as much as $44 million, according to Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

No Relief

Alpha Natural Resources Inc., the second-biggest U.S. coal producer by sales, told investors Feb. 26 that it had $640.5 million in liabilities associated with closing the mines. That’s almost three times as much as the company is worth.

For Arch Coal Inc., which hasn’t made a profit since 2011, the figure is $418 million as of Dec. 31. "

Readallaboutit:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/appalachia-miners-wiped-coal-glut-041524050.html (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/appalachia-miners-wiped-coal-glut-041524050.html)

P.S. Reclamation is a joke. The hills leak toxics into streams for ever, requiring water treatment for ever. Treatment that is not being done, and costs rarely included in reclamation estimates. The brooks and rills coming outta the huge tailing piles in Shamokin are dead, dead, dead, and flow directly into the Susquehenna.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: werther on March 31, 2015, 11:36:48 PM
Evening Sidd,

I had a look over there on GE. I suppose you live out there. What you describe fits with the continuous scarring all the way along one of these Appalachian ridges. Some 60 km. Things in the USA sure have been done thoroughly! At least, from the vantage point of profit. I guess active mining is mostly over, but the externalised cost on the ecology will linger. I'm sorry, because the valleys close to the ridge look like beautiful countryside.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on April 01, 2015, 03:14:05 AM
i dont live in Shamokin, but i wander central and eastern PA a lot. Some beautiful country, as you saw, not all the places were mined. The two or three valleys south of Shamokin were never mined (no coal) but the next three were, and one mine there is still active.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on April 01, 2015, 09:48:34 PM
Study: Coal industry lost nearly 50,000 jobs in just five years
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/01/the-decline-in-coal-jobs-in-one-chart/ (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/04/01/the-decline-in-coal-jobs-in-one-chart/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 04, 2015, 02:14:52 AM
Quote
Duke Energy has agreed to a $2.5 million settlement with Virginia over a massive coal ash spill that coated 70 miles of the Dan River in gray sludge, state environmental officials announced Friday.

The settlement drew immediate criticism from a water protection group, while the hardest-hit locality — the city of Danville — continues to negotiate with Duke.
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/74d1040846bf45e6b28baa82a302d352/duke-virginia-agree-25-million-coal-ash-settlement (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/74d1040846bf45e6b28baa82a302d352/duke-virginia-agree-25-million-coal-ash-settlement)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 08, 2015, 09:14:02 PM
Michael Bloomberg gives another $30 million to Sierra Club's Anti-Coal Campaign
The former New York City mayor gave $50 million in 2011.
Quote
The Sierra Club announced a new goal alongside the funding: Close half the nation's coal-fired power fleet by 2025. The group is seeking to secure commitments for those coal-plant retirements by the end of 2017.

That replaces the "Beyond Coal" campaign's prior goal of shutting down one-third of the nation's coal-fired power generation by 2020.


One sign of progress:

By the end of May, American Electric Power will shut down seven coal-fired power plants.
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/04/07/two-coal-plants-in-ohio-part-of-closings.html (http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/04/07/two-coal-plants-in-ohio-part-of-closings.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 08, 2015, 09:56:40 PM
Quote
Barclays has ended its financing of a controversial coal mining method known as mountaintop removal and said time is running out for the practice
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/07/barclays-ends-financing-of-controversial-mountaintop-removal-mining (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/07/barclays-ends-financing-of-controversial-mountaintop-removal-mining)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on April 14, 2015, 05:12:58 AM
http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/04/inner-mongolias-coal-powered-rare-earth.html (http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/04/inner-mongolias-coal-powered-rare-earth.html)

man is that ugly
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 15, 2015, 01:22:33 AM
Interactive map in the linked article shows coal plants which meet EPA standards, are being converted to gas, or being retired.

Obama's EPA Rule Is Redrawing the U.S. Coal Map
Quote
America’s oldest coal plants are retiring like they’re Baby Boomers, and some of them are the same age. About 17 percent of U.S. coal-fired power generation will vanish in the next few years — some 7.5 percent this year alone, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Obstacles facing coal plants include their age, the abundance of cheap natural gas and a new EPA rule that begins taking effect April 16.
http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-coal-plants/ (http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-coal-plants/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: P-maker on April 17, 2015, 12:50:39 AM
Democracy works!!!

A bold divestment decision was made this evening in Denmark. At the general assembly of a major pension funds association, it was decided (761 for, 569 against, 4 blanks) to divest pension funds  from fossil fuel companies. The decision means that all shares in the 100 largest coal companies will be sold as soon as possible and no later than 2018. The decision also encourages the administrators of the pension funds to engage in a critical dialogue with oil and gas companies with an aim of “avoiding high risk investments in tar sands, deep sea drilling and arctic exploration.”

The pension fund association has about 100,000 members and a total capital of 39 billion DKK ( ~ 5 billion Euro). This democratic decision is a follow-up on a similar decision made by the pension fund association of Danish architects on Tuesday evening.

The  debate ahead of the vote brought forward a wealth of good arguments from ordinary members, grandmas, hipsters, conservatives and business people alike. A true victory for a democratic divestment campaign.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Laurent on April 24, 2015, 09:38:41 AM
Regret to Inform You: Coal Blasting Rages On
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/regret-to-inform-you-coal_b_7132968.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-biggers/regret-to-inform-you-coal_b_7132968.html?utm_hp_ref=green&ir=Green)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on May 02, 2015, 04:55:15 AM
Heh hehe heh. Alpha turns the knife. Poor Don, so sad. Like they said about Nixon, he was so paranoid, he bugged _himself_

http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150501/GZ01/150509917/1101 (http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150501/GZ01/150509917/1101)

"In the Delaware case, Alpha is basically arguing that it has the right to stop funding Blankenship’s defense because company officials “determined that Mr. Blankenship had reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful.” Under previous agreements with Blankenship, Massey, and then Alpha, had promised to cover his legal costs, but Alpha says it could cut off payments if Blankenship knew he was breaking the law."

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Yuha on May 19, 2015, 03:47:29 PM
Coal's Future Facing Three Hurdles and Steady Decline, Projections Show

http://insideclimatenews.org/carbon-copy/18052015/coals-future-facing-three-hurdles-and-steady-decline-projections-epa-clean-power-plan
 (http://insideclimatenews.org/carbon-copy/18052015/coals-future-facing-three-hurdles-and-steady-decline-projections-epa-clean-power-plan)

Quote
About 13 gigawatts of coal-fired generating capacity, more than 4 percent of the nation's 300 or so gigawatts of coal, is expected to retire this year. New wind plants will add 10 gigawatts. Solar will add 2 gigawatts more. Gas will provide another 6 gigawatts.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: jai mitchell on May 20, 2015, 05:23:27 PM
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-18/china-war-on-smog-seen-dooming-coal-amid-cheap-but-dirty-purge (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-18/china-war-on-smog-seen-dooming-coal-amid-cheap-but-dirty-purge)

Coal prices will never recover, ever

China Smog War Seen Dooming Coal on ‘Cheap But Dirty’ Purge
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Yuha on May 30, 2015, 12:24:54 AM
Inside the war on coal

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002 (http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/05/inside-war-on-coal-000002)

Quote
Beyond Coal is the most extensive, expensive and effective campaign in the Club’s 123-year history, and maybe the history of the environmental movement. It’s gone largely unnoticed amid the furor over the Keystone pipeline and President Barack Obama’s efforts to regulate carbon, but it’s helped retire more than one third of America’s coal plants since its launch in 2010, one dull hearing at a time. With a vast war chest donated by Michael Bloomberg, unlikely allies from the business world, and a strategy that relies more on economics than ecology, its team of nearly 200 litigators and organizers has won battles in the Midwestern and Appalachian coal belts, in the reddest of red states, in almost every state that burns coal.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 02, 2015, 10:09:30 PM
NRDC:
Under the Rug
How governments and international institutions are hiding billions in support to the coal industry.

Quote
The full extent of government financing for coal overseas is not common knowledge, and it is revealed here for the first time. A very large amount of public financing has been flowing to coal projects around the world. Our analysis finds that public finance has played a significant role in supporting coal projects over the last 8 years. Between 2007 and 2014, more than US $73 billion – or over $9 billion a year – in public finance was approved for coal.

This funding is being provided by a handful of countries that continue to resist pressure to end this public financing. Japan provided the largest amount of coal financing of any country, with over $20 billion of finance from 2007 to 2014. In the OECD, Korea and Germany were the next largest sources of funding for coal.... Japan, Korea and Australia are leading the opposition to limits on coal finance in international discussions.
http://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2015/05/Under_The_Rug_NRDC_OCI_WWF_Jun_2015.pdf (http://priceofoil.org/content/uploads/2015/05/Under_The_Rug_NRDC_OCI_WWF_Jun_2015.pdf)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 08, 2015, 09:43:47 PM
Quote
@jackcushmanjr: Peabody, under severe financial pressure, will cut corporate HQ and regional staff to save $40+ million per year. http://t.co/fHBM86VZi9 (http://t.co/fHBM86VZi9)
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/peabody-energy-announces-leaner-corporate-structure-with-planned-reduction-of-approximately-250-salaried-positions-300095554.html (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/peabody-energy-announces-leaner-corporate-structure-with-planned-reduction-of-approximately-250-salaried-positions-300095554.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 08, 2015, 09:46:59 PM
The U.S.’s Biggest Coal Company -- Peabody -- Can’t Pay To Clean Up Its Own Mines
Quote
Reuters reported last week that St. Louis-based Peabody Energy is “under scrutiny” from the federal government over concerns that the company is violating federal bonding regulations that are intended to guarantee that if a mining company goes bankrupt, it has sufficient insurance to pay to clean up its own mines. Instead of paying a third party for cleanup insurance, Peabody Energy has sought to comply with federal and state rules by promising regulators that it has sufficient financial resources on hand to pay for any cleanup costs — a practice known as self-bonding.

A review of securities filings by Reuters, however, found that at the end of 2014, Peabody’s assets were insufficient to meet federal and state self-bonding requirements. According to Reuters, “slumping coal prices and declining demand have put [coal] industry balance sheets under stress,” raising serious questions about whether Peabody and its competitors can continue to insure their own operations. In 2014, Peabody posted more than $700 million in losses.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/06/08/3667061/coal-cleanup-insurance/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/06/08/3667061/coal-cleanup-insurance/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 09, 2015, 05:36:20 PM
Forget Greenhouse Gas Rules. Nearly 60 Percent of Kentucky’s Coal Plants May Be Gone by 2040.
Quote
The EPA is expected to finalize its carbon dioxide regulations later this summer, and many lawmakers have expressed concern and frustration that the rules will burden Kentucky ratepayers. Electricity rates in Kentucky may inevitably rise as coal plants retire, but that’s not directly related to the carbon dioxide rules. Regulators expect that Kentucky won’t have to do very much to comply with the EPA’s upcoming greenhouse gas regulations, because so many plants are going offline anyway.

New coal-fired power plants are unlikely to be built, because EPA rules finalized last year put limits on the greenhouse gas emissions those plants can emit. The EPA’s limit would mean that any new coal plant would need to incorporate some type of carbon capture technology; this may not be a deal breaker in the future, but right now, carbon capture equipment is prohibitively expensive.

Peters also told the committee that Kentucky’s demand for electricity has nearly flattened. That’s partly because one of the state’s major electricity users—the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant—has shut down. Increased energy efficiency has played a role, too. All of these factors mean that not all of the retiring coal units will have to be replaced to power the state.
http://wfpl.org/forget-greenhouse-gas-rules-nearly-60-percent-kentuckys-coal-plants-may-gone-2040/ (http://wfpl.org/forget-greenhouse-gas-rules-nearly-60-percent-kentuckys-coal-plants-may-gone-2040/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Buddy on June 09, 2015, 05:43:35 PM
"Policy" is always in the BACK END of things.  In other words....it changes near the end.  Think about banking regulations.....they happened AFTER everything went to hell.

Especially here in the US where politicians are basically bought off by lobbyists (campaign donations:).....Congressmen are paid to drag their feet for their favorite lobby groups.  Coal and other fossil fuels have continued to buy their ability to pollute the environment.

The thing that is killing.....and will continue to kill......fossil fuels in general, will be the growing EFFICIENCY of alternative energy sources over time.  And they will drive DOWN the price of electricity over coming decades.

Just think:  (1) no health problems from fossil fuel...AND...(2) lower cost.  Businesses continue to move towards renewables.....regardless of what Congress does.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on June 09, 2015, 06:05:52 PM
"Think about banking regulations.....they happened AFTER everything went to hell."

Exactly, but if we wait till the earth has gone to hell, it will be a bit late for regulations.

And cheaper electricity is not necessarily a good thing.

We need ff companies to start to pay something for the cost of their pollution. Other companies generally can't get away with spewing tens of billions of tons of pollution into the environment for no cost. Why should this one?

And further, since we now know that the real 'cost' of these pollutants is the very viability of the planet, we have to now regulate them out of existence, as we would for any other existential threat.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Buddy on June 09, 2015, 06:30:01 PM
Quote
Exactly, but if we wait till the earth has gone to hell, it will be a bit late for regulations.

Yes...I would certainly agree with that.  I think "we" (humans) have waited till it is SO OBVIOUS...that we have to change.  For instance.....Lindsay Graham is a Republican running for president of the US and even HE admits humans are the cause of global warming....and that it is actually warming.   In addition...you see a LOT of companies moving to alternative energy to get their electricity.  Walmart, Apple, Johnson and Johnson, etc...etc.  It will continue to grow as alternative energy continues to drop.

Quote
And cheaper electricity is not necessarily a good thing

It will be a good thing IF we begin to understand that we have to level off population.  The over arching "theme" needs to be about building a SUSTAINABLE EARTH.  There are only two choices after all:  (a) a sustainable earth, and (b) an earth that is NOT sustainable.

Quote
And further, since we now know that the real 'cost' of these pollutants is the very viability of the planet, we have to now regulate them out of existence, as we would for any other existential threat.

Absolutely agree that it would be better to raise the cost of fossil fuels.  I like Hansen's idea to create a "fee and dividend" structure instead of a carbon tax (that way it is revenue neutral.....the additional cost to heavy users is paid out to citizens as a dividend).



Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on June 10, 2015, 09:00:07 PM
Arch Coal in more trouble, delisted from NYSE, in debt restructuring:


http://www.thestreet.com/story/13162892/1/arch-coal-aci-tanks-on-debt-restructuring-negotiations-nyse-delisting-notice.html (http://www.thestreet.com/story/13162892/1/arch-coal-aci-tanks-on-debt-restructuring-negotiations-nyse-delisting-notice.html)

http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/morning_call/2015/05/arch-coal-working-with-restructuring-advisers.html (http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/morning_call/2015/05/arch-coal-working-with-restructuring-advisers.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ritter on June 10, 2015, 10:10:42 PM
"Think about banking regulations.....they happened AFTER everything went to hell."

Exactly, but if we wait till the earth has gone to hell, it will be a bit late for regulations.

One of the problems with climate change is that it is not a directly observable phenomenon. It could be argued that we (the US) let our country's environment go to hell with air and water pollution (rivers literally burned they were so polluted). This was a very visible problem and one that demanded (albeit late) attention. The Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act have largely improved conditions in the US since those regulations were enacted in the early 70s. Fortunately or unfortunately, we have a history of letting things get visibly awful before we take meaningful action. With climate change, meaningful action is not possible to save our bacon because the payback is too long. But historic precedent and perception says we've still got time because the rivers aren't burning.  :(
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 11, 2015, 01:32:22 PM
DOE suspends stimulus funding for Calif. carbon-capture project
Quote
The Department of Energy has suspended Recovery Act funding for a California project to trap carbon emissions from a coal-fired power plant, an agency spokeswoman said.

DOE had set aside $408 million for Hydrogen Energy California LLC's effort to produce power from coal and petroleum coke, trap most of its CO2 emissions, and use the carbon for making fertilizer and stimulating oil wells. Of the total, $275 million was American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars.

But DOE says HECA has not met certain benchmarks. The company has, for example, recently said it failed to secure customers for the enhanced oil recovery portion of the project.
http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060021604 (http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060021604)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: AbruptSLR on July 13, 2015, 04:41:17 PM
The linked document indicates that while progress is being made to reduce the rate of growth of the recent boom in coal-fired power plants; the likely number of new coal-fired power plants that will likely be built, without intervention, will likely push the world past the 2C goal all by themselves (see attached image):

Christine Shearer, Nicole Ghio, Lauri Myllyvirta, and Ted Nace (2015), "Boom and Bust - TRACKING THE GLOBAL COAL PLANT PIPELINE", Sierra Club

http://action.sierraclub.org/site/DocServer/Coal_Tracker_report_final_3-9-15.pdf?docID=17381 (http://action.sierraclub.org/site/DocServer/Coal_Tracker_report_final_3-9-15.pdf?docID=17381)


See also:
http://www.vox.com/2015/7/9/8922901/coal-renaissance-numbers (http://www.vox.com/2015/7/9/8922901/coal-renaissance-numbers)
Extract: "There's a large amount of coal capacity being planned worldwide, some 2,177 plants in all. Not all of these coal plants will actually get finished — many are getting sunk by local opposition or economic headwinds. But if even one-third of these planned plants get built, we run a high risk of busting through the 2°C global warming threshold. And right now, we're on track to do just that."
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 16, 2015, 01:26:15 AM
United States phases out 200th coal plant as momentum for renewable energy grows.

Quote
Alliant Energy, a major Iowa utility, has committed to phase out coal use at six of its plants in the state, marking the 200th coal plant to shut down in the United States.  This marks a milestone in the country’s transition to clean energy and underscores Iowa’s growth as a clean energy state. The announced coal plant retirements are the result of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign advocacy, which has been a driving force in the national transition to renewable sources of power. The retirement of 200 coal plants nationwide represents the phase out of nearly 40 percent of the 523 U.S. coal plants that were in operation just five years ago.
http://content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2015/07/united-states-phases-out-200th-coal-plant-momentum-renewable-energy-grows (http://content.sierraclub.org/press-releases/2015/07/united-states-phases-out-200th-coal-plant-momentum-renewable-energy-grows)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 16, 2015, 01:40:58 AM
Coal Stocks Will Only Get Worse
Quote
Coal prices have crashed, and as a result coal giant Peabody Energy (BTU) is down almost 80% year-to-date, with other large coal stocks Consol Energy (CNX), Cloud Peak (CLD) and Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP) down about 40% to 50% since January.

Smaller companies like Arch Coal (ACI) and Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) are both down 80%, too, though it’s worth noting they both trade for less than 30 cents and have market caps of less than $50 million so volatility and big risks can always be expected in stocks this size.

So will it ever get better for coal stocks?

The short answer: Not bloody likely.
http://investorplace.com/2015/07/coal-stocks-btu-cnx-arlp-aci-anr/ (http://investorplace.com/2015/07/coal-stocks-btu-cnx-arlp-aci-anr/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 20, 2015, 01:34:26 AM
Coal Miners Struggle to Survive in an Industry Battered by Layoffs and Bankruptcy
http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/18/business/energy-environment/coal-miners-struggle-to-survive-in-an-industry-battered-by-layoffs-and-bankruptcy.html (http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/07/18/business/energy-environment/coal-miners-struggle-to-survive-in-an-industry-battered-by-layoffs-and-bankruptcy.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 20, 2015, 03:35:58 PM
Biggest Coal Polluters Dominate U.S. Emissions
Despite a downward trend in coal use and emissions overall by utilities, a handful still pump an inordinate amount into the air.
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/16072015/biggest-coal-polluters-dominate-emissions-utilities-obama-epa-clean-power-plan (http://insideclimatenews.org/news/16072015/biggest-coal-polluters-dominate-emissions-utilities-obama-epa-clean-power-plan)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Tor Bejnar on July 21, 2015, 03:33:33 PM
Quote
Slumping coal market becomes a 'wild card' for investors (http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2015/07/21/stories/1060022127)

Natural gas made history by surpassing coal as the top U.S. electric energy source in April. Now the market damage begins to flow in through earnings reports.

In 2010, coal yielded 45 percent of U.S. electricity (ClimateWire, July 15). Now the country has moved into a different economic world where, in April, natural gas provided 31 percent of America's electricity, coal combustion generated 30 percent and nuclear stations contributed 20 percent of the nationwide mix, while renewables and others made up the difference.
from E&E Publishing Service's ClimateWire - subscription required
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 26, 2015, 08:55:35 PM
Earth's biggest coal mine, in Australia, may not be built.
Quote
Work on one of the world’s biggest coal projects has ground to a halt with the Indian coal giant Adani dissolving the project management team behind its controversial Carmichael mine in Queensland.
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jul/22/adani-dissolves-50-strong-project-team-from-troubled-165bn-carmichael-mine (http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jul/22/adani-dissolves-50-strong-project-team-from-troubled-165bn-carmichael-mine)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 30, 2015, 02:06:48 AM
Tony Abbott wrong on coal being ‘good for humanity’, Oxfam report finds
Quote
Tony Abbott is mistaken in claiming coal is “good for humanity”, with the fossil fuel causing numerous health problems and ineffective in delivering electricity to the world’s poor compared with renewables, a new Oxfam report has found.

The Powering Up Against Poverty study argues the Australian government’s continued embrace of coal exports is out of step with an international shift towards clean energy and would do little to help the one in seven of the world’s population who do not have electricity to light their homes or cook food.
...
“We are very concerned by this myopic focus on coal,” said Dr Simon Bradshaw, author of the Oxfam report. “Coal is the single biggest contributor to climate change, the impacts of which are most felt by poorer people through floods, drought, cyclones and changes to food patterns.

“We can clearly see in rural areas, and even rapidly growing urban populations, that renewable energy is a much more affordable and healthy solution for developing countries than coal.”

Decentralised energy systems, such as solar, can be deployed quicker and more cheaply than coal, when its cost to the climate and health are factored in, Oxfam said. Nearly 85% of people without electricity live in remote rural areas, separated from centralised coal-fired grid systems.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/29/tony-abbott-wrong-on-coal-being-good-for-humanity-oxfam-report-shows (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/29/tony-abbott-wrong-on-coal-being-good-for-humanity-oxfam-report-shows)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 30, 2015, 03:59:10 PM
World Bank rejects energy industry notion that coal can cure poverty
Quote
“Do I think coal is the solution to poverty? There are more than 1 billion people today who have no access to energy,” Kyte said. Hooking them up to a coal-fired grid would not on its own wreck the planet, she went on.

But Kyte added: “If they all had access to coal-fired power tomorrow their respiratory illness rates would go up, etc, etc … We need to extend access to energy to the poor and we need to do it the cleanest way possible because the social costs of coal are uncounted and damaging, just as the global emissions count is damaging as well.”
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/29/world-bank-coal-cure-poverty-rejects (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/29/world-bank-coal-cure-poverty-rejects)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 03, 2015, 10:12:04 PM
Coal giant Peabody posts $1billion second quarter losses

The US coal sector is being squeezed by divestment campaigns and oversupply in global markets


http://www.rtcc.org/2015/07/29/coal-giant-peabody-posts-1bn-second-quarter-losses/#.dpuf (http://www.rtcc.org/2015/07/29/coal-giant-peabody-posts-1bn-second-quarter-losses/#.dpuf)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Anne on August 06, 2015, 01:16:57 PM
Is it too late to stop Turkey's coal rush?
Quote
Turkey has very big plans for coal, with more than 80 new plants in the pipeline, equivalent in capacity to the UK’s entire power sector. The scale of the coal rush is greater than any country on Earth, after China and India.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/06/is-it-too-late-to-stop-turkeys-coal-rush (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/06/is-it-too-late-to-stop-turkeys-coal-rush)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 06, 2015, 07:12:49 PM
Australia:  Adani Mining and Commonwealth Bank Part Ways, Casting Further Doubt on Carmichael Coal Project
Quote
The Commonwealth Bank's role as adviser to Australia's biggest coal project, Adani Mining's proposed Carmichael Mine in Queensland, has ended, dealing a heavy blow to its prospects and a significant victory for environmental groups.

It comes as environmentalists claimed a victory in their case against the project after the Federal Court overturned Adani's federal environmental approval. Environment Minister Greg Hunt was forced to concede defeat for not taking into account two threatened species – the yakka skink and ornamental snake – before he signed off on the project in 2014.
http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/adani-and-commonwealth-bank-part-ways-casting-further-doubt-on-carmichael-coal-project-20150805-gisd1l.html (http://www.smh.com.au/business/mining-and-resources/adani-and-commonwealth-bank-part-ways-casting-further-doubt-on-carmichael-coal-project-20150805-gisd1l.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Clare on August 07, 2015, 08:53:51 AM
Some good news = closure of NZ's biggest coal-fired power station in 2018 announced:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11492939 (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11492939)

Note. NZ already has high 75++% of renewable power generation from hydro + other sources. Our huge emissions problem is mainly from the farming & transport sectors.
Still this is a v good step in the right direction!

Clare
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 13, 2015, 01:38:00 AM
Quote
@billmckibben: More than 1000 people already on hand for this weekend's massive civil disobedience at huge German coal mine http://t.co/pPLtiZMRAT (http://t.co/pPLtiZMRAT)

https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status/631577839981199361
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on August 19, 2015, 07:44:57 PM
Coal prices are plunging along with almost all commodities and the global economy weakens.  This does create the situation where coal is so cheap now that generating power with it is much cheaper than some of the better alternatives.  One can safely bet that some very financially stressed entities, especially in the developing and 3rd world, may find it 'necessary' to maintain coal facilities or even to ramp up coal facilities at the cost of scaling back alternatives.

Just speaking in financial terms as used by business coal has gained back most of the ground it recently lost and is going to be cheaper than most of the alternatives in many locations.

Quote
Coal futures have fallen to 12-year lows, hit by soaring production and a slowdown in global buying, including from India and China which until recently have been pillars of strong demand.
Benchmark API2 2016 coal futures last settled at $US52.85 a tonne, a level not seen since November 2003. The contract is now over 75 per cent below its 2008 all-time peak and more than 60 per cent below its most recent high following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

Quote
...Yet at some point the low coal prices could also start to stimulate demand as it has made the fuel super-competitive against its main competitor, natural gas.
Reuters calculations show that the revenues from selling electricity generated from coal in Germany are around 20 euros per megawatt-hour higher than those produced from natural gas.

Emerging markets which have yet to provide blanket electricity to its households and need cheap energy to develop their industry also still mostly rely on coal as their main fuel as they prioritize low costs over environmental concerns.....

http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/coal-prices-fall-to-12year-lows-as-china-india-join-demand-slowdown-20150819-gj2jk6.html (http://www.smh.com.au/business/energy/coal-prices-fall-to-12year-lows-as-china-india-join-demand-slowdown-20150819-gj2jk6.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: JimD on August 21, 2015, 10:34:04 PM
I stole this from mati in another thread.

Quote
Conclusion of a Letter of Intent to Develop World's Most Advanced Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plants in Fukushima Prefecture...

The project aims to construct and operate two 540 MW class IGCC facilities in Fukushima: one at TEPCO's Hirono Thermal Power Station and the other at Joban Joint Power Company's Nakoso Thermal Power Station....

 IGCC systems generate power using a combined-cycle format incorporating coal gasification and both gas and steam turbines. IGCC systems offer enhanced generation efficiency**, as well as reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of about 15% in comparison with the latest conventional coal fired power plant.

Hmm so 85% of standard coal plant emissions.  I can't seem to feel all that much better about that.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2015/1257870_6844.html (http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2015/1257870_6844.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 27, 2015, 07:41:03 PM
Report: How Energy Union can turn the tide against coal in the Western Balkans
Quote
In that sense, 2015 became crucial for the Western Balkans too. Decisions made this year will lay ground for reshaping its energy system over the next several years.

Heavy reliance on coal in the region should start declining thanks to the ongoing reform of the Energy Community Treaty, which aims at bringing about an integrated energy market between the EU on one side, and the Western Balkans and the Black Sea region on the other. The reform will partly be outlined at the Ministerial Council in Tirana in October and will continue through to 2017. It is expected that the Energy Efficiency Directive and further strengthening of the enforcement will be adopted, having major implications for regional and national energy planning.

Furthermore, accession countries are obliged to start tuning their energy sectors with the EU climate and environmental policies, if they want to enhance their prospects of becoming EU Member States in the next decade. Simultaneously, political leaders need to fight the so-called enlargement fatigue on both sides of the EU border.

To this end, the so-called Berlin process started last year with a high level conference hosted by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The process is aimed at reviving accession talks with the region and bringing about real change, through economic cooperation and the energy and transport connectivity agenda. It will continue in the coming years. At this year’s meeting, the Western Balkans’ leaders are expected to agree on a list of five priority energy infrastructure projects that will receive EU funding in 2016.
Pdf: http://www.caneurope.org/docman/position-papers-and-research/coal-2/2676-beyond-borders/file (http://www.caneurope.org/docman/position-papers-and-research/coal-2/2676-beyond-borders/file)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 01, 2015, 09:37:07 PM
Paying more for coal power than it would cost to switch.

Let Coal Die a Natural Death
Quote
In Ohio, the Public Utilities Commission is considering a request from the Akron company FirstEnergy to have consumers cover the higher cost of electricity from three aging coal plants. (One of these just underwent a $1.8 billion pollution-control upgrade to comply with federal law.) The aim is to keep the plants open for another 15 years. Under this plan, FirstEnergy ratepayers could spend $3 billion more than necessary for electricity, according to the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, a state agency.

The strategy is similar to one FirstEnergy followed in West Virginia, when it got state approval to sell a coal-fired plant to its regulated subsidiaries, so that when the price of coal power became uncompetitive, the subsidiaries could secure an officially sanctioned rate increase. Earlier this month, they asked for a 12.5 percent rate rise.
http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-09-01/let-coal-die-a-natural-death (http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-09-01/let-coal-die-a-natural-death)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: skanky on September 03, 2015, 12:03:31 PM
Probably closure of a large coal fired plant in the UK:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-34127897 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-34127897)

It's noticeable how the (local) news coverage by the BBC doesn't mention climate change. The TV discussion last night mentioned a policy to move to less CO2 emitting forms, but there was no context to that.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 03, 2015, 09:40:30 PM
National Australia Bank rules out funding Adani’s Carmichael mine
Quote
Australia’s biggest proposed project was dealt another blow this week, as the National Australia Bank ruled out funding, and key customer Korean electronics giant LG ruled itself out as a buyer.
http://tcktcktck.org/2015/09/national-australia-bank-rules-out-funding-adanis-carmichael-mine/ (http://tcktcktck.org/2015/09/national-australia-bank-rules-out-funding-adanis-carmichael-mine/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 05, 2015, 07:33:26 PM
The End of Coal is Near
Quote
We are witnessing the end of an era. Coal is fast becoming the telegraph to renewable energy’s Internet. American coal stocks are undergoing the most precipitous decline in the history of the energy industry. In 2011, four mining companies — Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, Alpha Natural Resources and Cloud Peak Energy — supplied most of the nation’s coal and together were worth nearly $40 billion.  In four years, their combined value has fallen by 98 percent.
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/The-end-of-coal-is-near-6483929.php (http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/The-end-of-coal-is-near-6483929.php)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on September 05, 2015, 08:18:57 PM
The End of Coal is Near
Quote
We are witnessing the end of an era. Coal is fast becoming the telegraph to renewable energy’s Internet. American coal stocks are undergoing the most precipitous decline in the history of the energy industry. In 2011, four mining companies — Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, Alpha Natural Resources and Cloud Peak Energy — supplied most of the nation’s coal and together were worth nearly $40 billion.  In four years, their combined value has fallen by 98 percent.
http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/The-end-of-coal-is-near-6483929.php (http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/The-end-of-coal-is-near-6483929.php)


The economic debacle is fun to watch (especially as we enter an election cycle), but does anyone know the tonnage figures?


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on September 05, 2015, 08:23:36 PM
The excessive extrapolation and mis-analyzation by some of these articles is rather worrying. Coal is cheap because of a big oversupply. I guess it's easy to overlook the fact that there was a decade-long massive boom in consumption and those coal companies built out lots of infrastructure to cash in on it. Coal stocks crashed because the parent companies' balance sheets went hard into the red when the price crashed. The main driver for that was China's RE and Industrial bubble. They overbuilt. Plain and simple.

Coal prices crashing doesn't signal the "end of coal". Someone will buy and burn the extra if it's cheap enough. Stranded hardware and assets will be scooped up for bargain prices. It may take a couple of years, but it WILL happen without a rising carbon tax or fee. The goal should be to slap a fee on the carbon emissions from coal as to make it expensive enough to get phased out. Making it cheaper isn't going to do that. Eventually the overcapacity slack will be taken out by increased demand, something we DON'T want.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on September 05, 2015, 08:35:10 PM
THIS is what cheap prices get you:

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=22652 (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=22652)


If carbon were being taxed at its true social cost, coal production targets of 1.5B tons by 2020 (85-90% increase over 2014) of coal in India wouldn't even be on the table.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 07, 2015, 09:08:24 PM
Australia Mining body's pro-coal campaign backfires hilariously
http://mashable.com/2015/09/07/pro-coal-campaign-backfires/ (http://mashable.com/2015/09/07/pro-coal-campaign-backfires/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 14, 2015, 03:06:32 AM
President Obama has included billions of dollars in his 2016 budget to help ailing coal communities in Appalachia.  But Republicans insist more coal mining is the answer.

Coal’s Decline Is Choking Appalachia Towns
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-10/coal-s-decline-is-choking-appalachia-towns (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-10/coal-s-decline-is-choking-appalachia-towns)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on September 14, 2015, 06:55:19 AM
Chris Hedges has coined the term "sacrifice zones of capitalism." It is appropriate. Our greed has beheaded their mountains, poisoned their streams, and denuded their soils. If we leave them suffer, what does that say of us ?

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on September 14, 2015, 03:46:47 PM
http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/09/breaking-malcolm-turnbull-ousts-tony.html (http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/09/breaking-malcolm-turnbull-ousts-tony.html)

Tony Abbott is out!
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 17, 2015, 06:09:08 PM
EIA:  Coal use in China is slowing
Quote
Economic deceleration, industry restructuring, and new energy and environmental policies have slowed the growth of coal consumption in China and are also driving more centralized and cleaner uses of coal. After nearly a decade of rapid growth, energy-based consumption of coal, which currently supplies two-thirds of China's overall energy use, grew only 1% to 2% in 2012 and 2013 and was essentially flat in 2014.

Total energy consumption in China has slowed as its economic growth has eased and as the composition of gross domestic product (GDP) has shifted. In 2013, the service sector share (47%) of GDP surpassed the industry sector share (44%) for the first time in Chinese history. The service sector share increased to 48% in 2014, already exceeding the government's 47% goal for 2015. Policies to accelerate the development of service industries are likely to sustain the transition away from industry, especially heavy manufacturing. As heavy manufacturing becomes less prominent, growth in coal consumption is expected to weaken.
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=22972 (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=22972)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on September 18, 2015, 01:25:58 AM
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=22952# (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=22952#)

Systematic (again) under-reporting of coal usage in China. Revised figures now place actual production well above 4B tonnes/yr, once again demonstrating that taking newly printed numbers as gospel is unwise. Chinese coal statistics are more like a fine wine, they get better with age.

Quote
New preliminary data from the China Statistical Abstract 2015 (CSA2015) show an upward revision to China's historical coal consumption and production. Energy-content-based coal consumption from 2000 to 2013 is up to 14% higher than previously reported, while coal production is up to 7% higher. These revisions also affect China's total primary energy consumption and production, which are also higher than previously reported—up to 11% and 7% in some years, respectively, mainly because of the revisions to coal. In 2014, energy-content-based coal consumption was essentially flat, and production declined by 2.6%.

The issue here is that the latest GDP numbers are widely thought to be overstated. Indeed the industrial and RE sectors (where a lot of this coal is used towards) are likely in outright contraction (they were earlier in the year, at least). The latest export numbers were abysmal. So this posturing about China voluntarily lowering emissions through tough regulations is also likely wildly overblown. No doubt they're taking the air pollution issues fairly seriously, but the biggest response so far has to been to construct coal plants outside the cities (including coal-to-gas, which is in full swing) and run super-high voltage lines to the coasts. This isn't a long term strategy to tackle CO2 emissions.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 19, 2015, 03:23:06 AM
This U.S. Lab Just Agreed To Help China Use Even More Renewable Energy
Quote
“The head of this enormous utility is thinking beyond the present,” Barnett said. “The air quality issues in China — and many other countries — have gotten more and more attention, and there is pressure on the utility to design a progression to a less polluting grid.”

That means decreasing China’s use of coal, and increasing its use of renewables. “They are planning massive deployments, especially of solar and wind,” Barnett said.

NREL’s agreement with State Grid focuses on three key areas, Barnett said: power system planning and operation support, energy systems integration, and market design. On the U.S. side, the research lab will have access to huge amounts of data as China changes how its electricity is produced, transmitted, and used.

China is the largest global emitter of greenhouse gases, and a large portion comes from burning coal for electricity. For reference, an 8 percent reduction in coal use over the first four months of the year resulted in a nearly 5 percent drop in the country’s overall carbon emissions — equal to the total amount emitted in Great Britain over the same time period.

The sheer scale of the electricity grid in China offers unique opportunities, for deployment of green technologies and for research. One Chinese solar company predicts that China will install 17.8 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity this year. The United States just passed the 20 GW milestone for all installations.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/09/18/3702583/nrel-and-state-grid-partner/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/09/18/3702583/nrel-and-state-grid-partner/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 22, 2015, 07:53:58 PM
European Coal Prices Slump to a Record Low
Quote
European coal for 2016 dropped below $50 a metric ton for the first time amid slumping demand from China, the biggest consumer.
...
Miners producing 80 percent of the best-quality U.S. coal are either for sale or in bankruptcy, George Dethlefsen, chief executive officer of Corsa Coal Corp., said on Sept. 18.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-22/coal-for-2016-declines-below-50-in-europe-as-glut-persists (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-22/coal-for-2016-declines-below-50-in-europe-as-glut-persists)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 26, 2015, 08:43:51 PM
Looking forward to many more videos like this!   :)

Quote
Twin Power Station Chimneys Demolished in Style
SAT, SEP 26

Two 495-foot chimneys at a disused power station near Edinburgh, Scotland, were brought crashing down by coordinated explosions.
http://www.nbcnews.com/video/twin-power-station-chimneys-demolished-in-style-532867139508 (http://www.nbcnews.com/video/twin-power-station-chimneys-demolished-in-style-532867139508)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 27, 2015, 09:31:53 PM
Number of U.S. Coal Mines Falls to Lowest on Record
Quote
Cheap gas has knocked coal off its feet, and the need to improve air quality and ever-lower renewables costs has kept coal down for the count,” Carbon Tracker researcher Luke Sussams said in a statement.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/us-coal-mines-lowest-on-record-19483 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/us-coal-mines-lowest-on-record-19483)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: jai mitchell on September 28, 2015, 05:43:51 PM
China lays off 100,000 coal workers

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/In-biggest-layoff-in-China-coal-company-axes-100000-workers/articleshow/49121748.cms (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/In-biggest-layoff-in-China-coal-company-axes-100000-workers/articleshow/49121748.cms)

 BEIJING: A coal company announced the biggest layoff seen in China in recent years as it is set to relieve 100,000 workers accounting for 40% of its labour force.

The announcement came in the midst of Chinese president Xi Jinping's ongoing tour to the United States, where he assured politicians and businessmen that China's economy will achieve the targeted 7% growth in gross domestic product.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on September 28, 2015, 07:20:33 PM
China lays off 100,000 coal workers

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/In-biggest-layoff-in-China-coal-company-axes-100000-workers/articleshow/49121748.cms (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/In-biggest-layoff-in-China-coal-company-axes-100000-workers/articleshow/49121748.cms)

 BEIJING: A coal company announced the biggest layoff seen in China in recent years as it is set to relieve 100,000 workers accounting for 40% of its labour force.


This will send a strong message to Australia & any others whose plans include shipping coal in that direction.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Tor Bejnar on September 28, 2015, 07:26:28 PM
Number of U.S. Coal Mines Falls to Lowest on Record
Quote
Cheap gas has knocked coal off its feet, and the need to improve air quality and ever-lower renewables costs has kept coal down for the count,” Carbon Tracker researcher Luke Sussams said in a statement.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/us-coal-mines-lowest-on-record-19483 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/us-coal-mines-lowest-on-record-19483)

Curious that when comparing 2013 with 2011, there are fewer than half the number of mines, but production is only about 10% lower.  Comparing 2013 with 2008, there are 1/3 as many mines but only 20% less production.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 29, 2015, 01:33:55 AM
Number of U.S. Coal Mines Falls to Lowest on Record
Quote
Cheap gas has knocked coal off its feet, and the need to improve air quality and ever-lower renewables costs has kept coal down for the count,” Carbon Tracker researcher Luke Sussams said in a statement.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/us-coal-mines-lowest-on-record-19483 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/us-coal-mines-lowest-on-record-19483)

Curious that when comparing 2013 with 2011, there are fewer than half the number of mines, but production is only about 10% lower.  Comparing 2013 with 2008, there are 1/3 as many mines but only 20% less production.
If you are referring to the above graphic, note that these are mine "starts" -- not total mines.  But, regardless, I'm sure they are milking existing mines for all they can, and avoiding the expense of opening new ones.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 01, 2015, 03:51:09 PM
Glencore, a huge metals and coal mining company, has become overburdened with debt as commodities prices crash, in part due to the slowing Chinese economy.

Glencore Cuts Further 340 South Africa Jobs as Coal Declines
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-30/glencore-cuts-further-340-south-africa-jobs-as-coal-prices-drop (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-30/glencore-cuts-further-340-south-africa-jobs-as-coal-prices-drop)

An Australian article compares the situation to Lehman Bros. before the 2008 crash:
Quote
Glencore, like other mining companies, essentially built their business model around the notion we would never see economic instability in China and that China would continue to consume all the natural resources miners could dig from the ground and pay a premium,” Mr David said.

“This strategy was more of a leveraged gamble than anything else and it is not going to pay off.”

Glencore, with less than $US3 billion in cash and roughly $US30 billion of debt on its balance sheet has “always held very little cash on the sidelines relative to the size of its business operation for a rainy day”.

“Hence it has quickly become vulnerable to the economic downturn and quite frankly worthless if we continue to see the spot price of various commodities in the Glencore portfolio fall,” he said.

Glencore’s share price has fallen 43 per cent in the last month and 71 per cent since the start of the year.

Should the company suffer a Lehman-style collapse, the knock-on effect would be significant as access to credit would dry up for the miners who have little liquidity, he argues. “On the back of this you would have a lot of mining operations around the world for sale — and no buyers.

“This is precisely what happened to the housing market in the US during the GFC. Essentially it could kill the junk bond market, thus making the international investment and wholesale lending community very jittery about lending to other sectors of the global economy already over-leveraged.”

http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/could-glencore-trigger-the-next-gfc/story-fnkgdg1h-1227550915667 (http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/could-glencore-trigger-the-next-gfc/story-fnkgdg1h-1227550915667) 

But CNBC says bad companies should go under.
Quote
Sullivan also hinted that higher U.S. interest rates could eventually force unhealthy businesses to go bust. In every industry, there are companies that shouldn't be operating but because interest rates are zero, they can get access to money that keeps them afloat, he explained.

"Cheap money has fueled companies for so many years, so to an extent we've been living in cuckoo land. But all this money has not had the desired effect. At some point, we have to let companies go bust so the good companies can actually do well."

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/28/glencore-may-spark-a-lehman-moment-for-miners.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/28/glencore-may-spark-a-lehman-moment-for-miners.html)
Traders start pricing Glencore bonds like junk
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/30/traders-start-pricing-glencore-bonds-like-junk.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/30/traders-start-pricing-glencore-bonds-like-junk.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 03, 2015, 04:23:11 AM
Half of World's Coal Output Is Unprofitable, Moody's Says
Quote
Half of the world’s coal isn’t worth digging out of the ground at current prices, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
...
China’s slowing appetite for the power-plant fuel and steelmaking component has depressed the seaborne market, creating a worldwide glut. In the U.S., cheap natural gas is stealing coal’s share of the power generation market. And the strong dollar has tempered exports.
...
Over the next six to 12 months there’s very little relief in sight,” Brandon Blossman, an analyst at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. in Houston, said by phone Thursday. “You have to right-size the production stack to the demand level. That’s the only way out.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-01/half-of-the-world-s-coal-output-is-uneconomical-moody-s-says (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-01/half-of-the-world-s-coal-output-is-uneconomical-moody-s-says)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 07, 2015, 12:55:59 AM
Why Another Big Bank Is Jumping On The Anti-Coal Bandwagon
Coal is bad for the planet... and it's quickly becoming bad for business.
Quote
Citigroup on Monday became the third banking giant this year to slash its lending to coal-mining companies.

The move, which follows similar pledges this year from Bank of America and Crédit Agricole, will make it more difficult for companies producing coal, a major source of pollution and contributor to climate change, to finance future projects.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/citigroup-coal-divest_5612beace4b0dd85030cd00a (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/citigroup-coal-divest_5612beace4b0dd85030cd00a)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 07, 2015, 01:15:13 AM
For 2016:  Analysts "can’t even fathom" ::) another drop in coal demand like there was this year.

Coal's Upside? Things Can't Get Much Worse After a Dire 2015
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-06/coal-s-upside-things-can-t-get-much-worse-after-disastrous-2015 (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-10-06/coal-s-upside-things-can-t-get-much-worse-after-disastrous-2015)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 08, 2015, 12:29:43 PM
Poland!

Poland’s second city to ban coal use after anti-smog law approved
Krakow says it will introduce a ban on burning coal in households, offices and restaurants, despite protection of the industry becoming an election issue
Quote
“In that context the decision in Krakow gives hope,” the Liberal MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy told the Guardian. “All of Poland’s political parties are unanimous about protecting coal consumption so when, at local level, people start questioning its use for health reasons, it might become a game changer in the national debate.”
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/07/poland-krakow-ban-coal-use-anti-smog-law (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/07/poland-krakow-ban-coal-use-anti-smog-law)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Buddy on October 08, 2015, 04:23:30 PM
Quote
Coal's Upside? Things Can't Get Much Worse After a Dire 2015

Coal will "hang around".....and have its ups and downs in the INTERMEDIATE TERM, but LONG TERM....it is "dead man walking."

Too much momentum against it....and global warming isn't going away.  Wall Street will avoid it like the plague.

Thirty years or more from now people will look back and ask:  "You guys used to dig this dirty stuff up and dirty the streams....and then burn it and dirty the air?  Really?"

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 17, 2015, 12:20:45 AM
The Australian government just approved one of the biggest coal mines in the world
Quote
The federal government announced Thursday it had approved a proposal by Indian mining company Adani to build one of the world’s biggest coal mines in the northern state of Queensland.
The $12 billion Carmichael project involves an open-cut and underground mine covering an area five times the size of Sydney Harbor, making it the largest coal mine in Australia.
Up to 60 million metric tons of coal will be dug up and shipped out of Australia via the Great Barrier Reef every year if the project goes ahead.
http://www.globalpost.com/article/6669486/2015/10/15/australia-just-approved-one-biggest-coal-mines-world (http://www.globalpost.com/article/6669486/2015/10/15/australia-just-approved-one-biggest-coal-mines-world)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: wili on October 17, 2015, 09:13:52 PM
That's another great gash we are making in the hull of our fast-sinking ship.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: icefest on October 18, 2015, 06:35:48 AM
All the while an Australian politicial is saying it would be amoral not to build it...
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/strong-moral-case-for-adanis-carmichael-coal-mine-josh-frydenberg/story-e6frg8zx-1227573096186 (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/strong-moral-case-for-adanis-carmichael-coal-mine-josh-frydenberg/story-e6frg8zx-1227573096186)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 19, 2015, 09:02:41 PM
Federal Program Sends $15 Million to Help U.S. Coal Communities Adapt
The Obama administration announced the first recipients of funds aimed to help the transition away from the fossil fuel industry.
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/16102015/federal-program-sends-15-million-help-coal-communities-adapt (http://insideclimatenews.org/news/16102015/federal-program-sends-15-million-help-coal-communities-adapt)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 30, 2015, 05:07:08 PM
West Virginia Power Company Admits Coal Is Doomed
Quote
On Tuesday, in front of a roomful of energy executives, the president of Appalachian Power declared that the war on coal was over, and coal had not emerged victorious.

According to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Charles Patton, president of Appalachian Power, told energy executives that coal consumption is likely to remain stagnant whether or not federal regulations like the Clean Power Plan are allowed to go forward. He also said that in the national debate about coal and climate change, the public has largely settled on the side of climate change.

“You just can’t go with new coal [plants] at this point in time,” Patton reportedly said. “It is just not economically feasible to do so.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/10/28/3716919/appalachian-power-coal-not-coming-back/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/10/28/3716919/appalachian-power-coal-not-coming-back/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on November 11, 2015, 08:12:01 AM
Peabody settles with Schneiderman. Exxon next, in his political career.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/11/09/peabody-energy-climate-settlement/75445914/ (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/11/09/peabody-energy-climate-settlement/75445914/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 12, 2015, 02:22:38 PM
Is Australia the last country standing in defence of coal?
Quote
And here’s the rub: Australia, almost alone, is trying to keep us on a coal-fired track. Late last month – after two years of efforts led by President Obama and supported by activists and NGOs around the world – the US and Japan announced agreement on a plan to phase out coal-plant financing for credit export agencies.

Export credit agencies provide billions of dollars per year in subsidies for coal plants around the world, and until now Japan has been the worst – providing $20bn (A$28bn) in subsidies for its companies to build coal projects overseas over the past seven years. Yet after diplomatic pressure and a strong campaign in Japan and internationally, Japan has agreed to limit its support for coal plants overseas.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/11/is-australia-the-last-country-standing-in-defence-of-coal (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/11/is-australia-the-last-country-standing-in-defence-of-coal)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 13, 2015, 01:25:57 PM
Clinton Releases $30 Billion Plan Targeting ‘Hard-Hit’ Coal Workers
Quote
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton outlines $30b proposal that would “invest in economic diversification and job creation” in Appalachia and other areas adversely affected by declining demand for coal and the rise of alternative energy sources.
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/trackers/2015-11-12/clinton-30b-plan-reaches-out-to-hard-hit-coal-workers (http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/trackers/2015-11-12/clinton-30b-plan-reaches-out-to-hard-hit-coal-workers)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 13, 2015, 01:55:14 PM
Global Coal Consumption Heads for Biggest Decline in History
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-08/global-coal-consumption-headed-for-biggest-decline-in-history (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-08/global-coal-consumption-headed-for-biggest-decline-in-history)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 19, 2015, 03:22:38 AM
Countries Announce Major Phase-Out Of Coal Plant Financing
Quote
On Tuesday, representatives from 34 of the world’s developed and major emerging economies reached an agreement to phase out public financing that supports the construction of new coal power plants around the world. Member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced that starting in 2017, all OECD countries will immediately stop providing export credit support for new coal-fired power plants, except when the most efficient technology is used or in the poorest countries where there are no viable alternatives.
...
This move represents a significant step in limiting financing of new coal generation around the world. The agreement will end public financing for 85 percent of proposed coal-fired power plant projects seeking OECD export support, rendering more than 300 projects currently in the pipeline ineligible for credit. From 2007 to 2014, OECD countries provided over $40 billion in public financial resources for international coal projects, of which 77 percent went to coal-fired power plants. OECD export credit agencies contributed the majority of these resources — over $31 billion. During this time-frame, Japan and Korea — both members of the OECD who did not restrict coal financing before this agreement — were the number one and number three providers of public coal finance respectively.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/11/18/3723664/oecd-coal-financing-agreement/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/11/18/3723664/oecd-coal-financing-agreement/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on November 21, 2015, 05:20:51 AM
Global Coal Consumption Heads for Biggest Decline in History
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-08/global-coal-consumption-headed-for-biggest-decline-in-history (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-08/global-coal-consumption-headed-for-biggest-decline-in-history)

Using the same faulty data that came up with a decline and massive underestimation of coal usage through 2013/2014 for China.

Chinese coal statistics are like a fine wine. They get better with age.

Take this article seriously at your own risk. I don't suppose we'll get an apology from Greenpeace for ruthlessly extrapolating recent coal data as "peak coal in China", will we?

Well, regardless. I will call out shoddy assumptions where I see them. One (uncertain) data point does not a trend make.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 24, 2015, 09:58:14 PM
Austria to close coal plants by 2025, worth up to 1.5m tCO2e
http://www.icis.com/resources/news/2015/11/23/9946462/austria-to-close-coal-plants-by-2025-worth-up-to-1-5m-tco2e/ (http://www.icis.com/resources/news/2015/11/23/9946462/austria-to-close-coal-plants-by-2025-worth-up-to-1-5m-tco2e/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 04, 2015, 03:10:15 AM
Coal Weakness Pulls Down Railroads
Quote
Weakness in domestic coal shipments has been hurting stocks in the railroad space for quite some time now. Since coal is a key revenue-generating commodity for railroad operators, it is only natural that the decline in domestic coal shipments has spelt significant doom in the space. The struggle faced by the railroad operators is evident from the 26.9% year-to-date decline witnessed in the Dow Jones U.S. Railroads Index.
http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/199937/coal-weakness-pulls-down-railroads (http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/199937/coal-weakness-pulls-down-railroads)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on December 04, 2015, 05:23:46 AM
zacks has some good analysts. Rail is the second leg of the triangle, warren buffet's BNSF will shortly gorge and grow fat. I was wondering how long it would take this shoe to drop. The third leg is electric utilities and i am watching them try scurry away from all that stranded cost in coal power as quick as they can ...  but its kinda hard to scurry with that big coal load on your back ...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on December 04, 2015, 08:17:24 AM
Here's a travesty.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/03/3727963/blankenship-found-guilty/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/03/3727963/blankenship-found-guilty/)

i guess Don had a number or two left in the rolodex that still answered  the fone.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 05, 2015, 05:06:24 PM
Appalachia grasps for hope as coal loses its grip
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/87d12d8195324708a2ca87143758c7b4/appalachia-grasps-hope-coal-loses-its-grip (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/87d12d8195324708a2ca87143758c7b4/appalachia-grasps-hope-coal-loses-its-grip)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: silkman on December 16, 2015, 12:14:15 AM
The head of Europe’s coal lobby has said that his industry will be “hated and vilified in the same way that slave-traders were once hated and vilified” as a result of the Paris climate deal, in an extraordinary diatribe sent to his members and press outlets.

“The world is being sold a lie, yet most people seem to accept the lie, even if they do not believe it,” Ricketts warned. “The UN has successfully brainwashed most of the world’s population such that scientific evidence, rational analysis, enlightened thinking and common sense no longer matter.”

Desperate times call for desperate messages.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/15/coal-lobby-boss-says-industry-will-be-hated-like-slave-traders-after-cop21 (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/15/coal-lobby-boss-says-industry-will-be-hated-like-slave-traders-after-cop21)

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 18, 2015, 08:57:18 PM
Golden age of coal in China seems over, peak-demand scenario possible -IEA
Quote
The golden age of coal in China seems to be over," the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday in its Medium-Term Market Report to 2020, adding that a "peak coal" demand scenario was now probable due to stagnating housing and infrastructure development.

Lower-than-expected power demand as the use of electricity drops in heavy industry will also contribute to the decline in coal consumption, the Paris-based group added.
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL3N1463SN20151218 (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL3N1463SN20151218)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Buddy on December 19, 2015, 06:08:09 PM
Quote
Appalachia grasps for hope as coal loses its grip

And the politicians and coal company senior management made out like kings.  Now....their short sightedness has come home to roost....and the whole state of West Virginia is paying for it.

I wonder how many hundreds of years it will take for the lakes, rivers, and streams to recover?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: tombond on December 25, 2015, 03:34:30 AM
Germany opens another coal burning power station (1.6GW) and now unlikely to meet its 2020 carbon emission reduction goals due to excessive emissions from cars, houses and coal-fired power plants.

http://www.dw.com/en/german-co2-emissions-targets-at-risk/a-18862708 (http://www.dw.com/en/german-co2-emissions-targets-at-risk/a-18862708)

Pity they are phasing out non carbon nuclear power due to anti science political ideology they could have aimed for the same low electricity emissions as France of just 40g/kWh.

See  http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en (http://www.rte-france.com/en/eco2mix/chiffres-cles-en)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: folke_kelm on December 25, 2015, 04:11:08 PM
Tombond,

It is not so easy in Germany. Nuclear is not only phased out because of political issues but much more because all german nuclear plants are old and many have not been upgraded properly. Before Fukushima there was a tremendous political pressure in Germany to give the operators the possibility for prolenged drift WITHOUT any upgrading and maintainance. The government took the chance to close these old plants. There have in fact been some serious accidents in the years before closing and in some cases it was an the edge to a catastrophy. (Krümmel and Brunsbüttel plant, complete failure of emergency power after emergency shut down).

Coal is highly subsidized in germany, and this is the case why german companys arebuilding and planing new coal plants. Only for burning 1000 Kg coal the operator gets 100 Euro from the government. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: oren on December 26, 2015, 10:46:09 AM
Tombond,

It is not so easy in Germany. Nuclear is not only phased out because of political issues but much more because all german nuclear plants are old and many have not been upgraded properly. Before Fukushima there was a tremendous political pressure in Germany to give the operators the possibility for prolenged drift WITHOUT any upgrading and maintainance. The government took the chance to close these old plants. There have in fact been some serious accidents in the years before closing and in some cases it was an the edge to a catastrophy. (Krümmel and Brunsbüttel plant, complete failure of emergency power after emergency shut down).

Coal is highly subsidized in germany, and this is the case why german companys arebuilding and planing new coal plants. Only for burning 1000 Kg coal the operator gets 100 Euro from the government.

What a horror. And this in green-minded rich and advanced Germany.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on December 27, 2015, 12:27:07 PM
Pity they are phasing out non carbon nuclear power due to anti science political ideology they could have aimed for the same low electricity emissions as France of just 40g/kWh.
Tombond, your wording "anti science political ideology" sounds to me like old fashioned manipulative language. This manipulation did not work and will not work here.
To make it work pro-nuclear ideological politicians first must elect a different populace agreeing to nuclear ;-)
 
If you want to prevent Germany from exiting coal just let them choose between nuclear and coal. No - we have to exit both technologies producing waste which must kept for geological timeframes, since neither for CO2 nor for radioactive waste we have a working storage solution today. Even France, which has the advantage of "dual use" for nuclear, is going to reduce nuclear in the near future. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/france-plans-to-reduce-nuclear-in-favor-of-renewables/ (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/france-plans-to-reduce-nuclear-in-favor-of-renewables/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 27, 2015, 04:15:42 PM
I am  in the Hansen camp and reluctantly concede that nuclear is a needed transitional technology.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on December 27, 2015, 05:48:02 PM
I am  in the Hansen camp and reluctantly concede that nuclear is a needed transitional technology.
It could be better to stay open for various pathways than to sit reluctantly in any camp. The transitional technology here is PV & wind & back-up with coal & gas just for practical reasons: If you would want to build a new load-following nuclear power plant in Germany it would take some decades to complete it and it most probably would never get operational. The time for nuclear is definitly over here. And soon also the time for continous coal will be over, since it just burns money.

The new coal plants will be heaviliy subsidised because they are build to wait for the times with low sun/wind. It is an enomous investion with guaranteed economic suicide because it is build as a reserve.

I think the "transition technology" window for nuclear was 1980-2000. Now it is the time for renewables + load-following fossils until we learn to match our energy demands to the variable energy production. But anyway you have to start with the technologies installed in your region and to transit from the point where you are today. We just can not change German history to the French one. And do not forget to get the people in your boat - any transition will not work if it is not desired by the people, which have to do it. And in Germany any transition with nuclear will be doomed because people will just not do it.

In France or in Belgium this is very different. For some reasons people there have no problems to run the trash-reactors like Tihange or Doel while in nearby German city Aachen people plan to store iodine in private houses because another accident is foreseeable. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 27, 2015, 05:59:54 PM
...Now it is the time for renewables + load-following fossils until we learn to match our energy demands to the variable energy production. ...
Don't forget energy storage.   ;)

Tesla is in talks with German officials over building ‘Gigafactory 2’
http://electrek.co/2015/11/17/tesla-is-in-talks-with-german-officials-over-building-gigafactory-2/ (http://electrek.co/2015/11/17/tesla-is-in-talks-with-german-officials-over-building-gigafactory-2/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: SATire on December 27, 2015, 06:24:01 PM

Don't forget energy storage.   ;)

Used car batteries are tested for storage: http://www.gizmag.com/second-use-battery-storage-grid-connection/40290/ (http://www.gizmag.com/second-use-battery-storage-grid-connection/40290/)
But personally I think that is to small scale for a country like Germany. Power-2-gas would fit better or the high power grids to Scandinavia and abroad. You know - grid is more efficient than storage in any case. We have to learn to match production and demand and it is sure it will be possible. Finally we will see what worked best at which place. But be prepared that we will not have a simple answer fitting every needs everwhere. Good answers are local actions derived from global thinking.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: tombond on December 28, 2015, 12:03:50 AM
Even France, which has the advantage of "dual use" for nuclear, is going to reduce nuclear in the near future.

Funny you should mention France.

There is no scientific CO2 mitigation data to support the move from nuclear to renewables by the French President just political ideology and desperation to hang on to power regardless of the cost to the climate.

http://neutronbytes.com/2015/01/18/french-energy-minister-royal-reverses-course-on-hollandes-plan-to-close-reactors/ (http://neutronbytes.com/2015/01/18/french-energy-minister-royal-reverses-course-on-hollandes-plan-to-close-reactors/)

Thank goodness wiser heads see the wisdom of retaining nuclear with reactor service life to be extended from 40 to 60 years.   

Note that French electricity CO2 emissions at 40g/kWh (I repeat 40g/kWh) are more than 10 times less than Germany, Japan, UK, USA, China, Korea, Russia and more than 20 times less than India and Australia (we have made nuclear power illegal!).

https://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/graphics/2015-04-28-carbon-emissions-from-electricity-generation-for-the-top-ten-producer.html (https://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/graphics/2015-04-28-carbon-emissions-from-electricity-generation-for-the-top-ten-producer.html)

If humanity is to prevent climate change then decision making must be based on the available scientific data and evidence not political beliefs and ideology.

Jim Hansen discusses this issue in great detail in the following paper.

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf (http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140221_DraftOpinion.pdf)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Neven on December 28, 2015, 12:26:11 AM
Quote
I repeat 40g/kWh

Is that including clean-up and storage of radioactive materials, because France is having problems with that (costing way much more money than anticipated, and money often is a proxy for energy use).
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: tombond on December 28, 2015, 03:21:41 AM

Is that including clean-up and storage of radioactive materials, because France is having problems with that (costing way much more money than anticipated, and money often is a proxy for energy use).


Neven
The nuclear waste total volumes are very small, just 2700 cubic metres of high-level waste (HLW) by 2010 and expected to be just 5,300 cubic metres by 2030.

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-France_details_nuclear_waste_inventory-0608124.html (http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR-France_details_nuclear_waste_inventory-0608124.html)

Compared to the 350 million tonnes of CO2 emissions emitted by Germany annually from electricity generation (unchanged since 1999) this is a relatively simple waste capture and disposal task that will have little impact on the environment.

http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/germany/co2-emissions (http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/germany/co2-emissions)
(scroll down to electricity and heat production)

http://jmkorhonen.net/2013/08/15/graph-of-the-week-what-happens-if-nuclear-waste-repository-leaks/ (http://jmkorhonen.net/2013/08/15/graph-of-the-week-what-happens-if-nuclear-waste-repository-leaks/)

Under current legislation, EdF is required to have made provision for its decommissioning and final waste management liabilities.  At the end of 2009, EdF was reported to have €11.4 billion in its dedicated back-end fund, compared with an estimated liability of €16.9 billion.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/France/ (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/France/)

This seems a very cost effective way to mitigate CO2 compared to the German EEG surcharge of plus €20 billion annually for 80GW of weather dependent renewable energy generation that has not reduced total electricity CO2 emissions since 1999.

http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=19487 (http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=19487)

Note also the IPCC reports that “The life cycle GHG emissions per kWh from nuclear power plants are two orders of magnitude lower than those of fossil-fuelled electricity generation and comparable to most renewables.”

http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg3/index.php?idp=128#3842 (http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg3/index.php?idp=128#3842)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Neven on December 28, 2015, 10:39:13 AM
Thanks, Tom. I've posted my reply in the nuclear thread (http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,776.msg67498.html#msg67498).
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 30, 2015, 06:00:30 PM
While the long term future of coal is dismal, the industry is not dead yet.

http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/as-u-s-shutters-coal-plants-china-and-japan-are-building-them/ (http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/as-u-s-shutters-coal-plants-china-and-japan-are-building-them/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 31, 2015, 12:53:18 PM
There's nothing like a lack of breathable air to encourage quick action!

China to Halt New Coal Mine Approvals Amid Pollution Fight
Quote
China will stop approving new coal mines for the next three years and continue to trim production capacity as the world’s biggest energy consumer tries to shift away from the fuel as it grapples with pollution.

China will suspend the approval of new mines starting in 2016 and will cut coal’s share of its energy consumption to 62.6 percent next year, from 64.4 percent now, Xinhua News Agency reported Tuesday, citing National Energy Administration head Nur Bekri. It’s the first time the government has suspended the approval of new coal mines, according to Deng Shun, an analyst with ICIS China.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-30/china-to-suspend-new-coal-mine-approvals-amid-pollution-fight (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-30/china-to-suspend-new-coal-mine-approvals-amid-pollution-fight)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on December 31, 2015, 03:59:19 PM
I am not disagreeing that the long term future of coal is dismal. I am merely pointing out that your suggesting that the imminent demise of coal is at hand is hopelessly optimistic.

Attached is a link that shows a fairly pronounced drop in worldwide coal consumption in 2012 and I would not be surprised if this trend continued through 2015. Yet, despite this dip, certain nations are rapidly expanding their use of coal as they aggressively grow their economies. In the table, India is one of the most notable examples and, while China dropped from 2011 to 2012,  the growth from 2008 has been dramatic.

https://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=1&pid=1&aid=2 (https://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=1&pid=1&aid=2)

As context for this encouraging trend in coal consumption, I've attached a comprehensive report from the highly respected World Energy Council which provides an in depth analysis of energy across the planet. I would highly recommend that everyone read it. On page 8 of the report, it does forecast a huge increase in renewables by 2020. I have no doubt this forecast is accurate and, if it misses the mark, it likely is too conservative as the shift to renewables is accelerating. Beginning on page 10, it explores the future of coal and because worldwide energy consumption is increasing, coal will continue to play a significant role in meeting that demand, despite the rapid increase in renewables.

https://www.worldenergy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Complete_WER_2013_Survey.pdf (https://www.worldenergy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Complete_WER_2013_Survey.pdf)

I am most discouraged by the fact that the current level of coal consumption is pretty much fixed in the developing world. These nations are struggling to grow their  economies, have invested an enormous sum in the infrastructure to exploit coal and simply do not have the wealth to take these new coal plants offline. The average age of a US coal plant is 42 years. It would be foolish to think these new plants in developing countries will not be producing energy 30 years from now.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-dilemma-with-aging-coal-plants-retire-them-or-restore-them/2014/06/13/8914780a-f00a-11e3-914c-1fbd0614e2d4_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/a-dilemma-with-aging-coal-plants-retire-them-or-restore-them/2014/06/13/8914780a-f00a-11e3-914c-1fbd0614e2d4_story.html)

Going back to the first link, if you look at the tables showing current coal consumption by country, the only way we will see a dramatic drop in current consumption levels of coal is if the developed world stops burning coal completely. The U.S currently consumes 10.9% of the world's annual use. Central and South America? A negligible 0.6%. All of Europe? 12.5%

Only the developed world has the wealth to get off coal. We need to do this within a decade. We probably also need to use some of that wealth to help 3rd world nations avoid increasing their consumption. Perhaps we can give them renewable wind and photovoltaic farms as Christmas presents. This is only part in jest as we need to do just that. The developed countries need to pay for renewable energy in the third world and not in the form of loans.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 31, 2015, 05:13:48 PM
...
Only the developed world has the wealth to get off coal. We need to do this within a decade. We probably also need to use some of that wealth to help 3rd world nations avoid increasing their consumption. Perhaps we can give them renewable wind and photovoltaic farms as Christmas presents. This is only part in jest as we need to do just that. The developed countries need to pay for renewable energy in the third world and not in the form of loans.
This is exactly the thinking behind the UN Green Climate Fund and other philanthropic efforts.  Coal in developing countries will not be allowed to "die a natural death," to coin a phrase.  And the Coal Age won't end because we ran out of coal.

Edit: "China is now adding one idle coal-fired power plant per week."
Quote
Significantly, China is still bringing online new coal capacity. Hart notes, “In 2014, China took hundreds of existing coal plants offline but also added around 39 gigawatts of new coal capacity.” Some of this is new, more efficient plants replacing older, less efficiency capacity. “Some local officials are overbuilding simply because they have the capital to do so, and that is creating a massive capacity bubble in China, driving down plant-utilization rates, as well as the generation of profits nationwide,” explains Hart. “The average utilization rate for China’s thermal-power generations was 54 percent in 2014 — the lowest rate since China first began its reform and opening process in the late 1970s.”

A November report from Greenpeace came to a similar conclusion: “Capacity utilization of the plants has been plummeting. China is now adding one idle coal-fired power plant per week.”
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/04/3727779/downward-spiral-chinese-coal/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/04/3727779/downward-spiral-chinese-coal/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Buddy on January 07, 2016, 07:52:38 PM
Oregon looks to rid itself of coal by 2035.....  Shoo coal....out a' here.....

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2016/01/utilities_and_enviros_agree_on.html#incart_2box (http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2016/01/utilities_and_enviros_agree_on.html#incart_2box)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 12, 2016, 02:26:35 PM
Mon Jan 11, 2016
Arch Coal files for bankruptcy, hit by mining downturn
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0UP0MR20160111 (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0UP0MR20160111)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 12, 2016, 03:01:11 PM
Mon Jan 11, 2016
Arch Coal files for bankruptcy, hit by mining downturn
http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0UP0MR20160111 (http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0UP0MR20160111)

This is significant, not because Arch Coal is going out of business. They will easily reorganize and continue operations, shipping huge amounts of coal as it is the second largest coal company in the U.S. It is significant because the big losers are investors in the coal industry. There is $4.5 billion of debt at risk. Arch will not default on all of it but some lenders are going to be holding an empty bag. Three other coal companies, Patriot Coal, Walter Energy, and Alpha Natural Resources have also filed for bankruptcy. This will make investors far more leery about investing in the industry on the next big upturn in the world economy.

The same is true for the shakeout in the fracking and tar sands.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 15, 2016, 12:44:20 AM
Joe Romm:  We Might Have Finally Seen Peak Coal
Quote
Chinese coal use peaked back in 2013, as Climate Progress first reported in May. Since China was responsible for some 80 percent of the growth in global demand since 2000 — and since the United States and most of the industrialized world have also started cutting coal use — the key remaining question for the dirtiest fossil fuel was, “Will a handful of developing countries, particularly India, see enough growth in coal consumption to overcome that drop?”

Goldman Sachs, among others, says the answer is no. “Peak coal is coming sooner than expected,” Goldman told clients in a September research note. Goldman projects global demand for coal used in electricity generation will drop from a peak of 6.15 billion metric tons in 2013 to 5.98 billion in 2019 (the end of its forecast range).
...
Unsurprisingly, China’s coal imports have totally collapsed. In 2015 they dropped a remarkable 30 percent, the biggest decline on record. Bloomberg quotes a director with China Coal Transport and Distribution Association saying, “China doesn’t need overseas coal supplies anymore as it already faces a big domestic oversupply.”

It’s not just China reducing coal imports. India’s Minister of Energy Piyush Goyal said last May, “We are confident that in the next year or two, we will be able to stop imports of thermal coal.” Indeed, a 2014 solar auction revealed “solar PV is cheaper for Indian users than the electricity price needed to pay for imports of coal from Australia” for new thermal coal-fired power plants.

And it’s not just China cutting domestic coal use — the rest of the world also slashed coal last year. Remarkably, all of this has happened before most major countries have even adopted a serious price for carbon that comes anywhere near approximating the harm to human health and well-being caused by burning fossil fuels, like coal.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/14/3739164/global-coal-peak-2013/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/14/3739164/global-coal-peak-2013/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 15, 2016, 09:52:31 PM
Obama announces moratorium on new federal coal leases
Quote
“This is a major shift that helps modernize the federal coal program,” said Jayni Hein, policy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity. “This planning process will disclose the environmental and social impacts of coal leasing, which are extensive.”

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said in an interview that the decision represented a fundamental shift in how the federal government had begun to operate, by curbing the supply of fossil fuels available for burning rather than just working to reduce overall demand. He noted that when Obama rejected the cross-border permit application to build the Keystone XL pipeline late last year, the president specifically said that part of his reasoning stemmed from the fact that governments have got to keep some of the world’s remaining fossil fuels locked in the ground.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/01/14/obama-administration-set-to-announce-moratorium-on-some-new-federal-coal-leases/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/01/14/obama-administration-set-to-announce-moratorium-on-some-new-federal-coal-leases/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 16, 2016, 07:54:13 PM
Joe Romm:  We Might Have Finally Seen Peak Coal
Quote
Chinese coal use peaked back in 2013, as Climate Progress first reported in May. Since China was responsible for some 80 percent of the growth in global demand since 2000 — and since the United States and most of the industrialized world have also started cutting coal use — the key remaining question for the dirtiest fossil fuel was, “Will a handful of developing countries, particularly India, see enough growth in coal consumption to overcome that drop?”

Goldman Sachs, among others, says the answer is no. “Peak coal is coming sooner than expected,” Goldman told clients in a September research note. Goldman projects global demand for coal used in electricity generation will drop from a peak of 6.15 billion metric tons in 2013 to 5.98 billion in 2019 (the end of its forecast range).
...
Unsurprisingly, China’s coal imports have totally collapsed. In 2015 they dropped a remarkable 30 percent, the biggest decline on record. Bloomberg quotes a director with China Coal Transport and Distribution Association saying, “China doesn’t need overseas coal supplies anymore as it already faces a big domestic oversupply.”

It’s not just China reducing coal imports. India’s Minister of Energy Piyush Goyal said last May, “We are confident that in the next year or two, we will be able to stop imports of thermal coal.” Indeed, a 2014 solar auction revealed “solar PV is cheaper for Indian users than the electricity price needed to pay for imports of coal from Australia” for new thermal coal-fired power plants.

And it’s not just China cutting domestic coal use — the rest of the world also slashed coal last year. Remarkably, all of this has happened before most major countries have even adopted a serious price for carbon that comes anywhere near approximating the harm to human health and well-being caused by burning fossil fuels, like coal.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/14/3739164/global-coal-peak-2013/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/01/14/3739164/global-coal-peak-2013/)

I believe Joe Romm may be absolutely on the mark. When you look at the significant drops in demand for coal in China and the underlying reasons (cessation of construction causing domestic steel production to collapse; the general, quick and increasingly serious slow down of growth in the Chinese economy, of Asia in general and across the globe; the likelihood of a very slow rebound) we are hitting peak coal because we are rapidly approaching peak growth across the planet.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Buddy on January 16, 2016, 08:39:59 PM
Looking forward 5 - 10 years......this will play out for oil, much like it is now playing out for coal.  Natural gas will have a much longer life....but oil is in the "on deck circle" for getting "whacked".

And that is just one of the reasons that Saudi Arabia wants to start shedding their fossil fuel assets...starting with their refiners.



Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on January 16, 2016, 09:50:49 PM
Looking forward 5 - 10 years......this will play out for oil, much like it is now playing out for coal.  Natural gas will have a much longer life....but oil is in the "on deck circle" for getting "whacked".

And that is just one of the reasons that Saudi Arabia wants to start shedding their fossil fuel assets...starting with their refiners.

Yep, take ARAMCO public. Sucker a bunch of people on the IPO. Take the money and run.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 18, 2016, 09:38:29 PM
More on Obama's recent moratorium on coal leases on federal land.

Obama Administration Halts New Coal Leases, Gives Climate Policy a Boost
Quote
The Obama administration's announcement on Friday that it will suspend new coal leasing on federal lands and overhaul the program to better reflect environmental costs could be a turning point in climate policy. It is a concrete measure toward leaving fossil fuels in the ground, as the science demands.

But it was the invisible hand of the coal markets, not the inexorable thrust of the climate models, that ultimately drove the federal government to this point.

Coal companies have been going bankrupt, even a they have been granted access to a virtually limitless resource at almost negligible prices. So the federal government, as the steward of the public patrimony, could no longer justify business as usual.
http://insideclimatenews.org/news/15012016/obama-administration-halts-new-coal-leases-gives-climate-policy-boost (http://insideclimatenews.org/news/15012016/obama-administration-halts-new-coal-leases-gives-climate-policy-boost)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 19, 2016, 04:06:30 PM
Wyoming's desperate attempts to find ways to save their dying coal industry.

Wyoming officials back various schemes in bid to rescue coal
Quote
Public enemy No. 1 for climate change and no longer the fossil fuel utilities prefer to burn to generate electricity, coal has few allies these days. But one state is still fighting to save the industry: Wyoming.

From a proposal to burn the stuff underground to hosting a contest to find profitable uses for carbon dioxide from power plants, the top coal-producing state has spent tens of millions of dollars for a coal savior — with little to show.
http://news.yahoo.com/wyoming-officials-back-various-schemes-bid-rescue-coal-153711722.html (http://news.yahoo.com/wyoming-officials-back-various-schemes-bid-rescue-coal-153711722.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 19, 2016, 05:27:34 PM
Coal is dying. Who’s going to pay for the cleanup? You are!
http://grist.org/climate-energy/coal-is-dying-whos-going-to-pay-for-the-cleanup-you-are/ (http://grist.org/climate-energy/coal-is-dying-whos-going-to-pay-for-the-cleanup-you-are/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sleepy on January 24, 2016, 11:03:31 AM
Vattenfall, up there with the best.
http://www.sigwatch.com/fileadmin/Free_downloads/SIGWATCH_-_Corporations_NGOs_loved_and_hated_in_2015_FREE.pdf (http://www.sigwatch.com/fileadmin/Free_downloads/SIGWATCH_-_Corporations_NGOs_loved_and_hated_in_2015_FREE.pdf)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Buddy on January 24, 2016, 04:27:35 PM
Quote
Yep, take ARAMCO public. Sucker a bunch of people on the IPO. Take the money and run.

YES.  And the refiners are first in line....because of the oil based products, gasoline is first in line to lose its market share as electric vehicles take front and center (BMW expects to have its WHOLE LINEUP be electric by 2025).  The need for refiners to make oil into gasoline will decline in the years ahead.

And I expect Goldman Sachs to be the lead underwriter and cheerleader when Saudi Aramco goes public.  Put a little lipstick on the pig....and sell it to the public.  The Goldman way....

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 26, 2016, 12:40:18 AM
California Urges Insurers to Divest Coal Bets to Cut Risk
Quote
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is urging insurers to voluntarily divest from thermal coal, citing the risks of climate change and the danger of losses on assets backing policyholder obligations.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-25/california-urges-insurers-to-divest-from-coal-bets-to-cut-risk (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-25/california-urges-insurers-to-divest-from-coal-bets-to-cut-risk)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 29, 2016, 01:36:32 AM
Coal Dropped From Vietnam’s Future Energy Plans
Quote
Vietnam will effectively shelve the equivalent of 70 large coal power plants following an announcement from the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung that the country would drop all further coal-fired power plant projects and move towards cleaner energy.
...
Before the announcement, Vietnam had the biggest plans for coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia with 44 gigawatts planned (the equivalent of 70 large coal plants) on top of 17 gigawatts under construction. Some of the planned coal projects will be converted to gas and measures will be made to create better investment conditions for wind and solar.
http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2016/01/27/coal-dropped-from-vietnams-future-energy-plans/ (http://blueandgreentomorrow.com/2016/01/27/coal-dropped-from-vietnams-future-energy-plans/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on February 02, 2016, 12:06:47 AM
For what it's worth, I am being told that Peabody is in more trouble than is known. I do recall that plans for an equity injection fell through last year, but I still am somewhat surprised, since the bulk of their debt is not due until 2020.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 02, 2016, 05:31:46 PM
Kentucky coal output hits six-decade low
Quote
Kentucky coal mines produced their smallest amount of coal in 62 years last year, a figure that’s likely to keep falling.

A preliminary report Monday from Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet said the state put out 61.4 million tons of coal in 2015, down 20.7 percent from the prior year and the lowest volume since 1954.

The coal industry in Kentucky had 8,401 people employed at the end of the year, a 28 percent plunge from the end of 2014, and less than half of the 2008 employment figure.

The state agency’s report blamed a number of factors on the decline in demand for Kentucky coal, including environmental regulations, competition from natural gas and decreased electricity demand.

President Obama has instituted a suite of new regulations in his time in office that hurt coal, like his 2012 limits on mercury pollution and his rules last year limiting carbon dioxide output from coal-fired power plants.

Last May saw the first time that natural gas outpaced coal as a power source in the United States for a month, according to the Energy Information Administration. Gas won again for at least four more months last year.

Three percent of Kentucky’s coal went to power plants that closed in 2015, and another 13 percent went to plants slated to close this year.
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/267751-kentucky-coal-output-hits-six-decade-low (http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/267751-kentucky-coal-output-hits-six-decade-low)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 02, 2016, 05:47:24 PM
For what it's worth, I am being told that Peabody is in more trouble than is known. I do recall that plans for an equity injection fell through last year, but I still am somewhat surprised, since the bulk of their debt is not due until 2020.

This does not bode well for Peabody:
Quote
Peabody and Arch were among the miners that raised a total of $6.4 billion of debt in 2010 and 2011, betting that prices for metallurgical coal, which is sometimes used to produce steel, would continue to rise thanks to China’s growing demand to build its cities. After reaching $330 per metric ton in 2011, prices have since tanked to a quarter of that level. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. forecasts benchmark metallurgical coal prices to fall to $75 this year.

Peabody has been working on a debt exchange with its lenders since last year, but has yet to agree to a deal -- Arch tried a similar tact before it went under and failed, accelerating its demise.
...
In terms of capital, Peabody had $1.4 billion in liquidity including cash and availability under its revolving loans as of Nov. 5, according to a company filing. Its cash dropped to $167.4 million on that day from $334.3 million at the end of September. At that rate, the company has about nine months before it runs out of cash.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-21/the-coal-miner-on-everybody-s-list-as-next-bankruptcy-victim (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-21/the-coal-miner-on-everybody-s-list-as-next-bankruptcy-victim)


Peabody Energy continues to negotiate with lenders regarding $1.5 billion in notes due in 2018
http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/morning_call/2016/01/peabody-continues-to-evaluate-debt-exchanges.html (http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/morning_call/2016/01/peabody-continues-to-evaluate-debt-exchanges.html)

Peabody Energy Has Multiple Undisclosed SEC Probes, New Report Warns
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/peabody-energy-multiple-undisclosed-sec-160043194.html (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/peabody-energy-multiple-undisclosed-sec-160043194.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on February 02, 2016, 07:14:36 PM
From the bizjournals link:

"These proposals include the exchange of the 2018 notes for secured notes issued by a subsidiary that does not guarantee any of Peabody's existing debt, two series of new notes issued by Peabody and the granting to lenders of Peabody common stock."

Usually, common stock exchanges for bonds  _after_ bankruptcy.

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 09, 2016, 12:31:16 AM
Croatia backs away from plan for new coal-fired power plant
Quote
Croatia is unlikely to go ahead with plans to build a new coal-fired thermal plant in the northern Adriatic for which it entered partnership talks with Japan's Marubeni Corp, the environment minister said on Saturday.

"We need a new energy strategy in line with the European Union plans on boosting renewable energy and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Such plants don't fit in," Slaven Dobrovic said at an energy round-table in Zagreb.
http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKL8N15L0HF (http://uk.mobile.reuters.com/article/idUKL8N15L0HF)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bruce Steele on February 09, 2016, 03:51:41 AM
"Croatia backs away from plan to build new coal fired power plant"

Go Ivica
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Neven on February 09, 2016, 05:21:57 PM
"Croatia backs away from plan to build new coal fired power plant"

Go Ivica

 ;D
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 11, 2016, 07:39:42 PM
Scientists Have Now Quantified Mountaintop Removal Mining’s Destruction Of Appalachia
Quote
This week, researchers from Duke University published a study on how mountaintop removal mining is drastically changing the landscape in Appalachia, making some regions 40 percent flatter than they were before. The study, which focused on southern West Virginia, found that since the practice began in the 1970s, mountaintop removal mining has lowered the median slope — or steepness — of affected mountains by nearly 10 degrees. It’s also increased the elevation of affected landscapes by 3 meters (about 10 feet), due to valley fills — the practice of dumping the excess rock, dirt, and other waste created by the mountain blasts into valleys.

The study, which includes an app that displays how different parts of West Virginia have been affected by the practice, is the first to look at the impacts on mountaintop removal on a three-dimensional scale; past studies had only examined the area of land impacted by the practice. That research “had really done a good job of mapping the spacial extent of mining,” said Matthew Ross, a PhD student at Duke University and lead author of the study.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/11/3748303/mountaintop-removal-flattening-appalachia/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/11/3748303/mountaintop-removal-flattening-appalachia/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 19, 2016, 02:30:21 AM
In Exchange For Cutting Workers' Benefits, Bankrupt Coal Company Alpha Natural Resources Agreed To Pay Executives Millions
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/16/3749331/coal-company-executive-payments/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/16/3749331/coal-company-executive-payments/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 23, 2016, 04:13:50 PM
Amid Coal Market Struggles, Less Fuel Worth Mining in US
Quote
Vast coal seams dozens of feet thick that lie beneath the rolling hills of the Northern Plains once appeared almost limitless, fueling boasts that domestic reserves were sufficient to power the U.S. for centuries.

But an exhaustive government analysis says that at current prices and mining rates the country's largest coal reserves, located along the Montana-Wyoming border, will be tapped out in just a few decades.

The finding by the U.S. Geological Survey upends conventional wisdom on the lifespan for the nation's top coal-producing region, the Powder River Basin. It also reflects the changing economic realities for companies seeking to profit off extracting the fuel as mining costs rise, coal prices fall and political pressure grows over coal's contribution to climate change.

"You're looking at a forty-year life span, maximum, for Powder River coal," said USGS geologist Jon Haacke, one of the authors of the analysis.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/amid-coal-market-struggles-fuel-worth-mining-us-37127077 (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/amid-coal-market-struggles-fuel-worth-mining-us-37127077)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 04, 2016, 08:47:37 PM
Canada:  Directors of company proposing Raven Coal mine resign en masse
Quote
With the en masse resignation of its board of directors, Compliance Energy Corporation has signalled the end of the proposed Raven Coal Mine project, said the president of a Mid-Island watchdog group.

Compliance announced in a news release Friday that its board of directors, in its entirety, had resigned. The company also announced its major Korean and Japanese partners have withdrawn from the project and that its only secured creditor has demanded repayment of a loan.
http://www.coalwatch.ca/directors-company-proposing-raven-coal-mine-resign-en-masse (http://www.coalwatch.ca/directors-company-proposing-raven-coal-mine-resign-en-masse)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 05, 2016, 05:05:15 PM
Developing countries know dirty energy is not the only path forward.

Locals oppose plans to build first coal-fired power plant in Kenya
As Kenya plans to construct its first coal-fired power plant, a group of 30 community-based organisations is fighting to halt the multibillion dollar project
Quote
“If they are importing coal, then they are importing pollution, why can’t Kenya use solar power which Kenya has huge potential in?”
http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/mar/03/locals-oppose-plans-to-build-first-coal-fired-power-plant-in-kenya (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/mar/03/locals-oppose-plans-to-build-first-coal-fired-power-plant-in-kenya)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 07, 2016, 04:27:14 PM
Yet another study shows renewables, not coal, are the best solution to energy poverty.

The deadly cost of bringing coal-powered electricity from Australia to India
Quote
Lack of industry

The elephant in the room for proponents of coal-fired power for the rural, agrarian poor is that remote rural locations have no or little energy-intensive industry.

Industry is necessary to underwrite the costs of electrification for residential consumers. Coal-fired power stations must run constantly; they cannot just run for a few hours a night when a few lights and mobile phone charging is required for 15.8 million households (as in Bihar). A few hours a night is all that they can afford.

If the needs of the rural poor are to be matched to the supply of affordable and benign electricity, then the best option for rural electrification is local renewable micro-grids, implemented by local workers, to develop their economy from within.

The poor will benefit from coal-fired power generation only if you ignore the costs of pollution and if industries can be attracted to rural areas. Without industry, though, electrification for the world’s rural poor requires a different model to that offered by coal-fired power.

This may be why there is speculation that the Carmichael coal project is now on hold.
http://qz.com/632503/the-deadly-cost-of-bringing-coal-powered-electricity-from-australia-to-india/ (http://qz.com/632503/the-deadly-cost-of-bringing-coal-powered-electricity-from-australia-to-india/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 09, 2016, 09:29:02 PM
Feds: More power will be generated from natural gas than coal in 2016
Quote
Natural gas will power a larger share of electricity generation than coal this year in the United States, the federal government predicted Tuesday, continuing what a regional grid operator calls an unprecedented shift in fuels.

The latest short-term outlook from the Energy Information Administration expects gas to fire 33.4 percent of electricity this year, compared with 32 percent for coal, which a few years ago powered half the grid.

“This would be the first time that natural gas provides more electricity generation than coal on an annual average basis,” the agency said. Gas outpaced coal during several months last year, but the EIA originally predicted coal would rebound.
...
In a separate report, the EIA said 80 percent of the electricity generation idled by power plant retirements last year was coal-fired. The shuttered plants were mainly built between 1950 and 1970, unable to compete economically with cheaper gas and too expensive to upgrade to comply with air pollution rules, the EIA said.
http://triblive.com/mobile/10108802-96/gas-coal-electricity (http://triblive.com/mobile/10108802-96/gas-coal-electricity)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 12, 2016, 09:55:27 PM
Two months after filing for bankruptcy protection, Arch Coal abandons plans for a huge open-pit mine in Montana's Powder River Basin.

Arch Coal abandons plans for controversial mine in Montana
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-sej-arch-coal-20160310-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-sej-arch-coal-20160310-story.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 13, 2016, 11:07:23 PM
JPMorgan Won't Back New Coal Mines, to Combat Climate Change
Quote
JPMorgan Chase & Co. became the latest big bank to pull back from coal.

The New York bank will no longer finance new coal mines around the world and will end support for new coal-fired power plants being developed in “high income” countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, JPMorgan said in a policy statement on its website.

JPMorgan is joining a growing list of financial institutions including Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. that have pledged to stop or scale back support for coal projects. It’s part of a broader divestment campaign led by environmental groups including San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network looking to move the world’s economies beyond fossil fuels.

“We believe the financial services sector has an important role to play as governments implement policies to combat climate change,” JPMorgan said in the document.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-07/jpmorgan-won-t-finance-new-coal-mines-that-worsen-climate-change (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-07/jpmorgan-won-t-finance-new-coal-mines-that-worsen-climate-change)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 14, 2016, 11:55:33 PM
Ontario To Convert Nanticoke Coal Plant Into 44 MW Solar Farm
Quote
As part of Ontario’s phaseout of coal energy and commitment to a clean energy economy, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and its partners, Sun Edison Canadian Construction LP and Six Nations Development Corp., are developing a 44 MW solar facility on and near the Nanticoke Generating Station site on Lake Erie.

The Nanticoke Generating Station, once considered the largest coal plant in North America, was closed for safety reasons last year. This endeavor, the Nanticoke Solar Project, will repurpose the site as an emissions-free energy generating facility.

“The Nanticoke project is a great opportunity for Ontario to take a former coal plant site and transform it into a clean and reliable solar power plant,” says Michelle Chislett, SunEdison’s vice president and country manager for Canada.
http://solarindustrymag.com/ontario-to-convert-nanticoke-coal-plant-into-44-mw-solar-farm (http://solarindustrymag.com/ontario-to-convert-nanticoke-coal-plant-into-44-mw-solar-farm)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on March 15, 2016, 04:41:03 AM
Re: Coal to renewable

I-81 in Pennsylvania is lined with windmills. The (cut down and stripmined and "reforested" and tailing piled) land they stand on belongs to the old coal mining families.

Yet so little help comes to the dying little towns around.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 16, 2016, 08:44:30 PM
Quote
Peabody Energy Corp., the United States’s largest coal mining company, hinted Wednesday that it may need to file for bankruptcy protection.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company issued a “going-concern” notice, a filing that indicates the company may not have the resources it needs to continue operating, Bloomberg Business reports.
...
If Peabody were to file for bankruptcy, it would be the latest and largest in a string of coal companies to take the step. Alpha Natural Resources Inc. and Arch Coal Inc., the second-largest coal company in the U.S., have both declared bankruptcy in the last year.

Peabody’s shares fell by 43 percent as of Wednesday morning. The company’s shares had already lost 97 percent of their value over the last year.
http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/273220-top-us-coal-company-might-declare-bankruptcy (http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/273220-top-us-coal-company-might-declare-bankruptcy)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on March 17, 2016, 04:59:15 AM
Re:Peabody going down

Quicker that I thought, was under the impression that their debt crunch didnt come till 2-4 years down the road. Must not have bought enuf cocaine and hookers for the auditors.

But, in any case, I'll drink to that.

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 17, 2016, 08:57:20 PM
Most of the Coal Mined by the Biggest Coal Companies in the U.S. Belongs to the American Public
The biggest coal mining companies in the country depend on subsidized federal coal, even as they attack federal climate and clean air policies.
https://medium.com/keep-it-in-the-ground/most-of-the-coal-mined-by-the-biggest-coal-companies-in-the-u-s-belongs-to-the-american-public-ff6395dc513e
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 19, 2016, 06:14:27 PM
Lawyer Tormenting Scientists Revealed Working For Coal Company
Quote
Chris Horner, a DC-based lawyer, climate change denier and Fox News regular, is also being paid as a "Regulatory Counsel" for the coal company, Alpha Natural Resources, according to bankruptcy filings reviewed by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Horner’s repeated filing of lawsuits against leading U.S. climate scientists has been described as "harassment."
...
With the U.S. coal industry increasingly collapsing, coal company bankruptcy filings are now revealing what has long been suspected but not proven: that leading climate change deniers and many of the biggest defenders of coal, are funded by the industry that they are working to protect.
...
[A] note, signed by the CEOs of all five coal companies, suggests each of them may be funding Horner. It said: "As the 'war on coal' continues, I trust that the commitment we have made to support Chris Horner's work will eventually create great awareness of the illegal tactics being employed to pass laws that are intended to destroy our industry."
...
In addition to his role working for Alpha, whatever it is he does in that role, Chris Horner is an illustrative example of how the coal industry has spread funding to myriad groups, giving the impression of a broad cast of characters for its climate denial performance. In reality its a relatively small group of actors performing all the roles.
http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/03/13062/chris-horner-revealed-counsel-coal-company-alpha-natural-resources (http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/03/13062/chris-horner-revealed-counsel-coal-company-alpha-natural-resources)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 22, 2016, 08:59:34 PM
U.S.:  Coal stockpiles grow to highest level in at least 25 years
Quote
Stockpiles of coal are growing to historically high levels at the nation’s power plants.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Monday 197 million tons of coal were being stored at the end of 2015, the highest year-end level in at least 25 years.

Government analysts attributed the spike to both a decline in coal demand due to an unseasonably warm winter and a larger economic shift away from coal as a power source.

Cheap natural gas and steady growth in wind and solar farms have driven down the price of electricity in many U.S. wholesale markets. And with increasing environmental regulation on power plant emissions, many electricity companies have pulled back on coal-fired generation.
...

The demand problem is evident in the government’s coal supply data. In December, a time when coal stockpiles typically decrease by 3 million tons, the U.S. saw coal reserves grow 8 million tons.

The decline had a ripple effect on the railroad industry. Over the last four months of 2015, an average of 94,000 railroad cars were loaded with coal each week. That was more than 20 percent below average, according to EIA.
http://fuelfix.com/blog/2016/03/21/coal-stockpiles-grow-to-highest-level-in-at-least-25-years/ (http://fuelfix.com/blog/2016/03/21/coal-stockpiles-grow-to-highest-level-in-at-least-25-years/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 24, 2016, 02:55:12 PM
Scotland has closed its last coal power plant.

Quote
Hugh Finlay, the generation director at ScottishPower, said: "Coal has long been the dominant force in Scotland's electricity generation fleet but the closure of Longannet signals the end of an era.

"For the first time in more than a century no power produced in Scotland will come from burning coal.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-35882883 (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-35882883)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 25, 2016, 09:11:53 PM
Fully Loaded, Coal-Laden Vessel Sinks in the Sundarbans
Quote
DHAKA, BANGLADESH — On Saturday, the Sea Horse, a large bulk cargo vessel carrying 1,245 metric tons of coal, sank in the Shela River inside the Sundarbans. In addition to the large amount of coal, hundreds of gallons of fuel oil, batteries and other toxic contaminants may now be polluting the Shela River. Waterkeepers Bangladesh in Mongla, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) and Pashur River Waterkeeper have been on site working with communities to demand immediate measures to protect the Pashur and Shela Rivers and the Sundarbans.
http://waterkeeper.org/fully-loaded-coal-laden-vessel-sinks-in-the-sundarbans/ (http://waterkeeper.org/fully-loaded-coal-laden-vessel-sinks-in-the-sundarbans/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Hans on March 25, 2016, 10:35:49 PM
Scotland has closed its last coal power plant.

Quote
...
"For the first time in more than a century no power produced in Scotland will come from burning coal.

But in The Netherlands they are burning more and more...
Coal for power production: was 10,914 kton coal, but 13,477 in 2015  >:(
(Steel changed from 4,306 to 4,447  :-[ and " other use" went down from 73 to 53 kton   :P)

Source: CBS: http://statline.cbs.nl/StatWeb/publication/?VW=T&DM=SLNL&PA=37621&LA=NL (http://statline.cbs.nl/StatWeb/publication/?VW=T&DM=SLNL&PA=37621&LA=NL)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 27, 2016, 01:16:27 AM
Peabody Coal's bankruptcy would be 'rocket fuel' to end investment in old energy companies
Quote
The campaign to convince investors to divest from fossil fuels has picked up steam in the past two weeks, thanks to the imminent bankruptcy of one major old-line energy company.

Peabody Energy, the world's largest privately-held coal company, signaled on March 15 that it may seek bankruptcy protection in order to restructure its skyrocketing debt. 

Peabody is not just your ordinary coal company — it is one that has steadfastly refused to incorporate the findings of mainstream climate scientists into its business planning, and may now be suffering as a result.

A Peabody bankruptcy would follow the bankruptcy of several other large coal companies, including Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal.

Coal is facing one of the worst downturns in its history, as coal-fired power plants have been idled or converted around the country due to the increased domestic production of natural gas.

In addition, public policies have favored a shift to lower carbon fuels.

Plus, China's demand for U.S. coal for use in steel manufacturing has fallen significantly as its economic growth has sputtered.

Peabody's plight is being used as a case study by climate activists who are seeking the removal of fossil fuel companies from the investment portfolios of universities, religious institutions and state pension funds, among others.

The potential bankruptcy, activists argue, demonstrates that fossil fuel investments are a risky bet.
http://mashable.com/2016/03/25/peabody-coal-bankruptcy-divestment/ (http://mashable.com/2016/03/25/peabody-coal-bankruptcy-divestment/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: A-Team on March 27, 2016, 02:36:50 PM
A bankruptcy filing would be a symbolic milestone but would not represent a regulatory nor activist victory nor the end of the coal reserves themselves but merely reflects natural gas market forces. There will be a change in coal ownership and pennies on the dollar for pivotal lending banks that have knowingly enabled climate denial (lesson learned? probably not).

I have to wonder about analysts who have been recommending this stock throughout its long slide and the pension funds and educational institutions that have been buying it. Note upticks may just represent people closing out short positions, rather than buying-in-low optimism.

Quote
Coal demand could be higher under current EPA regulations, the Morganstar analyst said. But Peabody doesn’t have a regulatory problem right now. It has a natural gas problem. “The current coal demand level is reflecting very weak gas, and if you think gas will go higher from here, which we do, then coal demand will be higher than it is now,” he said. “The question is can they wait that long.”

Peabody says demand rises for its most competitive coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin when natural gas is selling for above $2.75 per million British thermal units. But natural gas is below $2 per Btu now and has been below $2.75 for months. Peabody’s Illinois Basin coal needs gas to be above $3.75 to compete. Morningstar doesn’t project natural gas prices approaching $4 until 2019.

In the meantime, coal stockpiles are building at utilities, which have some of the highest levels in years.  “Now we have another coal stockpile building, so even next year if gas came back up a little, they’d have to work through the coal piles,” the analyst said. Another  problem is a crushing debt load, much of it taken on in 2011 to finance the $5.2 billion purchase of Australian miner Macarthur Coal Ltd.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on March 28, 2016, 01:36:45 AM
Replacing coal with natural gas is a net improvement, but not the ultimate solution.

With a 1:1 coal:NG replacement we get about half as much CO2 and eliminate the mercury/SO2 problems.  We also reduce worker deaths, subsurface mining kills a lot of people compared to gas drilling.  To get the full benefit of the GHG reduction we will have to do a better job of controlling methane leaks.

It's hard to determine if coal or NG causes more land/water damage.  Mountain top removal vs. lots of holes drilled in the ground and a small earthquake risk.  Potential leakage of fracking chemicals into aquifers vs. ruined mountain streams and harmful substances leaking from coal ash dumps.

We need some good research to figure out which is worst and to what extent.

The huge advantage of NG, IMO, is that gas plants are highly dispatchable.  That means that it is easy to shut them down when there is a supply of wind or solar electricity that can be used.  Coal, on the other hand, is hard to shut down and we see coal plant owners pricing their electricity so low that wind farms are curtailed at times.

If we worked our way to a 30% wind, 30% solar, 20% hydro/other, 20% NG and controlled leaks we could cut CO2 80% from what we'd get using coal. 

And we can keep shaving gas off the grid by adding storage.  Storage is becoming affordable if it's being frequently cycled (daily).  We don't have an affordable 'deep storage' solution aside from pump-up hydro for supplying those few times a year when we have several days in a row with limited wind and solar input.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 29, 2016, 04:47:23 PM
The opposition to Otter Creek mine in Montana.

Big Coal dealt a big blow: Montanans shut down largest mine in North America
Quote
Montana communities won a victory against one of the world’s biggest coal companies earlier this month, when Arch Coal abandoned the Otter Creek mine – the largest proposed new coal strip mine in North America. The story of how the project imploded is one of people power triumphing over a company once thought to be nearly invincible.

To many observers, the Otter Creek project once seemed unstoppable. It certainly appeared that way in 2011, the year I moved to Missoula, Montana for graduate school. Then-Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer enthusiastically supported the mine, and coal more generally. Forrest Mars, Jr., the billionaire heir to the Mars candy fortune, had just joined Arch and BNSF Railways in backing a proposed railroad spur meant to service Otter Creek. Arch and politicians like Schweitzer predicted a boom in coal demand from economies in Asia.

But what they weren’t counting on was a vocal and active region-wide opposition. The coming together of ordinary people — first in southeast Montana, then an ever-growing number of communities throughout the Northwest —to oppose the Otter Creek mine says much about how land defenders and climate activists are learning to fight back against the planet’s biggest energy companies. The roots of this recent victory go back more than 30 years.
...
In 2010, Arch Coal competitor Peabody announced “coal’s best days are ahead.” However, it was clear even then that a combination of grassroots organizing, new regulations for polluting power plants, and falling prices for cleaner energy was causing U.S. coal use to drop. What came as a surprise was that coal consumption in Asia, especially China, failed to make up for declining U.S. demand.
http://www.salon.com/2016/03/27/big_coal_dealt_a_big_blow_montanans_shut_down_largest_mine_in_north_america_partner/ (http://www.salon.com/2016/03/27/big_coal_dealt_a_big_blow_montanans_shut_down_largest_mine_in_north_america_partner/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 30, 2016, 08:54:51 PM
Asia loses its appetite for coal
Quote
“The argument that there is no point in Western nations decarbonising because their emission cuts will be dwarfed by emission gains from Asia is based on shaky ground”

Gerard Wynn, founder of the UK’s GWG Energy consultancy and author of the ECIU study, says the idea that a coal boom in Asia will undermine climate change pledges made at the Paris summit is exaggerated.

“In fact, the evidence suggests that the shift away from the dirtiest fossil fuels in favour of cleaner forms of energy is happening much faster than anyone could have expected”, says Wynn.

http://tcktcktck.org/2016/03/asia-loses-appetite-coal/ (http://tcktcktck.org/2016/03/asia-loses-appetite-coal/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 01, 2016, 09:51:08 PM
The irony:  The coal companies blame the warm weather for their problems.

Black Thursday: Layoffs hit 500+ Wyoming coal miners
Quote
Citing a prolonged weak market made worse by the warmest winter on record, the nation’s two largest coal companies announced massive layoffs at their Wyoming mines.

Peabody Energy cut 235 miners, and Arch Coal cut 230 miners on Thursday morning. The reductions represent about 15 percent of each company’s Wyoming workforce. Both companies are based in St. Louis, Missouri.

“We regret the impact of these actions on our employees, their families, and the surrounding communities in the Campbell and Converse county areas,” Peabody Americas president Kemal Williamson said in a prepared statement.

“The U.S. coal industry has seen unprecedented shipment declines this year,” Peabody said in a statement. “Heating degree days year-to-date are 17 percent lower than last year, with March heating degree days down nearly 30 percent versus the 10-year average.”
...
The governor listed natural gas and numerous federal rules and regulations as driving the crunch on Wyoming’s coal mining industry, but didn’t mention the mining companies’ own financial management, a factor that some economists say has forced many into bankruptcy. Wyoming operators Alpha Natural Resources and Arch Coal have already filed bankruptcy, and industry experts expect Peabody to do the same.
http://www.wyofile.com/blog/black-thursday-layoffs-hit-500-wyoming-coal-miners/ (http://www.wyofile.com/blog/black-thursday-layoffs-hit-500-wyoming-coal-miners/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on April 02, 2016, 05:24:12 AM
Re:Wyoming layoffs

next steps: renege on pensions and cleanup

How many times will we see this.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 02, 2016, 04:38:39 PM
Re:Wyoming layoffs

next steps: renege on pensions and cleanup

How many times will we see this.

You would think with all our experience with US Superfund sites, and other bankruptcies, that laws would be passed to mitigate the future failures everyone can see coming.

Maybe if, sorry, when :) we elect government representatives who are not in the pocket of the fossil fuel companies, it can happen.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 03, 2016, 01:21:44 PM
A recent Washington Post article addresses that subject:

Will taxpayers bear cost of coal mine mess?
Quote
The biggest coal companies typically pay third parties to ensure that mine sites are cleaned up in the event of financial hardship. But in recent years, many coal companies have relied on a cheaper technique called “self-bonding,” pledging only their own names and financial wherewithal to guarantee their cleanup obligations.

With mounting losses and debt loads, the companies do not have enough money to pay for all their obligations, and self-bonding is “not worth the paper it’s written on,” Steve Jakubowski, a bankruptcy lawyer with the firm Robbins, Salomon & Patt, said in an email.

In a bankruptcy, where Alpha Natural Resources is now, a judge can decide which creditors are paid and how much – and state and federal governments could be left holding the bag for reclamation costs.
http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/01/will-taxpayers-bear-cost-of-coal-mine-mess/ (http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/01/will-taxpayers-bear-cost-of-coal-mine-mess/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 03, 2016, 03:30:29 PM
Bill McKibben:  "Australia is nuts. As Great Barrier Reef bleaches, govt approves world's biggest coal mine "
https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status/716480867556659200 (https://twitter.com/billmckibben/status/716480867556659200)

Public outcry as QLD Government approves mining license for Australia’s largest coal project following worst Reef bleaching event in history
http://350.org.au/news/public-outcry-as-qld-government-approves-mining-license-for-australias-largest-coal-project-following-worst-reef-bleaching-event-in-history/ (http://350.org.au/news/public-outcry-as-qld-government-approves-mining-license-for-australias-largest-coal-project-following-worst-reef-bleaching-event-in-history/)

Carmichael coal mine: Mining leases approved for $21 billion project in Queensland's Galilee Basin
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-03/mning-leases-approved-carmichael-mine-qld-galilee-basin-adani/7295188 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-03/mning-leases-approved-carmichael-mine-qld-galilee-basin-adani/7295188)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 11, 2016, 03:16:00 PM
Japan Is Embracing Coal While The Rest Of The World Is Trying To Cut Emissions
Quote
Japan... is planning to build 45 domestic coal plants, and the Japanese foreign investment bank is considering financing a massive project in Indonesia. As host of the next G7 meeting and a powerful player on the international stage, Japan’s doubling down on coal is not great news for the climate — and environmentalists are wondering how long it will last.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/04/01/3765187/japan-coal-problem/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/04/01/3765187/japan-coal-problem/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 14, 2016, 01:48:04 AM
Austria’s biggest power company to quit coal by 2020
Quote
“Smart companies are making a swift exit from coal”

Austria's largest electricity provider, Verbund has announced today that it will go fossil fuel free by 2020, speeding up the country’s transition beyond coal.

The decision to end the use of fossil fuels, announced today as a part of Verbund’s new business strategy, sets a 2020 closure date for the company’s last operational coal power station in Mellach, Austria. Only two years ago, Verbund was Austria’s biggest producer of electricity from coal. Recently, it has been phasing out coal power, as it became unprofitable.

http://www.caneurope.org/can-and-press/953-austria-s-biggest-power-company-to-quit-coal-by-2020 (http://www.caneurope.org/can-and-press/953-austria-s-biggest-power-company-to-quit-coal-by-2020)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 14, 2016, 01:51:07 AM
Peabody Energy, the world's 2nd-biggest coal miner, has officially filed for bankruptcy
Quote
Peabody Energy, the world's largest privately owned coal producer and the second biggest on earth, has filed for US bankruptcy protection.

The bankruptcy comes after a sharp fall in coal prices that left it unable to service a recent debt-fueled expansion into Australia, saying it is taking "a major step to strengthen liquidity and reduce debt amid an unprecedented industry downturn."

The company listed both assets and liabilities in the range of $10 billion (£7 billion) to $50 billion (£35 billion), according to a court filing.

Peabody's bankruptcy filing ranks among the largest in the commodities sector since energy and metals prices began to fall in the middle of 2014 as once fast-growing markets such as China and Brazil began to slow.

http://www.businessinsider.com/peabody-energy-files-for-bankruptcy-2016-4 (http://www.businessinsider.com/peabody-energy-files-for-bankruptcy-2016-4)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 14, 2016, 04:56:48 PM
As we await first quarter financial results, How Are Coal Industry Stocks Shaping Up?
Quote
As Q1 earnings releases take center stage, let’s take a hard look at how the coal industry is placed going into the earnings season. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (“EIA”) in its latest release announced a gloomy picture for coal stocks. Per EIA forecasts, coal production will decrease by 143 million short tons (MMst) or 16% in 2016 and a further 3% or 26 MMst in 2017 on a year-over-year basis. EIA also estimates that export of U.S. coal will decline by 15 MMst or 21% in 2016 and by 2 MMst or 3% in 2017.

Coal usage in the U.S. electric power sector accounts for nearly 90% of total U.S. coal consumption. Per an EIA release, coal usage is expected to decline by 50MMst (7%) in 2016 as a result of mild winter weather and competition from natural gas.

Coal export will be hurt by the strong dollar and higher production from global competitors who enjoy the double benefit of cheap labor and lower transportation costs. 
http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/213192/how-are-coal-industry-stocks-shaping-up-before-q1 (http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/213192/how-are-coal-industry-stocks-shaping-up-before-q1)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: AbruptSLR on April 15, 2016, 05:46:45 PM
It is quite the statement that the availability of natural gas due to fracking has led to the demise of Peabody Energy Corp & temporarily ended its coal production; when currently due to leaks that natural gas is currently causing more global warming than the coal was:

Benjamin Hulac, E&E reporter, ClimateWire: Thursday, April 14, 2016, "Analysts blame natural gas, not 'war on coal,' for Peabody's demise"

http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060035598 (http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060035598)

Extract: "Cheap and plentiful natural gas, as well as an oversupplied market of inexpensive coal -- not environmental regulations -- are the primary forces behind Peabody Energy Corp.'s bankruptcy and others in the U.S. coal industry, a wide range of financial experts said."
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 19, 2016, 01:30:58 AM
Coal’s decline has been a slow burn that suddenly seems to be picking up
Quote
The investment that used to go into coal is going increasingly to renewables. In 2015, investment in renewables was double that for coal and gas combined, according to a study (pdf, p.11) from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

Also this week, the sun provided more power to British homes than coal for the first time in history (though admittedly only on one single day). For one month last year, coal wasn’t the biggest producer of US energy, for the first time ever.
http://qz.com/662789/coals-decline-has-been-a-slow-burn-that-suddenly-seems-to-be-picking-up/ (http://qz.com/662789/coals-decline-has-been-a-slow-burn-that-suddenly-seems-to-be-picking-up/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 20, 2016, 01:21:30 AM
Vattenfall exits German coal unit as it seeks sustainable energy
Quote
Swedish state-owned energy giant Vattenfall said on Monday it had reached a deal to sell its German coal operations, employing 8,000 people, as it moves away from activities blamed for climate change.
...
“We are now accelerating our shift towards a more sustainable production. The sale means more than 75% of our production will be climate neutral compared to about 50% today,” Hall said.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/18/vattenfall-exits-german-coal-unit-as-it-seeks-sustainable-energy (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/18/vattenfall-exits-german-coal-unit-as-it-seeks-sustainable-energy)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 20, 2016, 01:42:07 AM
Great news about declining U.S. coal production.  (Bad news: methane emissions are up.)

These striking numbers show just how fast we’re switching off coal
Quote
The U.S. Energy Information Administration, in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook, stated that the U.S. production of coal last month totaled 52 million short tons — which was a 36 percent decrease from levels seen just one year earlier, in March of 2015.
...
The gist? Coal production in the United States is falling, faster than expected and long before the U.S. Clean Power Plan, which was stayed by the Supreme Court, has come into effect.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/04/19/these-striking-numbers-show-just-how-fast-were-switching-off-coal/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/04/19/these-striking-numbers-show-just-how-fast-were-switching-off-coal/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 27, 2016, 02:56:57 AM
“It’s a historic day when a federal agency recognizes there’s no foreseeable future for coal.”

PRESS RELEASE: GOVERNMENT SAYS ‘NO’ TO TONGUE RIVER RAILROAD
Quote
The Surface Transportation Board today dismissed Tongue River Railroad Company’s (TRRC) application to build the proposed coal-hauling Tongue River Railroad. The railroad would have used the power of federal eminent domain to condemn family farm and ranch land in southeastern Montana in order to haul coal from Arch Coal’s proposed Otter Creek mine to Asian export markets.
https://www.northernplains.org/11314-2/ (https://www.northernplains.org/11314-2/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 28, 2016, 02:53:20 AM
Bill McKibben:  Plans for big Filipino power plant scrapped after citizen outcry!

Cebu city council junks coal plant project
Quote
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Through their collective efforts, Cebuanos won against the proposed coal-powered plant in Sawang Calero, Cebu City.
...
Sheida Henry, a concerned citizen, started an online petition to stop the construction of the coal-powered plant in Sawang Calero.
http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/130965-cebu-city-council-junks-coal-plant (http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/130965-cebu-city-council-junks-coal-plant)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 29, 2016, 02:25:09 AM
Great!  Now let's do the same thing with natural gas.

U.S.:  Power sector coal demand has fallen in nearly every state since 2007
Quote
Consumption of steam coal used for electricity generation in the U.S. electric power sector fell 29% from its peak of 1,045 million short tons (MMst) in 2007 to an estimated 739 MMst in 2015. Consumption fell in nearly every state, rising only in Nebraska and Alaska over that period. States with the largest declines were concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast, with six states in these regions accounting for nearly half of the national decline. Smaller declines in power sector coal consumption occurred in Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana, all in the Rocky Mountain region.
http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on April 29, 2016, 07:57:11 PM
If recent studies about natural gas vs. coal prove to be correct, this push away from coal might be very counterproductive.
http://www.thenation.com/article/global-warming-terrifying-new-chemistry/ (http://www.thenation.com/article/global-warming-terrifying-new-chemistry/)
Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 29, 2016, 09:26:56 PM
New Assessment Finds Emissions From Proposed Coal Terminal in Washington State Would be ‘Significant And Unavoidable’
Quote
The coal industry is looking to export terminals like these as a lifeline for their declining industry — as coal consumption in the U.S. continues to decrease due to low oil prices and domestic policies, coal companies hope they can find willing buyers overseas, especially in Asia. In addition to helping add more greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere, coal export terminals would require more coal-packed trains to travel from the central United States to the coast, creating a potential public health hazard from coal dust and derailments or spills.

Millennium Bulk Terminals, the company behind the project, first submitted a proposal to build a coal export terminal in Longview in 2009. The initial proposal was unanimously approved by the Cowlitz County commissioners, but Millennium was later forced to withdraw that proposal when internal documents, made public through discovery related to a lawsuit brought by environmental groups, revealed that the company intended to ship 60 million tons of coal annually through the terminal rather than the 5.7 million tons of coal that it had originally applied for.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/04/29/3774114/longview-coal-terminal-environmental-impact-statement/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/04/29/3774114/longview-coal-terminal-environmental-impact-statement/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 13, 2016, 02:18:50 AM
The Plan To Revive Big Coal’s Fortunes Isn’t Panning Out
Quote
In 2011, at the peak of proposed coal export terminals throughout the Pacific Northwest, there were six projects that could have shipped, cumulatively, more than 100 million tons of coal a year from the Powder River Basin to Asia. Now, just one proposal within the Pacific Northwest remains.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/05/11/3776839/coal-export-terminal-decline/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/05/11/3776839/coal-export-terminal-decline/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 14, 2016, 09:00:48 PM
UK energy from coal hits zero for first time in over 100 years
Quote
The amount of electricity generated from coal in the UK has fallen to zero several times in the past week, grid data shows.

In what green energy supporters have described as a “historic turning point” for the UK’s power system, coal-fired electricity first fell to zero late on Monday night and for the early hours of Tuesday morning, according to data from BM Reports.

On Thursday, there was no electricity from coal for more than 12 and a half hours, more than half the day, with it making no contribution to the UK’s power supplies late at night when demand was low and for a period in the day, the data shows.

It is thought to be the first time the UK has been without electricity from coal since the world’s first centralised public coal-fired generator opened at Holborn Viaduct in London, in 1882, according to the Carbon Brief website which reports on climate science and energy policy.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/13/uk-energy-from-coal-hits-zero-for-first-time-in-over-100-years (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/13/uk-energy-from-coal-hits-zero-for-first-time-in-over-100-years)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 20, 2016, 01:41:56 PM
U.S.:  Feds want to ensure coal companies can clean up land they damage
Quote
The federal agency that oversees surface coal mining said Wednesday that it would consider drafting new rules to ensure that coal companies can afford to clean up land they damage – though the announcement is not likely to lead to change soon.

The announcement, by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, comes as the nation’s largest coal companies have declared bankruptcy amid a steep downturn in the coal market, putting at risk their ability to meet legal obligations under the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, which requires them to pay to restore, or reclaim, land they have mined.

“The bankruptcy of the large coal mining companies has raised grave concerns,” said Joe Pizarchik, director of the surface mining enforcement agency, in a conference call Wednesday.

The agency said it would specifically consider whether to revise what many critics say is a flawed process allowed under the 1977 law, called “self-bonding,” which some states allow coal companies to use to meet financial obligations for reclamation work. Under self-bonding, instead of having to take out third-party surety bonds or another form of insurance, companies are effectively allowed to argue that their history of financial health is all the evidence they need to prove they can pay for reclamation.

But over the last year, as companies like Arch Coal and Peabody Energy have declared bankruptcy, the possibility has increased that companies will not be able to clean up their mines. Critics and some government regulators worry taxpayers could be forced to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of reclamation.
...
Pizarchik said Wednesday that he hoped the announcement would spur a broad public response. He repeatedly noted that states have the power to change things far more quickly than the rule-making process if by simply ending self-bonding. He said it was reasonable to question whether there had been “collusion or malfeasance” to continue self-bonding among states or industry given the obvious stress on the coal industry.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-sej-coal-self-bonding-20160518-snap-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-sej-coal-self-bonding-20160518-snap-story.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 31, 2016, 12:28:23 AM
Australia:  'Delusional': NSW report banks on rising coal output and royalties out to 2056
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/delusional-nsw-report-banks-on-rising-coal-output-and-royalties-out-to-2056-20160529-gp6vq0.html (http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/delusional-nsw-report-banks-on-rising-coal-output-and-royalties-out-to-2056-20160529-gp6vq0.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on June 06, 2016, 12:41:20 AM
Mebbe one day the miners will pay for cleanup ...

https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/1F012EA1238D7A3C85257F490054E52E/ (https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/1F012EA1238D7A3C85257F490054E52E/)$file/14-1149-1596081.pdf

EPA to establish financial assurance rules for mining cleanup. Whatever the rules are, they will be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, where they will be upheld, since the Court has found for the EPA in previous similar decisions. But it will take so, so, long.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 06, 2016, 08:37:05 PM
Oregon becomes first state to pass law to completely eliminate coal-fired power
Quote
Oregon has become the first US state to pass laws to rid itself of coal, committing to eliminate the use of coal-fired power by 2035 and to double the amount of renewable energy in the state by 2040.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/03/oregon-coal-climate-law-kate-brown (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/03/oregon-coal-climate-law-kate-brown)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 16, 2016, 01:41:21 AM
Coal Ash Mess Continues To Muddy Utilities, Citizens And Regulators
Quote
Despite the fact that federal environmental regulators have wrapped up a coal ash rewrite, some utilities still have their toughest battles ahead of them — how to get rid of the yucky stuff that is now on their sites and how to prevent it from leaching into the drinking water supplies.

The infighting is particularly rough in Georgia and North Carolina. There, environmentalists are pushing harder to uproot existing sites while coal-burning utilities are saying it can be safe where it is. It’s a fight that will only escalate with the retirement of more and more coal plants. The Environmental Protection Agency can now regulate those sites but the states will still have a lot of say.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2016/06/15/coal-ash-mess-continues-to-muddy-utilities-citizens-and-regulators/ (http://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2016/06/15/coal-ash-mess-continues-to-muddy-utilities-citizens-and-regulators/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 18, 2016, 04:19:25 PM
Japan doubles down on coal power as trading houses curb investment
Quote
As most developed economies turn their back on coal, Japan is burning record amounts for electricity generation and plans to use even more of the dirtiest fossil fuel to fill the gap after the Fukushima disaster paralysed its nuclear sector.

But as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government pushes coal power, both at home and through exporting technology abroad, some of Japan's powerful trading houses are cutting or freezing coal investments over concerns about the environmental fallout.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-coal-idUSKCN0Z22VR (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-coal-idUSKCN0Z22VR)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 28, 2016, 09:58:26 PM
Coal Companies Spent $95 Million on Lobbying Before Bankruptcies
Quote
Five coal-mining companies spent $95 million to lobby U.S. lawmakers and more than half a billion dollars on salaries for top executives in the decade before they filed for bankruptcy, according to a report by an environmental group.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-28/coal-companies-spent-95-million-on-lobbying-before-bankruptcies (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-28/coal-companies-spent-95-million-on-lobbying-before-bankruptcies)


"Coal supplied 24.6 percent of U.S. electricity in April, compared to nearly 50 percent a decade ago."
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 28, 2016, 10:18:31 PM
Phasing Out Coal: The Philippines At A Crossroad
Quote
...environmentalist Gina Lopez [has] been offered the position of Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)...

Ms. Gina Lopez is a well-known environmentalist and vocal anti-mining advocate. In recent times she has lent her voice is and support to affected communities and the broad movement in calling for the phase-out of coal plants and coal mining in the country.

In one of her live interviews after officially accepting the offer to head DENR, Ms. Lopez candidly criticised coal use in the country. She argued against using coal when there is an abundance of solar, wind, and geothermal energy in the country, and against the use of an outdated and dirty energy source which many countries are already phasing out.
...
Solar Philippines recently announced a plan to establish the country’s first local solar manufacturing plant. 
 
This announcement adds to the declaration from a major energy utility, the Energy Development Corporation, last month that they would never develop, build or invest in any coal plant and will massively ramp up renewable energy. In the Philippines, change is starting in the private sector as more and more companies are shifting away from coal.
 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gerry-arances-/phasing-out-coal-the-phil_b_10707308.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gerry-arances-/phasing-out-coal-the-phil_b_10707308.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 28, 2016, 10:28:47 PM
Oakland, California Votes to Block Large Shipments of Coal
Quote
SAN FRANCISCO — The city of Oakland, Calif., on Monday banned the transport and storage of large coal shipments, a blow to a developer’s plans to use a former Army base as an export terminal to ship coal to China and other overseas markets.

The terminal would have been the largest coal shipment facility on the West Coast, with a planned capacity to increase coal exports in the United States by 19 percent, according to the Sierra Club, the environmental group.

Weeks of feisty debate over the ban, which the Oakland City Council unanimously passed late Monday night and which will become law after a second reading next month, covered familiar ground: the trade-offs between jobs and environmental concerns.

But the debate also raised the larger and more unusual question of how much a city should weigh the global environmental impacts of the commodities that flow through its ports. A report prepared by the city argued for a coal ban partly because the coal, once it was burned overseas, would contribute to climate change and rising sea levels.

“Oakland cannot afford to ignore the scientific evidence that clearly show the harmful effects and risk associated with coal,” said Dan Kalb, a City Council member who proposed the ban along with the mayor, Libby Schaaf. “With this new law, we’re taking the steps needed to protect our community, our workers and our planet.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/29/us/oakland-coal-transport-ban.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/29/us/oakland-coal-transport-ban.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 29, 2016, 01:42:23 PM
Monthly coal use for U.S. power falls to lowest since 1978 -EIA
Quote
Coal used to generate U.S. power fell in April to its lowest monthly level since 1978, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a report.

Coal-fired power plants generated just 72.2 million megawatt hours in April, their lowest since April 1978, according to EIA data released on Friday. One megawatt is enough to power about 1,000 U.S. homes.

Natural gas, meanwhile, surpassed coal as the United States' top fuel source for the third straight month, producing 100.0 million MWh in April, the EIA said.

Of the total 293.3 million MWh generated in April, gas accounted for 34 percent and coal just 25 percent.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/usa-natgas-coal-idUKL1N19J0H4 (http://uk.reuters.com/article/usa-natgas-coal-idUKL1N19J0H4)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 06, 2016, 02:43:27 AM
Murray Energy, the U.S.'s largest private coal company, announced plans earlier this week to lay off as many as 4,400 workers, or 80 percent of their remaining workforce.

Coal Baron Promises Huge Layoffs, Then Tells Workers To Vote Trump
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/murray-energy-trump_us_57792fcce4b09b4c43c0c2c3 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/murray-energy-trump_us_57792fcce4b09b4c43c0c2c3)

A more local view on the issue:
Murray Energy Warns of Potential Layoffs at Ohio Valley Mines
http://www.theintelligencer.net/news/top-headlines/2016/07/murray-energy-warns-of-potential-layoffs-at-ohio-valley-mines/ (http://www.theintelligencer.net/news/top-headlines/2016/07/murray-energy-warns-of-potential-layoffs-at-ohio-valley-mines/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 08, 2016, 01:06:35 PM
Big Coal Just Saw One Of Its Favorite Loopholes Closed
Quote
The Obama Administration last week took a closely-watched first step in its effort to reform the federal coal program by issuing a rule that will make it harder for coal companies to dodge royalty payments when mining on taxpayer-owned public lands.

The rule, issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR), closes a loophole that enabled coal companies to sell coal to their own subsidiaries — and then pay royalties on that artificially depressed price. Through these self-dealing transactions, coal companies have been able to shortchange U.S. taxpayers and state governments millions of dollars in royalty payments that are owed on federal coal.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/07/06/3795892/coal-royalty-loophole-closed/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/07/06/3795892/coal-royalty-loophole-closed/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 25, 2016, 08:40:04 PM
 :o :-\ :(  >:(

Burning coal for gas in UK seabeds would flame pollution, says report
Quote
The UK government’s Coal Authority has granted licences for underground coal gasification (UCG) covering more than 1,500 sq km of seabed off north-east and north-west England, Wales and east central Scotland.

The Scottish and Welsh governments have put temporary moratoriums on the technology because of concerns about the dangers. Scottish ministers are awaiting an independent review in September, which is likely to be critical of UCG.

But a company led by the veteran oil entrepreneur and former owner of the Spectator, Algy Cluff, is pursuing major developments near the shores of northern England.

Cluff Natural Resources has licences for nine potential undersea coalfields amounting to 640 sq km, valid until 2018-2020. Two are off the coast near Durham, two off Cumbria, two off Wales and three in the Firth of Forth in Scotland.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/25/burning-coal-gas-uk-seabeds-flame-pollution-report-coal-authority-ucg (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/25/burning-coal-gas-uk-seabeds-flame-pollution-report-coal-authority-ucg)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on July 26, 2016, 08:41:58 PM
Here’s how a post-coal Appalachia could thrive
Quote
Clean energy and energy efficiency

Analysts say the shift to clean power will create more jobs than it eliminates. Enterprising coal workers are trying to bring a few of those jobs to Appalachia.

Retired Kentucky coal miner Carl Shoupe and his colleagues on the Benham Power Board are spearheading a citywide energy efficiency program. Contractors will make homes more power-thrifty  —  installing insulation, sealing windows, etc. — and homeowners will pay for the upgrades through a charge on their monthly electric bill. The charge will be less than what customers save on energy.

Shoupe believes communities that once ran on coal can add jobs and save money by investing in energy efficiency. According to a report from Synapse, an energy consulting firm, Kentucky could create more than 28,000 jobs by embracing energy efficiency and renewable energy.
http://grist.org/climate-energy/heres-how-a-post-coal-appalachia-could-thrive/ (http://grist.org/climate-energy/heres-how-a-post-coal-appalachia-could-thrive/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 01, 2016, 11:51:59 PM
 How much are coal-fired plants worth? It depends.

Powering Down
The owner of Texas’ biggest fleet of coal-fired power plants is trying to wiggle out of paying its property taxes.
Quote
Over the last eight years, Luminant has used Texas’ industry-friendly property tax protest system to whittle away at its bill. Just eight years ago, in 2008, the Monticello plant was appraised at $1.05 billion. Today, Luminant claims the plant is worth only $50 million — that it has lost 95 percent of its value in eight years. Even if the appraisal district wins in court, the plant’s current taxable value of $341 million has dropped by more than two-thirds since 2008, taking millions of dollars off the tax rolls for Mount Pleasant ISD, Northeast Texas Community College, Titus County and the Titus County Hospital District. Under Texas law, Luminant and other big industrial taxpayers can sue to drastically lower their property valuations, often forcing local governments to cut budgets and raise taxes to make up for the lost revenue.
https://www.texasobserver.org/luminant-corp-property-tax/ (https://www.texasobserver.org/luminant-corp-property-tax/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 02, 2016, 01:11:17 AM
El Paso Electric celebrates coal-free status
Quote
El Paso Electric has become coal-free and no longer is using the fossil fuel to power its generators, making it the only electric utility in Texas and New Mexico to have no coal-fired power generation, officials said.
...
El Paso Electric on July 6 completed the sale of its part ownership in the Four Corners coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Farmington, N.M. That was the company's sole source of coal power.

The company sold its 7 percent ownership stake, which it held for 50 years, for $32 million to Arizona Public Service Co., or APS, a Phoenix-based electric utility, which operates the plant. Three other electric utilities in New Mexico and Arizona still have ownership interests in the plant and get power from it.

El Paso Electric won't get most of the money for the sale because it had to pay almost $28 million in future costs for when the plant closes in possibly 15 years - making the deal a virtual wash for the company, said Nathan Hirschi, the company's chief financial officer.
http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2016/07/29/el-paso-electric-coal-power-plant-ownership-sale-environment-energy/87707782/ (http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2016/07/29/el-paso-electric-coal-power-plant-ownership-sale-environment-energy/87707782/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 02, 2016, 02:28:10 AM

TVA Won’t Clean Up Toxic Coal Ash Pits Because It’s Too Expensive
Quote
Nearly a decade after the worst coal ash spills in U.S. history, a federally owned public utility is closing 10 toxic coal ash pits across Tennessee and Alabama. But it won’t clear up the toxic residue from the pits, leaving open the possibility of water contamination.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said Friday it planned to cap-in-place 10 unlined coal ash at six plants where the ash was dumped for some 50 years.

Coal ash is the byproduct of burning coal for energy and contains known carcinogens like arsenic, lead, and mercury. Energy companies dumped coal ash for decades into ditches they then filled with water. Usually unlined and close to waterways, coal ash ponds are known to leak, and went federally unregulated until 2014.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/08/01/3803703/tva-to-cap-coal-ash-pits-in-place/ (http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/08/01/3803703/tva-to-cap-coal-ash-pits-in-place/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on August 02, 2016, 05:15:19 AM
"How much are coal-fired plants worth?"

A very large and negative number.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on August 07, 2016, 12:52:18 AM
First Energy discovers the cost of coal plants this quarter was minus a billion odd US$

http://powersource.post-gazette.com/powersource/companies/2016/07/28/Power-plants-weigh-down-FirstEnergy-s-earnings/stories/201607280190 (http://powersource.post-gazette.com/powersource/companies/2016/07/28/Power-plants-weigh-down-FirstEnergy-s-earnings/stories/201607280190)

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/plagued-by-uneconomical-coal-plants-firstenergy-posts-11b-q2-loss/423607/ (http://www.utilitydive.com/news/plagued-by-uneconomical-coal-plants-firstenergy-posts-11b-q2-loss/423607/)

"The loss includes pre-tax asset impairment and plant exit costs of $1.5 billion related to the planned deactivation of coal-fired W.H. Sammis Units 1-4, and Bay Shore Unit 1, fueled by petroleum coke."

So sad.

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: mati on August 07, 2016, 02:36:08 AM
now what to do with all that horrible petroeum coke left over from refining alberta dilbit???
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on August 07, 2016, 06:19:17 AM
"now what to do with all that horrible petroeum coke left over from refining alberta dilbit???"

Like the doctor says, stop doin that. Oilsands will die as Tesla wins.

It does take a while for the dinosaurs to dies tho, and sometimes they reinvent themselves, like GM is trying and IBM pulled off.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on August 07, 2016, 07:08:30 PM
"now what to do with all that horrible petroeum coke left over from refining alberta dilbit???"


IIRC The Brothers Koch were/are stockpiling, then transporting huge volumes to jurisdictions which still allow the use of coke for energy production. Legislation is needed to prevent the sale of this nasty byproduct regardless of where the potential buyer is located.
CO2 generated in Tanzania is every bit as dangerous to us as CO2 generated in Toronto. The same rule should apply for coal. If it's too dirty to use locally, its too dirty too allow it to be shipped.

Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 09, 2016, 08:07:01 PM
U.S. coal regulator to crack down on cleanup coverage
Quote
U.S. states should force coal companies to set aside collateral to pay for future mine cleanups and protect taxpayers as the industry braces for further declines, a leading federal regulator said on Tuesday.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-coal-cleanup-idUSKCN10K1WD (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-coal-cleanup-idUSKCN10K1WD)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on August 23, 2016, 02:28:35 AM
Customers End Up Paying For The Toxic Legacy Of Coal Ash
Quote
On Wednesday, Megan Davies, a state epidemiologist with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, resigned over the controversy, stating that she felt that the Department had deliberately misled the public about the safety of potentially contaminated wells.
https://thinkprogress.org/coal-ash-carolinas-public-burden-a71cbdcd58d7
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Darvince on August 23, 2016, 04:40:07 AM
I checked the IEA report for this month and coal is still falling in the US at a stunning pace ;D
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: James Lovejoy on August 24, 2016, 06:45:48 AM
The weekly eia.gov coal report is shocking.

"For the week ended August 13, 2016 . . . U.S. year-to-date coal production totaled 421.6 mmst, 25.2% lower than the comparable year-to-date coal production in 2015"

Unexpectedly good news.

http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/weekly/ (http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/weekly/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 13, 2016, 02:42:41 AM
“Coal plants are getting less revenue for every megawatt-hour they generate and sell, and they are also generating and selling less product.”

Report: Seven Texas Coal Plants Could Close in Coming Years
Some plants are likely to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, Public Citizen says.
Quote
The report, published by the consumer advocacy nonprofit Public Citizen, found that seven of the state’s 19 coal plants — which represent 40 percent of the state’s coal capacity — are financially inviable and likely to hemorrhage money if power production continues to decline at coal plants and energy market prices remain low in the coming years.

The seven plants — including three owned by Luminant, one owned by Dynegy and three public utility or agency-owned plants — are likely to lose more than $160 million a year. Luminant’s Monticello plant, for instance, is likely to be worst off. It could lose anywhere from $60 million to $100 million dollars each year from 2017 to 2024, according to the report.
https://www.texasobserver.org/coal-plants-shutter-public-citizen-report/ (https://www.texasobserver.org/coal-plants-shutter-public-citizen-report/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on September 17, 2016, 05:36:13 AM
Screwing the miners. I feared this.

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-envrionment/294899-miners-plead-for-pension-rescue (http://thehill.com/policy/energy-envrionment/294899-miners-plead-for-pension-rescue)

I know some with black lung.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on September 18, 2016, 12:50:17 AM
Coal reform in India

https://cleantechnica.com/2016/09/15/coal-india-plans-600-mw-solar-projects/
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 21, 2016, 03:02:28 AM
Bust Hits America’s Wyoming Coal Basin After 40 Years of Boom
Quote
The last bastion of the American coal industry has been breached.

The bust that’s devastated Appalachia for five years has finally reached cowboy country’s Powder River Basin. For four decades, the 300-mile corridor stretching from Wyoming north into Montana thrived on the strength of the cleaner low-sulfur coal carved from its vast plains. No more.

After producing more than 400 million tons every year since 2004, the region’s output this year will drop by about 100 million tons, analysts say, undercut by cheap natural gas, growing utility use of renewables and new environmental rules. Since last fall, 1,100 workers, or 17 percent of the mining workforce, have lost their jobs, leaving the industry and the economy reeling.
...
Coal has a long history in the Powder River Basin. With Appalachian coal closer to the big city populations of the northeast, though, the region early on mostly served its surrounding area.

That changed in the 1970s, when approval of the Clean Air Act combined with cheaper shipping rates from railroad deregulation to smooth the way to eastern markets. Before long, power plants as far away as Georgia were deciding whether to install expensive “scrubbers” to reduce sulfur dioxide under the new clean-air rules, or buy the Powder River Basin’s suddenly cheaper low-sulfur coal. Production soared.

The basin offers two key advantages. Having developed under fresh-water conditions dating to the age of dinosaurs, the basin’s coal has a sulfur content that’s less than a fourth of the variety that formed even earlier beneath salt water in much of competing Appalachia and Illinois.

Secondly, while the region’s coal has less carbon per ton than Appalachia’s product, forcing plants to burn 50 percent more to generate the same electricity, it makes up for that with its sheer abundance. The coal is located close to the surface, eliminating the need for deep mines. Instead, the region depends on cheaper open-pit mining, using hulking excavators.

Powder River “was just booming — 40 straight years,’’ Godby said. “The best way to forecast output was to use a straight line, linear and up.’’

Now, though, the direction of that line has changed, and industry executives and analysts have big concerns about the future.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-09-20/bust-hits-america-s-cowboy-coal-basin-after-40-years-of-boom (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-09-20/bust-hits-america-s-cowboy-coal-basin-after-40-years-of-boom)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on September 24, 2016, 08:22:31 PM
Australia:
Hazelwood shutdown: Victoria's dirtiest, brown coal power station set to close early next year
Quote
Previously, a staged shutdown had been considered, but orders from WorkSafe Victoria requiring new investment are understood to have all but convinced the company the plant is no longer viable, with environmental concerns also a factor.
...
Environment Victoria chief executive Mark Wakeham said retiring Hazelwood was the single largest step that could be taken to clean up Australia's energy supply.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/hazelwood-shutdown-victorias-dirtiest-power-station-set-to-close-early-next-year-20160923-grn0ph.html (http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/hazelwood-shutdown-victorias-dirtiest-power-station-set-to-close-early-next-year-20160923-grn0ph.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on October 08, 2016, 06:43:43 AM
And another two bite the dust.

"Neither the 620 MW Hudson Generation Station in Jersey City or the 632 MW Mercer Generation Station in Hamilton Township cleared the last PJM Interconnection capacity auction, which was apparently the last straw for PSEG."

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/pseg-to-shutter-12-gw-of-coal-fired-generation-next-year/427659/ (http://www.utilitydive.com/news/pseg-to-shutter-12-gw-of-coal-fired-generation-next-year/427659/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Hefaistos on October 08, 2016, 07:59:29 AM
Well, there is less of dust, and a little bit less of CO2
But a lot more of CH4. Which seems to be the national policy, see quote.

"The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects 8 GW of gas generation capacity additions in 2016, reflecting the recent trend of utilities shifting to gas fired generation. From 2000 through 2015, the U.S. added 284.36 GW of gas capacity — nearly 70% of the 410.28 GW of total utility-scale capacity added to the grid."

The climate effect is negative in the coming decades from such substitions within the FF arena, due to the very high GWP of methane, the positive effect on GW comes only later.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 08, 2016, 09:05:09 PM
Scottish government to 'block' underground coal gasification
Quote
The Scottish government has said it "cannot support" underground coal gasification, after a new report raised environmental concerns.

Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse told MSPs that the gas extraction technique "poses numerous and serious environmental risks".

He said it would have "no place in Scotland's energy mix at this time".
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-37565927 (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-37565927)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 27, 2016, 09:11:54 PM
This case could spell the end for coal trains
Quote
Every day, between 80 to 100 trains laden with coal leave the mines of the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming, bound for export terminals and power plants across the country.

But coal trains can’t be covered, due to the combustible nature of coal, which means that as these trains rumble through communities, and near rivers, they can spew coal dust into the air and, potentially, into bodies of water.

For years, environmental and climate groups have tried to hold railroad companies that ship coal responsible for the pollution caused by coal trains. Now, a federal judge in Seattle has determined that, under the Clean Water Act, a case can go forward to hold BNSF Railway liable for pollution from coal trains. The judge warned that, to prevail, environmental and climate groups must show that debris from the coal trains is directly polluting bodies of water.
https://thinkprogress.org/coal-dust-clean-water-lawsuit-bnsf-b3748b74cb73
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 30, 2016, 01:08:34 PM
IEEFA Update: How a ‘Clean Coal’ Myth Squandered Hundreds of Millions of Taxpayer Dollars Before It Was Unmasked
FutureGen Is Now Properly Relegated to the Past
Quote
When the U.S. Department of Energy pulled the plug in February on a $1 billion subsidy to build FutureGen, a “clean coal” plant in Illinois, it put a merciful end to a twisted tale that had been unraveling for years. The coal industry peddled influence at high levels among both Democrats and Republicans to move the project forward, but in the end it was killed—and rightly so—by economic realities.
http://ieefa.org/how-a-clean-coal-myth-squandered-hundreds-of-millions-of-taxpayer-dollars-before-it-was-finally-unmasked/ (http://ieefa.org/how-a-clean-coal-myth-squandered-hundreds-of-millions-of-taxpayer-dollars-before-it-was-finally-unmasked/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 30, 2016, 04:14:28 PM
Despite rapid growth in renewables and steady growth in nuclear with the trends forecasted to continue through 2040, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that this will not prevent fossil fuel consumption, coal included, to continue to grow to meet the world's energy needs. Without a coordinated, world wide plan that lies fully outside the markets for energy (something like the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after WWII), we are rapidly headed towards "Worst Case Scenario". We have less than 3 decades to have this Marshall Plan fully implemented.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=12251 (http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=12251)

This essential response means, quite simply, that the energy markets, the companies that deliver these fuels, the banks that finance them, the investors whose life savings depend on their continued success will be completely and irrevocable disrupted. Fossil fuels, oil in particular, are fully monetized and, to a large extent, form the very foundation of the monetary system that allows global capitalism to exist. Were you impressed (surprised) by how a mortgage debt crisis, originating in the U.S., quickly devastated our financial system? You ain't seen nothing yet.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on October 30, 2016, 05:14:57 PM
I realize that many here view some of my comments as dreadfully pessimistic (Heck, I struggle with this at times myself.) but the fact is I am actually quite certain we have the technology and ability to prevent this rapidly approaching disaster. The point of this comment and many others that you can find sprinkled across these threads is that market forces are incapable of delivering us from a fate that is the result of rationally functioning markets. The response must occur outside of our system of capitalism and this response will necessarily disrupt the normal functioning of this system. Once we accept this reality, we are finally prepared to do what is needed.
And the task in front of us is daunting, a combination of ruthless energy conservation and power generation transformation. We need to start today.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 30, 2016, 07:25:49 PM
SH,

I believe the next few decades will be much more exciting than the smooth lines the EIA graph suggests.

Without dismissing their dire predictions, I think we can also permit ourselves to envision the "unthinkable" scenarios where clean energy alternatives are adopted enthusiastically (perhaps even desperately!).

Imagine a scenario where:

The 5 million or so people (in the US; more worldwide) who replace their roofs each year now replace them with solar roofs that are no more expensive than regular roofs + the cost of electricity.

Electric vehicles, and residential energy storage, ramp up exponentially. 

New buildings and dwellings are net energy positive.

Commercial energy storage smoothes the daily power curve and obviates the need for many additional power plants.

100 "gigafactories" supply the world with batteries for vehicles and commercial storage.

Hyperloops replace many high-carbon-emission trips for people and freight for distances of up to 500 miles.

Businesses and industry take up renewable energy (and efficiency) on their own, because it is cheaper than dirty energy.

Outdated and expensive coal plants continue to be closed, idled, and new construction stopped, replaced with less expensive clean energy + storage.

Petroleum use plummets as transportation (including aviation) increasingly turns electric.

Developing countries leap-frog dirty energy plants and build with smaller distributed, clean power sources and efficient homes, buildings and factories.

Nuclear... eventually is no longer needed.

"Energy clean-up" is the new big industry -- closing oil and gas wells, reclaiming mines, rocketing nuclear waste into the sun. (Hey, if you are going to spend billions on clean-up, commercial space transport is now an option.  Falcon 9 can send 4,020kg (8,860 lb) to Mars for $62 million;  Falcon Heavy numbers are 13,600 kg (29,980 lbs) for $90 million.  Obviate the need to rendezvous with a planet and land on it, and a one-way trip to the sun would likely be even cheaper.  And the sun is a gigantic nuclear reaction anyway; it won't mind.  :) )
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: oren on October 31, 2016, 12:02:12 AM
I realize that many here view some of my comments as dreadfully pessimistic (Heck, I struggle with this at times myself.)
...
We need to start today.
Funny, but I was just about to post that you are somewhat optimistic imho (when you wrote that we have three decades).
A "Marshall Plan" could work. A "Market Forces" plan as Sigmetnow is envisioning will be too slow as its actions will not be global. I'm not against it but it won't suffice.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Tor Bejnar on October 31, 2016, 03:03:49 AM
Quote
rocketing nuclear waste into the sun.
All we need is one peri-launch disaster, and 10s to 100s of kms2 become contaminated.  But I used to like this idea!
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Darvince on October 31, 2016, 06:33:32 AM
Market forces actually act extremely rapidly because the rational decision for large businesses has a single tipping point where it switches from the black option to the green option, and once that happens mass adoption follows within ten years for everyone and instantly for large businesses.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 31, 2016, 01:28:55 PM
Market forces actually act extremely rapidly because the rational decision for large businesses has a single tipping point where it switches from the black option to the green option, and once that happens mass adoption follows within ten years for everyone and instantly for large businesses.

This graph. 8)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 31, 2016, 01:41:30 PM
Quote
rocketing nuclear waste into the sun.
All we need is one peri-launch disaster, and 10s to 100s of kms2 become contaminated.  But I used to like this idea!

Quite true.  Would need to revisit launch sites from distant atolls in the Pacific Ocean. Not ideal, but....
Poor ocean, to have to deal with our messes!  :'(
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan_Ballistic_Missile_Defense_Test_Site
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: oren on October 31, 2016, 03:21:11 PM
Market forces actually act extremely rapidly because the rational decision for large businesses has a single tipping point where it switches from the black option to the green option, and once that happens mass adoption follows within ten years for everyone and instantly for large businesses.

This graph. 8)

I couldn't find this interesting image on the net, but I'm kind of guessing it is a US chart and not a global one. Could you link to the source?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 31, 2016, 04:39:07 PM
Market forces actually act extremely rapidly because the rational decision for large businesses has a single tipping point where it switches from the black option to the green option, and once that happens mass adoption follows within ten years for everyone and instantly for large businesses.

This graph. 8)

I couldn't find this interesting image on the net, but I'm kind of guessing it is a US chart and not a global one. Could you link to the source?

Perhaps Australia?
It is from an article in Renew Economy, Tracking the Next Industrial Revolution.
The graph is captioned, "Technology adoption curves for a range of modern innovations. Victorian Government"

http://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-of-the-day-where-are-we-on-the-long-road-to-ev-adoption-74731/ (http://reneweconomy.com.au/graph-of-the-day-where-are-we-on-the-long-road-to-ev-adoption-74731/)

Edit: looks like they got it from this Vivctorian government report, page 18, where it is captioned, "Figure 8 (Top). Technology adoption curves for a range of modern innovations (New York Times 2008)":
http://economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/1092568/Electric-Vehicle-trial-mid-term-report.pdf (http://economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/1092568/Electric-Vehicle-trial-mid-term-report.pdf)

The report states:
"New technology is adopted gradually, following an ‘S-curve’, similar to those depicted in Figure 8 for a range of technologies introduced over the last century.
This process has been characterised by Rogers (1962) and Moore (1991), and forms the basis for considering the status and path forwards for the Victorian electric vehicle market (Rorke and Inbakaran 2009)."
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: oren on October 31, 2016, 07:48:57 PM
Thanks for the source. Zooming in, I can clearly see that this graph applies to a developed country, and it does help to drive my point home: even though electricity reached 100% in that country about 60 years ago, globally electricity reaches only ~85% of people today. The same applies for many other home inventions and appliances.
On a different level, the US is shutting down coal plants while India is building many such plants.
Conclusion: tipping points are local and not global, because economics and infrastructure are different in each locale, and take-up of a new technology across the globe will not be as fast as that graph. Not even close, and not fast enough.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on October 31, 2016, 09:33:13 PM
Thanks for the source. Zooming in, I can clearly see that this graph applies to a developed country, and it does help to drive my point home: even though electricity reached 100% in that country about 60 years ago, globally electricity reaches only ~85% of people today. The same applies for many other home inventions and appliances.
On a different level, the US is shutting down coal plants while India is building many such plants.
Conclusion: tipping points are local and not global, because economics and infrastructure are different in each locale, and take-up of a new technology across the globe will not be as fast as that graph. Not even close, and not fast enough.
Valid points -- although varying economies and infrastructures may allow adoption, just in different and likely unexpected ways.*  I looked for other examples and found this graph, which is more clearly labelled as "U.S. households."
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/the-100-year-march-of-technology-in-1-graph/255573/ (http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/the-100-year-march-of-technology-in-1-graph/255573/)

*Edit: I'm thinking of the adoption of cell phones in poor countries in Africa, and how that led to entirely new economy for them via mobile payments.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: magnamentis on October 31, 2016, 09:37:42 PM
Quote
rocketing nuclear waste into the sun.
All we need is one peri-launch disaster, and 10s to 100s of kms2 become contaminated.  But I used to like this idea!

perhaps once in the future when we gonna have that elevators :-) i ponder of that for decades and what you said has always put a final stop to any kind of solution of that kind till now. another idea, somewhat a middle way could be a relatively conventional highflying airplane in combo with as stratospheric launch of a carrier that would be equipped with safety gadgets like parachutes etc and then to choose the flight path carefully to avoid populated areas, but nothing convincing yet.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 01, 2016, 07:31:01 PM
Coal doesn’t help the poor; it makes them poorer
Quote
A dozen international poverty and development organizations published a report last week on the impact of building new coal power plants in countries where a large percentage of the population lacks access to electricity. The report’s conclusions are strikingly counter-intuitive: on the whole, building coal power plants does little to help the poor, and often it can actually make them poorer.

Delivering electricity to those in energy poverty is certainly important. For example, household air pollution killed 4.3 million people globally in 2012; many of those lives could be saved and health improved with the use of electric stoves to replace burning wood or charcoal. However, the question remains whether coal is the best way to deliver that electricity.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/oct/31/coal-doesnt-help-the-poor-it-makes-them-poorer (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/oct/31/coal-doesnt-help-the-poor-it-makes-them-poorer)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on November 03, 2016, 05:24:57 AM
Scumbags. No money to pay pensions, lotsa money to buy politicians.

"Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy collectively poured almost $700,000 into federal races and another belly-up company, Patriot Coal, gave about $150,000 to state-level candidates."

http://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-bankrupt-coal-companies-find-ways-to-back-state-federal-candidates/429462/ (http://www.utilitydive.com/news/report-bankrupt-coal-companies-find-ways-to-back-state-federal-candidates/429462/)

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Csnavywx on November 03, 2016, 03:55:52 PM
Coal prices are surging back (especially in the seaborne export and metallurgical coal markets overseas) for some areas due to overly ambitious production cuts and shut-ins at 3rd rate mines in China as well as an economic recovery in the heavy industry sector (after an outright contraction late last year and earlier this year). The result is a rapidly recovering price and mines re-opening.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on November 03, 2016, 04:16:13 PM
Coal prices are surging back (especially in the seaborne export and metallurgical coal markets overseas) for some areas due to overly ambitious production cuts and shut-ins at 3rd rate mines in China as well as an economic recovery in the heavy industry sector (after an outright contraction late last year and earlier this year). The result is a rapidly recovering price and mines re-opening.

Markets in general act rationally (not stock markets as we are driven by our emotions but real goods markets). This results in the underlying stability of the system of capitalism. Anyone who follows the swings in prices of various fossil fuels and the changes in resulting demand and heralds the decline of an industry (coal for example) as a result of a short term swing in the fortunes of an industry will always be dismayed by the inevitable rebound.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 03, 2016, 08:45:26 PM
Looking past [the November elections], U.S. coal country sees millennials as key to revival
Quote
When Carissa Sellards talks to her West Virginia University friends about post-graduation plans, one dilemma keeps coming up – whether to stay in their home state or strike out for more promising opportunities elsewhere.

If recent history holds, over half of them will either not find work or leave the state, contributing to a brain drain of young talent that is pushing the state to try to reinvent its economy and break with a coal industry in long-term decline.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-westvirginia-idUSKBN12Y0Z9 (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-westvirginia-idUSKBN12Y0Z9)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 08, 2016, 04:03:04 PM
Coal Ash a Hot-Button Issue in Tight North Carolina Governors Race
Quote
Of all the environmental and climate change challenges facing North Carolina—including its vulnerability to sea level rise, the extreme flooding from Hurricane Matthew, the wisdom of drilling offshore and fracking throughout the state—the one issue Gov. Pat McCrory has struggled with most politically is coal ash.

In a tight re-election campaign against Democrat Roy Cooper, the current state attorney general, McCrory has had to spend little time defending his stance on climate change (he questions whether it is human-caused), and polls indicate his support for fracking and offshore drilling has a majority of his state's support.

But North Carolina has more coal ash impoundments on waterways near people and property than any other state and a massive spill that resulted in federal criminal charges in 2014 put the issue near the top of voters' concerns. It hasn't helped McCrory that the company responsible for that incident and all 33 of the coal ash dumps at 14 sites in North Carolina is McCrory's longtime former employer and political donor, Duke Energy.
https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27102016/north-carolina-governor-pat-mccrory-coal-ash-roy-cooper
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 12, 2016, 12:06:20 AM
Trump May ‘Dig’ Coal, But Industry’s Outlook Is Flat at Best
Quote
He can roll back regulations, slash government jobs, pull out of global treaties and strip the tax benefits from renewable energy. But can Donald Trump make coal great again?

Probably not, say energy industry leaders and analysts.

Coal’s share of the U.S. electricity mix has plunged to less than a third today from about half in 2008, the result of cheap natural gas and stepped-up efforts to curb carbon emissions. While Trump, promising to restore jobs, drew boisterous crowds in mining country under slogans such as "Trump Digs Coal," his best efforts may do little more than halt the industry’s steep decline.

“Donald Trump has the courage, the passion and the commitment to get it done,” said Robert E. Murray, the industry’s most outspoken champion and chief executive officer of Murray Energy Corp. “But I do not see an increase in the market for coal.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-10/trump-may-dig-coal-but-industry-s-outlook-is-flat-at-best (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-10/trump-may-dig-coal-but-industry-s-outlook-is-flat-at-best)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 12, 2016, 01:34:30 AM
UK plans to close last coal plant by 2025
Quote
Plans to close all coal-fired power stations by the end of 2025 were published today by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The plans, which are open for consultation until 1 February 2017, would meet a commitment made in the run up to the Paris climate talks last year.

The options being considered include applying emissions limits to existing coal plants in 2025 and setting a limit on running hours or emissions from 2023. Carbon Brief runs through the details.
https://www.carbonbrief.org/uk-plans-to-close-last-coal-plant-by-2025 (https://www.carbonbrief.org/uk-plans-to-close-last-coal-plant-by-2025)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 18, 2016, 09:11:35 PM
"The IEA expects China to continue building new coal plants, even though they will run less than 50% of the time. Its outlook has load factors falling to 43% in 2040."

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has dramatically scaled back its outlook for coal demand growth over the next 25 years, Carbon Brief analysis shows.
https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-international-energy-agency-cuts-coal-growth-outlook-in-half-china (https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-international-energy-agency-cuts-coal-growth-outlook-in-half-china)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 21, 2016, 02:30:42 AM
Coal industry, already in a downward spiral, may defy Trump's promises
Quote
The Trump administration could help the coal industry somewhat by unwinding President Obama's Clean Power Plan, which was designed to replace coal-fired utility plants with those using natural gas and renewable energy sources. But the effects of the plan so far may be hard to reverse.

The tighter air pollution regulations, which are still under challenge in court, forced utilities to choose between revamping aging coal-fired power plants to make them cleaner, or switching to natural gas or green sources like wind and solar. Utilities across the country typically decided to switch.

Last year, as a result, 94 coal-fired power plants were closed across the country, and this year 40 more are expected to close by the end of December. It is most unlikely that Mr. Trump could do anything to bring those plants back online.

"All the older power plants that burned Eastern coal have been basically torn down, dismantled, put in mothballs, some of them permanently," said Robert J. Zik, the now-retired former vice president for operations at TECO Coal, a subsidiary of TECO Energy that was sold to another operator last year.
...

Industry executives say that to extend the life of at least some of the 400 or so coal-burning power plants still in use in the United States, the Trump administration and lawmakers in Congress could work with them on "clean coal" initiatives.

Acknowledging that climate change is an issue even if Mr. Trump does not, Mr. Reavey of Cloud Peak Energy wants federal incentives for utilities to refit existing power plants to burn coal more efficiently and to attach systems to their facilities that will capture carbon emissions and sink them permanently in the ground. Such systems, known as carbon capture and sequestration, are currently so costly that utilities simply prefer to replace coal-fired plants with gas-fired ones.
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/20/a-bleak-outlook-for-trumps-promises-to-coal-miners.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/20/a-bleak-outlook-for-trumps-promises-to-coal-miners.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on November 21, 2016, 07:03:14 AM
Maryland appeals for coal plants to actually use scrubbers

http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/green/blog/bs-md-upwind-air-pollution-20161116-story.html (http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/green/blog/bs-md-upwind-air-pollution-20161116-story.html)

the following pdf illustrates 750 GW coal generation cancellation. Now to get rid of the 2TW operational

endcoal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/CountryMW-4.pdf
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: budmantis on November 21, 2016, 08:15:32 AM
A great idea. In New Hampshire, the Bow power plant (coal fired), had a scrubber installed back around 2012/2013.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: budmantis on November 21, 2016, 10:07:59 PM
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38056587 (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38056587)

"Canada announces plan to phase out coal by 2030."
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 25, 2016, 02:08:18 AM
Finland set to become first country to ban coal use for energy
Quote
Finland could become the first country to ditch coal for good. As part of a new energy and climate strategy due to be announced tomorrow, the government is considering banning the burning of coal for energy by 2030.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2113827-finland-set-to-become-first-country-to-ban-coal-use-for-energy/ (https://www.newscientist.com/article/2113827-finland-set-to-become-first-country-to-ban-coal-use-for-energy/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on November 27, 2016, 04:09:29 AM
Republican Congressional leader Mitch McConnell finally admits ending ‘war on coal’ might not bring back jobs
He’s been falsely blaming Obama’s environmental policies for job losses for years.
Quote
Now that his endorsed presidential candidate is poised to deregulate energy, McConnell has already changed his tune.

In a Friday appearance at the University of Louisville, he tamped down any expectations that coal jobs would come back. “We are going to be presenting to the new president a variety of options that could end this assault,” McConnell told attendees. Then he added “Whether that immediately brings business back is hard to tell because it’s a private sector activity.”

McConnell also noted that he did not intend to spend any government dollars to help those who have lost coal jobs and may not regain them. “A government spending program is not likely to solve the fundamental problem of growth,” McConnell argued. “I support the effort to help these coal counties wherever we can but that isn’t going to replace whatever was there when we had a vibrant coal industry.”
https://thinkprogress.org/mcconnell-admits-jobs-war-on-coal-8938da18e5e3
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 24, 2016, 09:03:49 PM
The growing urgency of building a new economy in coal-powered Appalachia
Transforming Appalachia’s economy one community at a time.
https://thinkprogress.org/revitalizing-a-coal-powered-culture-fc5149c3bc04
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on December 26, 2016, 07:01:41 PM
UK coal use is collapsing
Quote
Coal power output hit zero for the first time in more than 150 years in March 2016. It has been so low that output between April and September was less than that from the UK’s solar panels.

The UK’s top-up carbon tax, the carbon price floor, doubled in April 2015. Three of the UK’s remaining coal plants then closed a year later, in spring 2016. The UK plans to close all unabated coal-fired power stations by 2025.
https://www.carbonbrief.org/two-charts-show-how-uk-coal-use-is-collapsing (https://www.carbonbrief.org/two-charts-show-how-uk-coal-use-is-collapsing)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: budmantis on January 02, 2017, 07:27:00 AM
http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38484730 (http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38484730)

"Donald Trump makes top Republican fear environmental future."

Extract: Christine Todd Whitman, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under George W Bush, accused Mr Trump of ignoring compelling science.

And she warned that his threat to scrap climate protection policies puts the world's future at risk.
-----

Interesting article, just when I thought their were no Republicans left that thought AGW was real!
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 02, 2017, 09:39:37 PM
Coal Country Picked Trump. Now, They Want Him To Keep His Promises

"He is a whacko; he's never going to stop being a whacko," Hathaway says. "But I mean, the things he did say — the good stuff — was good for the coal mining community. But we'll see what happens."

http://www.npr.org/2017/01/01/507693919/coal-country-picked-trump-now-they-want-him-to-keep-his-promises (http://www.npr.org/2017/01/01/507693919/coal-country-picked-trump-now-they-want-him-to-keep-his-promises)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on January 24, 2017, 02:38:32 PM
“Timing wise it feels like now is a fantastic time to offload coal assets.”

Rio Tinto Group agreed to sell its thermal coal assets in Australia’s Hunter Valley for as much as $2.45 billion as the world’s second-biggest mining company accelerates its move away from the fuel.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-24/rio-tinto-sells-australia-coal-unit-to-yancoal-for-2-45-billion (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-24/rio-tinto-sells-australia-coal-unit-to-yancoal-for-2-45-billion)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 03, 2017, 08:13:01 PM
Why the U.S. Congress just killed a rule restricting coal companies from dumping waste in streams
Quote
With everything that Republicans want to do — repeal Obamacare, overhaul the tax code — it might seem odd that one of Congress' very first acts would be to kill an obscure Obama-era regulation that restricts coal companies from dumping mining waste into streams and waterways.

But that is indeed what's going on. On Thursday, the Senate voted 54-45 to repeal the so-called "stream protection rule" — using a regulation-killing tool known as the Congressional Review Act. The House took a similar vote yesterday, and if President Trump agrees, the stream protection rule will be dead. Coal companies will now have a freer hand in dumping mining debris in streams.

Killing this regulation won't really help Trump fulfill his goal of reversing the coal industry's decline; that decline has more to do with cheap natural gas than anything else. Instead, Republicans are mostly focusing on this rule because they can. Because the stream protection rule wasn't finished until very late in 2016, it's much, much easier to kill than most of the other Obama-era rules around coal pollution. It was an easy target, so long as the GOP acted fast....
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/03/why-congress-killed-a-rule-restricting-coal-companies-waste-dumping.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/03/why-congress-killed-a-rule-restricting-coal-companies-waste-dumping.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: P-maker on February 03, 2017, 09:11:43 PM
Sigmetnow

We are living in different worlds.

Danish energy giant DONG just announced that they will phase out coal before 2023. At the same time, yours Goldmand Sachs announced they will sell a large share of their stocks in that company.

Announcement can be found here: http://www.dongenergy.com/en/media/newsroom/news/articles/dong-energy-to-stop-all-use-of-coal-by-2023 (http://www.dongenergy.com/en/media/newsroom/news/articles/dong-energy-to-stop-all-use-of-coal-by-2023)

Biomass will be the new fuel to some extent, so watch out for mountain top removals, streambed upfillings and clear-cuttings on the slopes of Virginia...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 04, 2017, 07:35:49 PM
Sometimes it's not just about government.  This is big news.

The Western U.S.'s Largest Coal Plant May Close. It’s a Big Deal.
Quote
The largest coal-fired power plant in the West — one of the biggest climate polluters in the nation — could close later this year, a major symbolic blow to the future of coal as the backbone of America’s electric power grid.

The owners of Arizona’s Navajo Generating Station northeast of the Grand Canyon announced in early January that low natural gas prices and the rising costs of generating electricity using coal make it too expensive to operate the plant. A decision on the plant’s fate is expected this spring.
...
“In the near term, there is a chance coal may rebound as gas finds new markets, pushing gas prices up slightly,” Regan said. “But even looking out to 2020, 2025, I don’t see much of a comeback, irrespective of the Clean Power Plan.”

That’s true even if Trump administration policy heavily supports both fracking and coal because when it comes to generating electricity, natural gas and coal compete with each other.

“Anything that boosts domestic natural gas production will directly, negatively impact coal-fired power plants by reducing their margins as gas prices depress wholesale power prices,” Regan said.

One of Trump’s biggest campaign promises to voters in coal-producing Appalachian states such as West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky was that he’d “bring back coal” by killing off the Clean Power Plan and other regulations seen as detrimental to the coal industry. But those same states also depend heavily on natural gas production. 

“It's going to be difficult for Trump to be both pro-natural gas and pro-coal at the same time, unless he intends to directly subsidize coal plants or find other markets for U.S. coal,” Regan said.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/wests-largest-coal-plant-may-close-21117 (http://www.climatecentral.org/news/wests-largest-coal-plant-may-close-21117)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 16, 2017, 05:49:09 PM
It's happening!

Utilities vote to close Navajo coal plant at end of 2019
Quote
The utilities that own the Navajo Generating Station coal-fired power plant near Page are tired of overpaying for power and decided Monday to close the plant when their lease expires at the end of 2019.

To run that long, the utility owners need to work out an arrangement with the Navajo Nation, which owns the land, to decommission the plant after the lease expires. Otherwise, the owners will have to close at the end of this year to have time to tear down the plant's three generators and be gone by 2020.

Environmentalists cheered the decision to shutter one of the biggest polluters in the nation, while other stakeholders such as the U.S. Department of the Interior and coal supplier Peabody Energy hope to find a way for the Navajo Nation or another entity to step in and keep the plant going beyond 2019.
...
NV Energy already plans to exit the plant, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power recently sold its 21.2 percent stake to SRP for $13 million.

When SRP made that deal in 2015, officials said it would help keep the plant running through 2044 because they could "retire" the Los Angeles and Nevada portions of the plant, or one generator, in 2019 to comply with environmental regulations. That would allow another 24 years of operations at the two remaining generators.

But cheap natural gas has thrown a wrench into those plans. Over the course of the past year, SRP has gone from fighting to keep the plant open to arguing for its closure.

Also holding a stake in the outcome is the Central Arizona Project, which uses some of the Bureau of Reclamation's share of the power to run pumps on the canal to bring Colorado River water to Phoenix, Tucson and tribes in central Arizona.

CAP released a presentation Monday that concludes it would have saved $38.5 million in 2016 if it had bought power on the open market rather than from the Navajo Generating Station. ...
http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2017/02/13/utilities-vote-close-navajo-generating-station-coal-plant-2019/97866668/ (http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2017/02/13/utilities-vote-close-navajo-generating-station-coal-plant-2019/97866668/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on February 16, 2017, 06:25:21 PM
Good riddance.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Buddy on February 16, 2017, 11:03:49 PM
Quote
“Timing wise it feels like now is a fantastic time to offload coal assets.”

The death spiral in coal continues......unless you have coking coal.  And oil and gas won't be as far behind as I thought it would be....
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 18, 2017, 05:47:47 PM
Why Trump just killed a rule restricting coal companies from dumping waste in streams
http://www.vox.com/2017/2/2/14488448/stream-protection-rule (http://www.vox.com/2017/2/2/14488448/stream-protection-rule)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on February 18, 2017, 06:09:06 PM
Coal is North Korea’s largest export. China just said it won’t buy any for the rest of 2017. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/china-suspends-north-koreas-coal-imports-striking-at-regimes-financial-lifeline/2017/02/18/8390b0e6-f5df-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc_story.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: gerontocrat on February 18, 2017, 07:31:22 PM
AUSTRALIA!
The Aussie Federal Govt wants build new clean (ha-ha) coal powered electricity plants. The energy industry - Private sector and State governments - do NOT want the damn things. (Except coal producers obviously).

A strange day when the environmentalists need to support the private sector against a Govt that signed the Paris agreement and says it will implement the Marrakesh plans.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 19, 2017, 04:12:14 AM
China suspends North Korean coal imports, striking at regime’s financial lifeline
Quote
BEIJING — China will suspend all imports of coal from North Korea until the end of the year, the Commerce Ministry announced Saturday, in a surprise move that would cut off a major financial lifeline for Pyongyang and significantly enhance the effectiveness of U.N. sanctions.

Coal is North Korea’s largest export item, and also China’s greatest point of leverage over the regime.

The ministry said the ban would come into force Sunday and be effective until Dec. 31....
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/china-suspends-north-koreas-coal-imports-striking-at-regimes-financial-lifeline/2017/02/18/8390b0e6-f5df-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc_story.html (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/china-suspends-north-koreas-coal-imports-striking-at-regimes-financial-lifeline/2017/02/18/8390b0e6-f5df-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc_story.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: gerontocrat on February 19, 2017, 06:59:24 PM
Coal Ban by China simply power politics about North Korea slinging missiles about. Only temporary but of course could start a series of unfortunate events.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 21, 2017, 03:40:25 AM
Australia: 
Pre-election coal advertising funded by money meant for clean coal research
Quote
The coal industry's multi-million-dollar advertising and lobbying campaign in the run-up to the last federal election was bankrolled by money deducted from state mining royalty payments and meant to fund research into "clean coal".
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-20/coal-advertising-funded-by-money-meant-for-clean-coal-research/8287326 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-20/coal-advertising-funded-by-money-meant-for-clean-coal-research/8287326)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on February 22, 2017, 06:34:08 PM
"In the next four years, utilities have plans to close 40 coal units [in the U.S.], federal figures show. Six closures have been announced since Trump's victory in November."

Coal plants keep closing on Trump's watch
http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060050333 (http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060050333)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: longwalks1 on March 01, 2017, 03:10:30 AM
The end of "Clean Coal?"

https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/02/27/southern-company-says-its-delayed-kemper-power-plant-not-viable-coal-plant (https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/02/27/southern-company-says-its-delayed-kemper-power-plant-not-viable-coal-plant)

Quote
In an apparent first salvo in a public relations campaign to shift blame for the Kemper power plant boondoggle away from himself and corporate management and onto state regulators, Southern Company chief executive officer Tom Fanning admitted this week that the Kemper plant is not economically viable as a coal-burning power plant.

Quote
When the PSC held hearings in October 2009 to determine if the state actually needed additional electrical power, the Sierra Club pointed out that Mississippi already had 12 natural gas plants that sat idle 85 percent of the time and could provide up to 7,995 megawatts of power. Many of these were so-called merchant plants that were for sale for $500 million or less.

$7.1 Billion US$ to build.   582-megawatt electric power plant

The plan - dig lignite locally, gasify via Integrated gasification combined cycle, and then  use CO2 to inject locally into older nearby oil fields.  Oh, and export the technology to Poland for their lignite reserves.   

And Chu on this - Dr. Chu was a big booster of this. 

More info
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemper_Project (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemper_Project)     Kemper Plant
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_gasification_combined_cycle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_gasification_combined_cycle)   Info on the Integrated gasification combined cycle. 

I was down the road for another year in Mobile Alabama  2006-2007 and am well aware of the snake oil and corruption associated with Mississippi politics and the Haley Barbour clan.  Adding KBR and Southern Company to the mix makes a for one of the most perfect boondoggles ever on the planet. 

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ghoti on March 01, 2017, 05:21:08 AM
These CCS coal plants get public support from seemingly strange sources. Like the minister of environment and climate change in canada praising the CCS plant in Saskatchewan.

Since building and running the Sask CCS plant adds a cost equivalent to a $100/tonne carbon tax the minister is supportive. These plants are an important way to drive utilities away from considering new coal power plants. Also they make $30/tonne carbon taxes look like bargains.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on March 01, 2017, 12:39:09 PM
These CCS coal plants get public support from seemingly strange sources. Like the minister of environment and climate change in canada praising the CCS plant in Saskatchewan.

Since building and running the Sask CCS plant adds a cost equivalent to a $100/tonne carbon tax the minister is supportive. These plants are an important way to drive utilities away from considering new coal power plants. Also they make $30/tonne carbon taxes look like bargains.

Do you have a li nk for the 100$/tonne? I am curious to find more info...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: ghoti on March 01, 2017, 03:45:02 PM
Oh the $100/tonne is my own calculation based on capital costs amortized over 10 years and the electricity production. The numbers were from news reports announcing the completion of the plant with the CCS. I didn't include the running costs nor maintenance costs nor the costs of the power used to drive the CCS that would have otherwise been sold.

So take the number with a grain of salt.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 01, 2017, 04:04:59 PM
As State Loosens Oversight, Coal Ash Contaminates Central Kentucky Waterway
Quote
As Kentucky regulators and utilities are pushing to loosen regulations on the state’s coal ash ponds and landfills, more pollution problems are emerging at one of the sites in central Kentucky.

Over the past six years, documents show contaminated water including arsenic and selenium leached from the ash pond at the E.W. Brown Power Station into groundwater and directly into Herrington Lake, near Danville. Despite remedial measures taken by Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities, the pollution persists.

Now, fish tissue sampling has revealed the coal ash pond’s selenium runoff has poisoned aquatic life in the lake.

Meanwhile, the same regulators who monitor the runoff from that plant have been working extensively with the utility industry — including a group that represents LG&E and KU — to weaken state regulations governing coal ash.

Experts say that under the new regulations, the pollution at the E.W. Brown plant might never have been detected....
http://wfpl.org/as-state-loosens-oversight-coal-ash-contaminates-central-kentucky-waterway/ (http://wfpl.org/as-state-loosens-oversight-coal-ash-contaminates-central-kentucky-waterway/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on March 13, 2017, 10:11:48 PM
CCS has a lot of hidden costs:
- The cost of transportation and storage, at least an extra $10 per ton carbon
- The extra mining of coal, as CCS uses more coal to power the required processes, releases methane. On a CO2 equivalent basis this will reduce the amount of net captured CO2 and drive up the per ton cost
- The cost of the extra power if it were sold at retail costs
- Maintenance and wear and tear on big, complex, pieces of equipment

So, probably well north of $100 per ton CO2 equivalent, say $130+. Probably why CCS has completely stalled and seems to have no chance of the grandiose build out assumed in the UN IPCC scenarios. We simply have to cut coal use rapidly (and not replace it with natural gas which is just as bad once you count the fugitive methane emissions).

Of course, this will not happen in the US with a Trump administration. Wasn't happening anywhere near fast enough under an Obama administration, The recent falls in natural gas prices in the US will  simply drive electricity generation from coal to natural gas.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on March 22, 2017, 05:39:18 PM
Coal in 'freefall' as new power plants dive by two-thirds in 2016
Quote
The amount of new coal power being built around the world fell by nearly two-thirds last year, prompting campaigners to claim the polluting fossil fuel was in freefall.

The dramatic decline in new coal-fired units was overwhelmingly due to policy shifts in China and India and subsequent declining investment prospects, according to a report by Greenpeace, the US-based Sierra Club and research network CoalSwarm.

The report said the amount of new capacity starting construction was down 62% in 2016 on the year before, and work was frozen at more than a hundred sites in China and India. In January, China’s energy regulator halted work on a further 100 new coal-fired projects, suggesting the trend was not going away.

Researchers for the groups said a record amount of coal power station capacity was also retired globally last year, mostly in the US and EU, including Scotland closing its last one.

One of the reasons for the fall in new plants was that too much capacity had been built in recent years, particularly in China.
...
In total, 64GW of coal capacity was retired last year, mainly in the US and EU. Despite US President Donald Trump saying on Monday that he is preparing a new executive order to help America’s ailing coal industry, campaigners echoed analysts who have said he is unlikely to be able to significantly stop its decline.

“Markets are demanding clean energy, and no amount of rhetoric from Donald Trump will be able to stop the fall of coal in the US and across the globe,” said Nicole Ghio, senior campaigner at the Sierra Club, a US-based NGO which has managed to force many US coal plants to close over the last decade....
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/22/coal-power-plants-green-energy-china-india (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/22/coal-power-plants-green-energy-china-india)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 04, 2017, 04:23:48 PM
Australia:

'Barbaric': Farmers rattled as Adani coal mine granted unlimited water access
Quote
The proposed Adani coal mine has been granted unlimited access to groundwater by the Queensland government in a move farmers fear would allow it to drain huge amounts of water from the Great Artesian Basin.

According to a copy of Adani's water licence obtained by Fairfax Media, the $16 billion Carmichael mine merely needs to monitor and report the amount of water it extracts with a permit that runs until 2077.
...
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/barbaric-farmers-rattled-as-adani-coal-mine-granted-unlimited-water-access-20170404-gvdk5v.html (http://www.smh.com.au/environment/barbaric-farmers-rattled-as-adani-coal-mine-granted-unlimited-water-access-20170404-gvdk5v.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 05, 2017, 03:31:14 PM
The end of coal: EU energy companies pledge no new plants from 2020
Quote
Europe’s energy utilities have rung a death knell for coal, with a historic pledge that no new coal-fired plants will be built in the EU after 2020.

The surprise announcement was made at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, 442 years after the continent’s first pit was sunk by Sir George Bruce of Carnock, in Scotland.

National energy companies from every EU nation – except Poland and Greece – have signed up to the initiative, which will overhaul the bloc’s energy-generating future.
...
Wendel Trio, the director of Climate Action Network Europe, hailed the news as “the beginning of the end for coal”.

“It is now clear that there is no future for coal in the EU,” he said. “The question is: what is the date for its phase out in the EU, and how hard will the coal industry fight to keep plants open, even if they are no longer economically viable?”
...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/05/the-end-of-coal-eu-energy-companies-pledge-no-new-plants-from-2020 (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/05/the-end-of-coal-eu-energy-companies-pledge-no-new-plants-from-2020)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 05, 2017, 04:33:43 PM
The end of coal: EU energy companies pledge no new plants from 2020
Quote
Europe’s energy utilities have rung a death knell for coal, with a historic pledge that no new coal-fired plants will be built in the EU after 2020.

The surprise announcement was made at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, 442 years after the continent’s first pit was sunk by Sir George Bruce of Carnock, in Scotland.

National energy companies from every EU nation – except Poland and Greece – have signed up to the initiative, which will overhaul the bloc’s energy-generating future.
...
Wendel Trio, the director of Climate Action Network Europe, hailed the news as “the beginning of the end for coal”.

“It is now clear that there is no future for coal in the EU,” he said. “The question is: what is the date for its phase out in the EU, and how hard will the coal industry fight to keep plants open, even if they are no longer economically viable?”
...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/05/the-end-of-coal-eu-energy-companies-pledge-no-new-plants-from-2020 (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/05/the-end-of-coal-eu-energy-companies-pledge-no-new-plants-from-2020)

Sweet...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: oren on April 05, 2017, 09:39:10 PM
I know the EU are the good guys, but any new coal plant built now could last 50 years. Why are the necessary actions always postponed to the future? Why not immediately?
(sorry about the rant...)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: magnamentis on April 05, 2017, 10:24:31 PM
I know the EU are the good guys, but any new coal plant built now could last 50 years. Why are the necessary actions always postponed to the future? Why not immediately?
(sorry about the rant...)

because the governments would be sued for compensation payments to the enterprises who in good faith, before being aware of such a new law or before it was implemented, invested huge amounts of money in panning (and lobbying LOL) so the term is "Rechtsicherheit" means translated more or less something like reliability of the law that is in effect when certain processed that take years to finalization were started, this among other things that fall under that "term".

of course there is more to it and not all is "sound" (clean) but then that's the main reason, after all, once again it's either money to earn or money to safe for either side but money it always is.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on April 06, 2017, 12:31:32 AM
Germany built a lot of new coal plants in the past couple of decades, some very recently. One reason perhaps why the coal phase out there continues on into the 2040's; enough time for them to be fully depreciated and to earn their expected revenues.

A big headache for Holland, where three new coal plans opened in 2015 and the parliament is talking about closing them down by 2030.

http://reneweconomy.com.au/germany-opens-giant-new-coal-plant-it-no-longer-needs-40255/ (http://reneweconomy.com.au/germany-opens-giant-new-coal-plant-it-no-longer-needs-40255/)

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/23/dutch-parliament-votes-to-close-down-countrys-coal-industry (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/23/dutch-parliament-votes-to-close-down-countrys-coal-industry)

From the Guardian article referenced by sigmentnow: "Europe will have to phase out all of its coal plants by 2030 or else “vastly overshoot” its Paris climate pledges, climate experts say." That's the real test, especially with Poland opting out of the commitment to not built new coal plants after 2020 (it gets 90% of its electricity from coal).

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on April 06, 2017, 04:12:16 AM
The end of coal: EU energy companies pledge no new plants from 2020
Quote
Europe’s energy utilities have rung a death knell for coal, with a historic pledge that no new coal-fired plants will be built in the EU after 2020.

The surprise announcement was made at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, 442 years after the continent’s first pit was sunk by Sir George Bruce of Carnock, in Scotland.

National energy companies from every EU nation – except Poland and Greece – have signed up to the initiative, which will overhaul the bloc’s energy-generating future.
...
Wendel Trio, the director of Climate Action Network Europe, hailed the news as “the beginning of the end for coal”.

“It is now clear that there is no future for coal in the EU,” he said. “The question is: what is the date for its phase out in the EU, and how hard will the coal industry fight to keep plants open, even if they are no longer economically viable?”
...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/05/the-end-of-coal-eu-energy-companies-pledge-no-new-plants-from-2020 (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/05/the-end-of-coal-eu-energy-companies-pledge-no-new-plants-from-2020)


Very good news for the atmosphere, and Russian gas exports. If Poland insists on eschewing the clean burning gas that the rest of the EU uses, perhaps the others will place tariffs on nations that deliberately choose to pollute, even those within the free trade zone.
Boycott may be the path for the rest of us.
Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 06, 2017, 05:08:24 AM
The end of coal: EU energy companies pledge no new plants from 2020
Quote
Europe’s energy utilities have rung a death knell for coal, with a historic pledge that no new coal-fired plants will be built in the EU after 2020.

The surprise announcement was made at a press conference in Brussels on Wednesday, 442 years after the continent’s first pit was sunk by Sir George Bruce of Carnock, in Scotland.

National energy companies from every EU nation – except Poland and Greece – have signed up to the initiative, which will overhaul the bloc’s energy-generating future.
...
Wendel Trio, the director of Climate Action Network Europe, hailed the news as “the beginning of the end for coal”.

“It is now clear that there is no future for coal in the EU,” he said. “The question is: what is the date for its phase out in the EU, and how hard will the coal industry fight to keep plants open, even if they are no longer economically viable?”
...
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/05/the-end-of-coal-eu-energy-companies-pledge-no-new-plants-from-2020 (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/05/the-end-of-coal-eu-energy-companies-pledge-no-new-plants-from-2020)


Very good news for the atmosphere, and Russian gas exports. If Poland insists on eschewing the clean burning gas that the rest of the EU uses, perhaps the others will place tariffs on nations that deliberately choose to pollute, even those within the free trade zone.
Boycott may be the path for the rest of us.
Terry

Poland and Greece did not due to their coal resources and bad economies. They would have to import all the gas. A lot of the new western European gas could be LNG. Single source and dependence (Russian) is too risky.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on April 06, 2017, 06:23:38 AM

Poland and Greece did not due to their coal resources and bad economies. They would have to import all the gas. A lot of the new western European gas could be LNG. Single source and dependence (Russian) is too risky.


Greece is in financial hot water, but Poland's stand is a politically motivated one.


Poland isn't advocating the use of LNG, they want to burn coal. Perhaps a very heavy carbon penalty will persuade them to clean up their act.
Those that choose to pay the penalty that LNG costs entail are at least paying to play, unlike those that expect a free ride while destroying the atmosphere for all of us.
I think everyone here recognizes the environmental costs of coal, as well as the environmental damage done by fracked gas, which is the source of American produced LNG.
Let's not give anyone a free pass because of their politics - dirty fuel is dirty fuel, and should be phased out ASAP.
I for one will try to avoid Polish products until such time as they drop coal.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: gerontocrat on April 06, 2017, 11:50:27 AM
Australian politicians are still trying to help finance a huge new coalmine. The link below gives a view on this outrage against just about everything.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2017/apr/04/brenda-the-civil-disobedience-penguin-v-the-adani-mine-democracy-is-fatally-compromised (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2017/apr/04/brenda-the-civil-disobedience-penguin-v-the-adani-mine-democracy-is-fatally-compromised)

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 06, 2017, 12:32:04 PM

Poland and Greece did not due to their coal resources and bad economies. They would have to import all the gas. A lot of the new western European gas could be LNG. Single source and dependence (Russian) is too risky.


Greece is in financial hot water, but Poland's stand is a politically motivated one.


Poland isn't advocating the use of LNG, they want to burn coal. Perhaps a very heavy carbon penalty will persuade them to clean up their act.
Those that choose to pay the penalty that LNG costs entail are at least paying to play, unlike those that expect a free ride while destroying the atmosphere for all of us.
I think everyone here recognizes the environmental costs of coal, as well as the environmental damage done by fracked gas, which is the source of American produced LNG.
Let's not give anyone a free pass because of their politics - dirty fuel is dirty fuel, and should be phased out ASAP.
I for one will try to avoid Polish products until such time as they drop coal.


Terry

Your better avoid Indian and Chinese too...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 06, 2017, 12:42:05 PM
First of all... who said American LNG ? But anyway... Qatar would probably be the largest source. I think Italy already has a couple of terminals already. ..

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 06, 2017, 12:47:19 PM
And the Greeks are complete morons for not taking advantage of cheap Chinese solar panels ( as u mentioned ) and wind.  Both are more than abundant.  But I digress...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 06, 2017, 12:49:31 PM
Also lets boycott the people that produce the most coal

https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/images/figure_4-4.png (https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/images/figure_4-4.png)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on April 06, 2017, 06:25:06 PM
Australian politicians are still trying to help finance a huge new coalmine. The link below gives a view on this outrage against just about everything.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2017/apr/04/brenda-the-civil-disobedience-penguin-v-the-adani-mine-democracy-is-fatally-compromised (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2017/apr/04/brenda-the-civil-disobedience-penguin-v-the-adani-mine-democracy-is-fatally-compromised)
Thanks
Yes that is outrageous.
I'm proud of my province, Ontario, as it went from hosting one of the worlds largest coal plants to zero coal in a fairly short time. Federally my government is hypocritical in that it talks green while putting onerous tariffs on solar panels. My stance against tar sand exploitation is a protest against the Keystone Pipeline.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 06, 2017, 06:59:27 PM
Irony alert!   ;D

Kentucky Coal Mining Museum converts to solar power
http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Kentucky-Coal-Mining-Museum-converts-to-solar-power-418430563.html (http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Kentucky-Coal-Mining-Museum-converts-to-solar-power-418430563.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on April 06, 2017, 07:06:41 PM
First of all... who said American LNG ? But anyway... Qatar would probably be the largest source. I think Italy already has a couple of terminals already. ..


IIRC there is at least one port in the Balkans, but it, and it's sponsoring country are in serious financial trouble since they expected neighboring countries to buy their reconstituted gas to help them meet their minimums, The neighbors apparently spoke of solidarity, but wouldn't pay the huge markup over piped in Russian gas.


America is already the world's primary source for LPG with many more facilities being built, or on the drawing board.
http://www.lngworldshipping.com/news/view,us-builds-terminals-to-boost-lpg-exports_40846.htm (http://www.lngworldshipping.com/news/view,us-builds-terminals-to-boost-lpg-exports_40846.htm)
And the first to win an export permit for fracked American gas way back in 2012 was a company 70% owned by Qatar!
http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/qatar-exxon-venture-wins-first-u-s-lng-export-permit (http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/qatar-exxon-venture-wins-first-u-s-lng-export-permit)


As Americas fracked gas is marketed around the world domestic prices will jump, but international conglomerates will flourish.


Ain't life wonderful?
Terry
Edit:
I believe that China has been shutting down already completed coal burning facilities, suggesting your graphs may be out of date.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on April 06, 2017, 07:13:39 PM
Irony alert!   ;D

Kentucky Coal Mining Museum converts to solar power
http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Kentucky-Coal-Mining-Museum-converts-to-solar-power-418430563.html (http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Kentucky-Coal-Mining-Museum-converts-to-solar-power-418430563.html)
Museums are for dead things, I think solar power is quite fitting. :)


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 06, 2017, 08:08:52 PM
A massive coal mining project was scrapped in Alaska after no one would invest in it
Quote
A controversial coal mining project in Alaska worth more than $600 million has been abandoned by its developers, underscoring the uphill battle President Donald Trump will face in fulfilling his promise to bring coal mining jobs back to America.

PacRim Coal LP, the developer behind the Chuitna Coal Project, was in the later stages of the state and federal mine permitting process to develop coal deposits 45 miles southwest of Anchorage. The firm planned to ship the coal to South Korea, Japan, and China.

But PacRim has suspended all permitting activities and will no longer pursue the project after failing to find an investment partner in the venture, an Alaskan state official confirmed to VICE News.
...
https://news.vice.com/story/chuitna-coal-mine-scrapped-in-alaska-after-no-one-would-invest-in-it
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 06, 2017, 09:07:45 PM
First of all... who said American LNG ? But anyway... Qatar would probably be the largest source. I think Italy already has a couple of terminals already. ..


IIRC there is at least one port in the Balkans, but it, and it's sponsoring country are in serious financial trouble since they expected neighboring countries to buy their reconstituted gas to help them meet their minimums, The neighbors apparently spoke of solidarity, but wouldn't pay the huge markup over piped in Russian gas.


America is already the world's primary source for LPG with many more facilities being built, or on the drawing board.
http://www.lngworldshipping.com/news/view,us-builds-terminals-to-boost-lpg-exports_40846.htm (http://www.lngworldshipping.com/news/view,us-builds-terminals-to-boost-lpg-exports_40846.htm)
And the first to win an export permit for fracked American gas way back in 2012 was a company 70% owned by Qatar!
http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/qatar-exxon-venture-wins-first-u-s-lng-export-permit (http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/qatar-exxon-venture-wins-first-u-s-lng-export-permit)


As Americas fracked gas is marketed around the world domestic prices will jump, but international conglomerates will flourish.


Ain't life wonderful?
Terry
Edit:
I believe that China has been shutting down already completed coal burning facilities, suggesting your graphs may be out of date.
2016 graphs... China is not shutting down coal..they have scrapped plans to build new ones. But the will debottleneck existing ones...
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 06, 2017, 09:42:39 PM
Thought at first this was a joke. But, no!

U.S. Interior Dept. changes website from family visiting park to a giant pile of coal
Quote
Even the smallest of symbolic details can't escape the changes of life in Trump's America. The government agency responsible for overseeing a staggering 258 million acres of land, including ecologically vital conservation areas, has changed the image on its homepage from a scenic park vista to a massive, tall pile of coal.

The website change, which happened in the past 24 hours, is in keeping with the Trump administration's push to drill for oil, natural gas, and minerals on public lands.
...
http://mashable.com/2017/04/06/interior-department-changes-webpage-coal-pile/ (http://mashable.com/2017/04/06/interior-department-changes-webpage-coal-pile/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 06, 2017, 11:14:59 PM
Holy F-bomb.... :o
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on April 06, 2017, 11:25:59 PM
Thought at first this was a joke. But, no!

U.S. Interior Dept. changes website from family visiting park to a giant pile of coal
Quote
Even the smallest of symbolic details can't escape the changes of life in Trump's America. The government agency responsible for overseeing a staggering 258 million acres of land, including ecologically vital conservation areas, has changed the image on its homepage from a scenic park vista to a massive, tall pile of coal.

The website change, which happened in the past 24 hours, is in keeping with the Trump administration's push to drill for oil, natural gas, and minerals on public lands.
...
http://mashable.com/2017/04/06/interior-department-changes-webpage-coal-pile/ (http://mashable.com/2017/04/06/interior-department-changes-webpage-coal-pile/)


This could start a trend ... How about that photo of the little Vietnamese girl, screaming as she runs away from the Napalmtm dropped from the friendly skies by ... The Department of Defense


The Department of Justice could feature a naked scene from Abu Ghraib, complete with dogs.


The possibilities are endless, except for the EPA who will have their computers seized.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 06, 2017, 11:39:50 PM
< deleted OT...>
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 07, 2017, 10:20:43 PM
Only a matter of time before they designate the Grand Canyon for coal ash disposal....   ::) :o :( >:(
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 08, 2017, 05:21:21 PM
When you know the truth, but your job requires you to have an alternative world view.

Coal CEO to Trump: Stay in Paris climate deal
Quote
...remain in the Paris accord, but soften the U.S. emissions pledge, end payments to United Nations-backed green energy funds, and promote development of low-emissions coal technologies, among other things. ...
https://www.axios.com/coal-ceo-to-trump-stay-in-paris-climate-deal-2348023290.html (https://www.axios.com/coal-ceo-to-trump-stay-in-paris-climate-deal-2348023290.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: gerontocrat on April 11, 2017, 03:24:57 PM
MADNESS
MADNESS

Malcolm Turnbull tells Indian billionaire native title will not stop Adani coalmine
Prime minister also confirmed company would seek $1bn government loan to fund rail line for $16bn project, after meeting Gautam Adani in New Delhi

Note that this is while the reports on new coral bleaching of the great barrier reef continue to flood in,
and it seems that cyclone Debbie floods are sending vast amounts of sediment contaminated with coal dust towards the reef.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/11/malcolm-turnbull-tells-indian-billionaire-native-title-will-not-stop-adani-coalmine (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/11/malcolm-turnbull-tells-indian-billionaire-native-title-will-not-stop-adani-coalmine)

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/10/great-barrier-reef-terminal-stage-australia-scientists-despair-latest-coral-bleaching-data (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/10/great-barrier-reef-terminal-stage-australia-scientists-despair-latest-coral-bleaching-data)

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/11/run-off-pollution-from-cyclone-debbie-flooding-sweeps-into-great-barrier-reef (https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/11/run-off-pollution-from-cyclone-debbie-flooding-sweeps-into-great-barrier-reef)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on April 17, 2017, 07:50:57 AM
Now this is interesting. April 10th article from the AZ republic about our favorite bankrupt coal company  Peabody trying to sell the navajo coal generating station under the utility currently operating it, who want to close it down. The thing is a monster, and the major eater of coal from a peabody mine.

http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2017/04/10/peabody-energy-hopes-land-buyer-troubled-navajo-generating-station/100303150/ (http://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2017/04/10/peabody-energy-hopes-land-buyer-troubled-navajo-generating-station/100303150/)

and then we have the IRS notice on april 12th that "For calendar year 2017, the credit period for Indian coal production has expired."

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/04/12/2017-07493/credit-for-renewable-electricity-production-and-refined-coal-production-and-publication-of-inflation (https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/04/12/2017-07493/credit-for-renewable-electricity-production-and-refined-coal-production-and-publication-of-inflation)

Goodbye Peabody. Can't say I'll miss you.

sidd

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 17, 2017, 03:56:49 PM
 The Australia-India connection.

There’s An Army Of Indian Twitter Accounts Pushing Suspiciously Identical Pro-Mining Tweets
The accounts appear to post tweets with very specific talking points.
Quote
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull met with Indian mining boss Gautam Adani last week over the future of a controversial coal project on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

When Adani met with Turnbull last week, the mining boss tweeted this picture which showed the men with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

But when the replies to the tweet started rolling in, it was clear that several were pushing a very specific talking point. ...
https://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/adani-mine-army (https://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/adani-mine-army)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on April 18, 2017, 05:13:35 PM
Coal is pretty much dead in the UK

Through a 50% jump in natural gas usage in 2016. Coal supplies less than 10% of electricity. Wind stalled in 2016, but there were increases in solar and biomass (although a lot of controversy over burning wood pellets from US forests).

https://theconversation.com/the-year-coal-collapsed-2016-was-a-turning-point-for-britains-electricity-70877
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 18, 2017, 06:19:14 PM
Coal is pretty much dead in the UK

Through a 50% jump in natural gas usage in 2016. Coal supplies less than 10% of electricity. Wind stalled in 2016, but there were increases in solar and biomass (although a lot of controversy over burning wood pellets from US forests).

https://theconversation.com/the-year-coal-collapsed-2016-was-a-turning-point-for-britains-electricity-70877

Huge controversy in my mind. It takes years of past and future CO2 stored and emitting them instantly. Not sustainable!!
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 19, 2017, 05:42:32 AM
Burning biomass does not de-sequester fossil fuel carbon.  As long as we have a good replant process we should be able to burn some biofuel without hurting ourselves too much.

Much less hurt than burning coal.

And I think we tend to overlook the carbon that trees and other plants do sequester in their root systems.  A tree can have as much mass below ground as above.  If we cut off the top for fuel we're only taking half of what that tree has pulled out of the atmosphere.  It could be that by harvesting mature trees and replanting in their place we actually get more carbon underground than leaving the tree to stand then eventually die and rot, releasing its above ground carbon.

Long run we probably ought not plan on making biomass from  trees a major part of our fuel system.  But during the transition it's probably better to burn biomass than coal.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 19, 2017, 02:16:06 PM
Burning biomass does not de-sequester fossil fuel carbon.  As long as we have a good replant process we should be able to burn some biofuel without hurting ourselves too much.

Much less hurt than burning coal.

And I think we tend to overlook the carbon that trees and other plants do sequester in their root systems.  A tree can have as much mass below ground as above.  If we cut off the top for fuel we're only taking half of what that tree has pulled out of the atmosphere.  It could be that by harvesting mature trees and replanting in their place we actually get more carbon underground than leaving the tree to stand then eventually die and rot, releasing its above ground carbon.

Long run we probably ought not plan on making biomass from  trees a major part of our fuel system.  But during the transition it's probably better to burn biomass than coal.

Do you think we currently are not greedy enough to have a good replanting process?

Is the mass of wood consumed in balance with the growth of new trees in the area they were harvested?  Right now the few of them burn wood pellets from wood use byproducts!! All good with that.

However, past history with other resources has shown the tendency to over-build and this would result to the felling of trees exclusively for power generation. It is a moral hazard.

[EDIT] this already happens now

Quote
It took half a century for an acorn to grow into the 20-meter-tall oak tree standing here in a North Carolina hardwood forest near the banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River. But it takes just seconds to turn the oak into fuel for the furnace of a European power plant.

Quote
"It basically tells the Congo and Indonesia and every other forested country in the world: ‘If you cut down your forests and use them for energy, not only is that not bad, it's good,’" says Tim Searchinger, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C., who has studied the carbon impacts of wood energy.

Oak trees in North Carolina are heading for a U.K. power plant largely because of a single number: zero. That's the amount of CO2 that European power plants can claim they emit when burning wood. It's not true, of course, and in some cases wood-burning furnaces actually puff more CO2 from their smokestacks per unit of electricity produced than those burning coal or natural gas. (In part, that's because wood can have a higher water content than other fuels, and some of its energy goes to boiling off the water.) But under the European Union's ambitious 2009 plan to produce 20% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2020, regulators endorsed an earlier decision to designate wood as a carbon-neutral fuel for the purposes of emissions accounting.

In response, some countries—including the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands—have built new wood-fired plants or converted coal-fired plants to wood. The United Kingdom has been one of the most enthusiastic, with the government providing subsidies for wood pellets that make them competitive with fossil fuels. At the country's largest power station, a 4000-megawatt behemoth in North Yorkshire, owner Drax Group has converted half of the furnaces to burn wood pellets.

Quote
U.S. exports, nearly all from the southeast, grew from zero in 2005 to more than 6.5 million metric tons in 2016, according to Forisk Consulting, a firm in Athens, Georgia. Pellet exports are expected to grow to 9 million metric tons by 2021.

 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: gerontocrat on April 19, 2017, 04:24:51 PM
COAL. Not biomass and forests. So I will not reply on this thread. What self-discipline Sir Governor Neven ?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on April 19, 2017, 04:52:34 PM
Looks like we need a biomass thread
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 19, 2017, 06:16:45 PM
COAL. Not biomass and forests. So I will not reply on this thread. What self-discipline Sir Governor Neven ?

These are COAL plants that they are converting. How do you have handle overlapping technologies? With overlapping threads?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on April 19, 2017, 06:18:28 PM
Anyway, that was a rhetorical question. OT over.. we are becoming a little too sensitive
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on April 22, 2017, 07:37:42 AM
Quote
NG Control Room @ NGControlRoom
National Grid can confirm that for the past 24 hours, it has supplied GB’s electricity demand without the need for #coal generation.


Quote
Javier Blas‏Verified account
Javier Blas Retweeted NG Control Room
CONFIRMED: UK goes for a full day without burning #coal to generate #electricity for first time in 135 years #climatechange #renewables
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 22, 2017, 03:49:10 PM
British power generation achieves first ever coal-free day
National Grid hails milestone as other sources like gas, nuclear, wind and solar allow UK to keep lights on with all coal-fired powerplants offline
Quote
Friday was Britain’s first ever working day without coal power since the Industrial Revolution, according to the National Grid.

The control room tweeted the milestone on Friday. It is the first continuous 24-hour coal-free period for Britain since use of the fossil fuel began. West Burton 1 power station, the only coal-fired plant that had been up and running, went offline on Thursday....
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/21/britain-set-for-first-coal-free-day-since-the-industrial-revolution (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/21/britain-set-for-first-coal-free-day-since-the-industrial-revolution)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on April 27, 2017, 03:40:30 AM
We've already destroyed the land; can't do anything else with it; so, sure, let's put solar there.  Jobs!

Coal company plans huge solar farm on strip mine
Quote
An Eastern Kentucky coal mining company plans to build what could become the state's largest solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop strip mine, promising jobs for displaced coal miners.
...
"I grew up with coal," said Ryan Johns, an executive with Berkeley, an Eastern Kentucky coal company. "Our company has been in the coal business for 30 years. We are not looking at this as trying to replace coal, but we have already extracted the coal from this area." He said it's just an extension of using that land to produce energy for the nation while putting out of work coal miners back to work.
...
http://www.courier-journal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2017/04/18/coal-company-plans-huge-solar-farm-strip-mine/100597672/ (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2017/04/18/coal-company-plans-huge-solar-farm-strip-mine/100597672/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: gerontocrat on April 27, 2017, 03:27:26 PM
GOLDMAN SACHS BET ON COAL AND GOT SCREWED (Peabody Energy & Energy Future Holdings Corp. and Claire's Stores Inc.). Couldn't happen to a nicer company. If I was a US citizen with a 401(k) maybe I would be asking the fund managers how much of my loot was directly and indirectly in fossil fuels. These guys put peoples' individual futures at risk. URL below.

https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-04-24/goldman-sachs-s-debt-trading-miss-makes-case-for-volcker-rule (https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-04-24/goldman-sachs-s-debt-trading-miss-makes-case-for-volcker-rule)
SHARE DIVE
Debt-trading revenues tend to be volatile. That's normal. But something was abnormal about how disappointing Goldman Sachs's fixed-income trading results were in the first three months of 2017.Goldman is typically a powerhouse in this lucrative business, and yet the New York bank was the only one of its peers to miss analysts' debt-trading estimates for the quarter. The firm's explanation that credit trading in particular was weak made little sense because volumes set records, and other banks cited that area as notably strong.
SHARE DIVE

Bloomberg News reporters uncovered the real reason in an article on Monday: Goldman traders bet big on specific distressed credits, including Peabody Energy Corp., Energy Future Holdings Corp. and Claire's Stores Inc., and those wagers went belly up.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on April 29, 2017, 09:05:34 PM
Adani's woes mount:

1)Westpac refused to fund Australian coal mine

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-28/westpac-adds-coal-to-its-lending-black-list/8479600 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-28/westpac-adds-coal-to-its-lending-black-list/8479600)

2)India Supreme Court takes away tariff increae, wipes out already booked revenue of more than the company's entire net worth.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/sc-ruling-on-power-tariffs-to-hit-imported-coal-based-power-generators/articleshow/58351409.cms (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/power/sc-ruling-on-power-tariffs-to-hit-imported-coal-based-power-generators/articleshow/58351409.cms)

Adani's debt load will kill it shortly. Cheers.

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on April 30, 2017, 08:22:02 PM
From the second article:

"The issue started back in 2010 when Indonesia revised its export norms that led to a sharp rise in coal prices. Both Tata Power and Adani Power depend on coal imports from Indonesia and they had to shell out higher prices for the coal they imported. To pass the increased input costs to consumers they tried to invoke the force majeure clause in the power purchase agreements with clients ... Nevertheless, India Ratings believes that Tata Power at a consolidated level has a natural hedge to the increase in coal prices due to its 30% stake in an Indonesian coalmine."

Looks like Tata could be in a very good position to pick up Adani assets on the cheap.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on April 30, 2017, 09:34:10 PM
Prediction: Adani assets will not be bought by Tata Power. They are hemoragging money on all their coal plants, including the so called hedge. As always, I could be wrong.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 05, 2017, 12:44:06 AM
Duke Energy abandons in-person annual meeting after years of anti-coal protests
Corporate governance experts believe companies go virtual to avoid adverse publicity.
https://thinkprogress.org/duke-energy-abandons-in-person-shareholder-meeting-d9837db3969b
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on May 08, 2017, 03:37:36 PM
China expected to invest US$15bn in coal-fired power projects in Pakistan

Seems China has no problem adding coal-fired power stations in Pakistan, adding up to a dozen coal-fired power stations in the next 15 years. Part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

"The coal-fired power projects are part of the US$54bn China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which will include US$33bn of investments in 19 power projects (coal-fired and renewable power plants, transmission lines and other energy infrastructure). This should raise Pakistan's power generation by 6 GW by the end of 2018 and should eventually add 16 GW of power capacity, of which 1/4 from renewables (3,900 MW from three hydropower projects, four wind projects and a solar park) and 3/4 from coal-fired power plants.

This future surge in coal-fired power generation is expected to raise its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which are already rising by 3.9%/year and reached 405 MtCO2eq in 2015. The new coal-fired power plants will use the latest supercritical technology, somehow reducing emissions."

https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/china-should-invest-us15bn-coal-fired-power-projects-pakistan.html (https://www.enerdata.net/publications/daily-energy-news/china-should-invest-us15bn-coal-fired-power-projects-pakistan.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 08, 2017, 06:20:00 PM
I don't understand why China is helping other countries build new coal plants when the Chinese government has stated that it intends to be a global leader in the fight against climate change.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on May 08, 2017, 08:19:54 PM
Agreed


Does Pakistan have huge local coal sources they insisted on using? Perhaps this was the only deal they would accept?
Still a terrible deal to make.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 08, 2017, 08:28:04 PM
Looks like Pakistan has plenty coal if they want to burn it....

Quote
The Thar coalfield is located in Thar Desert, Tharparkar District of Sindh province in Pakistan. The deposits - 16th largest coal reserves in the world,

Pakistan is also getting into large scale solar.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 16, 2017, 04:08:40 PM
South Korea to temporarily close 10 old coal-fired power plants in June
Quote
May 15 South Korea will temporarily shut down 10 coal-fired power plants that are over 30 years old in June to mitigate air pollution, the office of President Moon Jae-in said in a statement on Monday.

The measure comes as coal-fired power plants are being criticised for contributing to deteriorating air quality in South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Amid these concerns, new President Moon vowed during his election campaign to close the old coal power plants and review a plan to add coal power generation. Instead he advocated increasing the share of renewables to produce more clean energy.

Following through on the promise to reduce coal-fired generation, the presidential office, formally called the Blue House, said that it will temporarily suspend operations of the older coal power plants next month for one month.

The Blue House also said it will shut the older coal plants again in 2018 from March to June and, furthermore, wants to close all of the old coal plants within Moon's presidency which ends in May 2022.

In July last year, South Korea's energy ministry announced a plan to close the 10 old coal-fired power plants by 2025 in order to lower its coal power reliance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
...
http://uk.reuters.com/article/southkorea-politics-energy-idUKL4N1IH13D (http://uk.reuters.com/article/southkorea-politics-energy-idUKL4N1IH13D)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: vigilius on May 16, 2017, 05:11:12 PM
Well, promoters in Plaquemines Parish near by where I live have been wanting to build a coal export terminal on the banks of the Mississippi. I joined with local protesters on this issue....   ....but WOW it looks like maybe demand is diminishing and I will have no coal trains going by my house after all. Wouldn't that be nice. Still awaiting final developments.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: gerontocrat on May 16, 2017, 05:13:26 PM
Miners are used to working in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions.
Many are highly skilled engineers, mechanics, electricians et al.
All know how to work with (often highly sophisticated) mechanised systems.

What do we do when an industry like coal is in terminal decline ? We throw the work-force on the scrap heap.
Why? Because the legislators and mine owners in places like West Virginia (and in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s) are too damn thick and too damn greedy to realise that it is the people who are the most valuable asset.

The sun shines and the wind blows in West Virginia. The workforce is there. Everything you need (with a bit of new skills training) to build a renewable energy industry is there. Will it happen? probably not with the idiots from the POTUS down in charge.

ps: One mine owner in West Virginia is building a solar farm on a mountaintop scraped flat for mining.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 16, 2017, 10:11:09 PM
Well, promoters in Plaquemines Parish near by where I live have been wanting to build a coal export terminal on the banks of the Mississippi. I joined with local protesters on this issue....   ....but WOW it looks like maybe demand is diminishing and I will have no coal trains going by my house after all. Wouldn't that be nice. Still awaiting final developments.

There have been multiple attempts to create port facilities along the Pacific to ship US coal to Asia.  It seems like people have quit trying.  Those countries that are still burning coal in large amounts are largely ceasing imports. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 16, 2017, 10:15:51 PM
Miners are used to working in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions.
Many are highly skilled engineers, mechanics, electricians et al.
All know how to work with (often highly sophisticated) mechanised systems.

What do we do when an industry like coal is in terminal decline ? We throw the work-force on the scrap heap.
Why? Because the legislators and mine owners in places like West Virginia (and in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s) are too damn thick and too damn greedy to realise that it is the people who are the most valuable asset.

The sun shines and the wind blows in West Virginia. The workforce is there. Everything you need (with a bit of new skills training) to build a renewable energy industry is there. Will it happen? probably not with the idiots from the POTUS down in charge.

ps: One mine owner in West Virginia is building a solar farm on a mountaintop scraped flat for mining.

What coal country doesn't understand is that if Democrats get control over the federal government coal country will stand a significantly higher chance of getting help retraining coal workers and creating jobs for them.

I'm amazed at the number of Americans who really, really need federal programs and social safety nets but vote for the party that wants to kill those very programs. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Tor Bejnar on May 17, 2017, 01:17:22 AM
I also am amazed, although many folks vote 'their guns' or 'abortion' before 'their economic or medical well being.'
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on May 17, 2017, 06:16:18 AM
Miners are used to working in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions.
Many are highly skilled engineers, mechanics, electricians et al.
All know how to work with (often highly sophisticated) mechanised systems.

What do we do when an industry like coal is in terminal decline ? We throw the work-force on the scrap heap.
Why? Because the legislators and mine owners in places like West Virginia (and in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s) are too damn thick and too damn greedy to realise that it is the people who are the most valuable asset.

The sun shines and the wind blows in West Virginia. The workforce is there. Everything you need (with a bit of new skills training) to build a renewable energy industry is there. Will it happen? probably not with the idiots from the POTUS down in charge.

ps: One mine owner in West Virginia is building a solar farm on a mountaintop scraped flat for mining.
The bolded is certainly a ray of hope. As you pointed out, the difference in skill sets between a coal miner and a solar or wind installer or technician is not an insurmountable barrier. A week of training, then a few months of mentoring on the job should produce a journeyman tech that can make money for himself and his employer.


Dropping the tariff on Chinese solar panels would ease the transition.
Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 17, 2017, 06:33:58 AM
Coal jobs pay more than wind and solar jobs.  Plus most coal miners live close to the mine and their families have lived there for generations.  Many of those people don't want to go elsewhere for work.

For the most part their houses and land are worthless.  There's no one to buy them out if they want to leave.

Other than the odd flat-topped mountain (Thanks, Mr. Peabody) there aren't a lot of place that are good for large solar.  And there aren't big transmission lines. 

These are basically parts of the US that people will abandon over the next 50 or so years. Young people with ambition already leave.  As time goes along there will be no infrastructure. No grocery stores, no health facilities, ....  The last few old folks will die in place or get moved out to a nursing home by their kids who no longer live there.  Forests will reclaim the area.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: gerontocrat on May 17, 2017, 02:23:45 PM
Coal jobs pay more than wind and solar jobs.  Plus most coal miners live close to the mine and their families have lived there for generations.  Many of those people don't want to go elsewhere for work.

For the most part their houses and land are worthless.  There's no one to buy them out if they want to leave.

Other than the odd flat-topped mountain (Thanks, Mr. Peabody) there aren't a lot of place that are good for large solar.  And there aren't big transmission lines. 

These are basically parts of the US that people will abandon over the next 50 or so years. Young people with ambition already leave.  As time goes along there will be no infrastructure. No grocery stores, no health facilities, ....  The last few old folks will die in place or get moved out to a nursing home by their kids who no longer live there.  Forests will reclaim the area.

Hullo Bob,
To answer your points:-
A job is better than no job, especially if it is skilled.
Everybody drives in the USA. A job up to 50 miles away from home is doable.
There are all sorts of solar and wind projects from individual houses, small communities, large communities and cities etc etc.
Smart energy grid management can work well managing energy ins and out from many different locations with modest transmission lines. There are places that are moving away from a few large power plants with massive interconnectors to a much more distributed system. Horses for courses.

A future where we all live in megacities totally divorced from the natural world may well be where the powers that be are pushing us. Yuk.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 17, 2017, 06:35:12 PM
There aren't going to be large wind farms built within 50 miles of coal towns.  And there's no money in those towns for installing solar on roofs.

For workers living in coal towns the routine would likely be to leave home on Sunday afternoon, drive a few hours to where they will work for a week and then return home late Friday night.  People aren't going to do that for 20 years.

Quote
A future where we all live in megacities totally divorced from the natural world may well be where the powers that be are pushing us.

The power of economics is pushing us into large cities.  At some point in the future, when work is done by robot and we all receive a living stipend I see a great movement back into the beautiful places we have left.  It might take 100 years but I see a time when we don't spend our lives working for a living and are free to live where it makes us happy as opposed to living where we can find work.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 17, 2017, 08:30:01 PM
...
Other than the odd flat-topped mountain (Thanks, Mr. Peabody) there aren't a lot of place that are good for large solar.  And there aren't big transmission lines. 

Solar farms don't have to be flat.  And all those coal-fired power plants we're closing have transmission lines, ready to be tapped into.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: magnamentis on May 17, 2017, 11:36:36 PM
...
Other than the odd flat-topped mountain (Thanks, Mr. Peabody) there aren't a lot of place that are good for large solar.  And there aren't big transmission lines. 

Solar farms don't have to be flat.  And all those coal-fired power plants we're closing have transmission lines, ready to be tapped into.

still better than fossil but this kind of solar farms are horrible and will certainly soon be banned. before we cover natural ground with panels all over the place we should cover each roof by law, the way we have to buy new oil firing units by law now to meet exhaust requirements. i still cannot understand why in places with 350 days of sunshine and/or wind, PV is not mandatory for newly bullt and reconstructed buildings, especially those with flat roofs, and, with a generous transition period, for all suitable buildings. if that could be achieved, there would be no need to further reduce open land area for whatever. further we should rebuild forests intensely because co2 is not only about exhaust, but about natural transformation as well. a holistic approach is desperately needed, to clog one hole with another is not a solution but possibly worse longterm. why, because of all the unknown and not put into account variables. history has shown that technical solutions that were not thought to the end usually worsened things.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 18, 2017, 02:22:50 AM
magnamentis wrote: "...before we cover natural ground with panels all over the place we should cover each roof by law..."

No argument here that buildings should be covered with PV.  But solar on land does not mean agriculture or horticulture need be abandoned.  Animals can graze, crops can be planted.  A county in Minnesota aims to protect pollinators by requiring planting of native flowers in solar farms.  In the photo below, apparently grapes are growing.

Translucent solar panels are available now -- solar panels will not always block out the sun.

To return to topic: solar farms can help reclaim land devastated by the coal industry.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 18, 2017, 07:12:47 AM
I recently saw an article about a farmer growing salad crops under the partial shade of solar panels.  Their shade allowed him to produce when other farmers had already plowed under their bolted crops.

We certainly shouldn't cover our best farmland with solar, and we won't.  If you look at the pictures of panels installed on hills, that is not good cropland.  It's too hard to work crops on that sort of slope. 

In general solar farms are being built on low value land.  It makes no sense to pay for expensive land when there's plenty land that's much cheaper.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: silkman on May 18, 2017, 09:32:38 AM
In the UK solar farms and agriculture get along pretty well and the income from renewable energy can be a real boost to farm income:

https://www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/nsc/Documents%20Library/NSC%20Publications/NSC_-Guid_Agricultural-good-practice-for-SFs_0914.pdf (https://www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/nsc/Documents%20Library/NSC%20Publications/NSC_-Guid_Agricultural-good-practice-for-SFs_0914.pdf)

Sheep farming is a good fit and the impact on wildlife and biodiversity is positive. I have personal experience with a small array the was installed in Cornwall very early in the solar industry development phase that works very well in this way.

Sheep are used to keep undergrowth under control in some wineries in Western Australia and also generate an additional return. More photogenic than a solar array certainly but the principle is the same.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 18, 2017, 09:50:51 PM
 In Case You Missed It:  Coal companies want Trump to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement -- so they can get money from it.

Big Coal’s last-ditch effort won’t save the industry
Bolstered by the Trump administration, Big Coal is looking to make a comeback.
Quote
...
But, according to the Reuters report, the coal companies consulted by the administration aren’t merely looking to influence domestic policy — they want to ensure coal projects receive multilateral funding, ostensibly through international bodies of investment like the Green Climate Fund or the World Bank. And in that case, the Trump administration’s own policies could be damning.

“This is an administration that, if they stay in [the agreement], is going to be staying in because predominantly they can’t take the blowback internationally.”

In its so-called ‘skinny budget’ released in March, the Trump administration called for ending payments to both the Green Climate Fund and the Climate Investment Funds. Developed countries pay into those funds, which in turn go toward helping developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate change. But if the United States does not participate in either fund, Light says, it will be extremely difficult for the U.S. or its coal coal companies to exert any influence over which projects those funds choose to support.

“Coal companies have got to be taking into consideration that U.S. influence is going to completely plummet because of the administration’s intention to stop funding these funds,” he said.

Moreover, projects like carbon capture and storage facilities are untested and expensive, making them unappealing to investors. A carbon capture and storage plant in DeKalb, Mississippi — which was billed as a model for how future coal plants could help reduce emissions and slow climate change — is currently more than $4 billion dollars over its initial budget and still not operational.....
https://thinkprogress.org/coal-paris-the-market-and-climate-change-7a7605431251
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on May 18, 2017, 11:14:05 PM
I'm not sure that Trump's base will be holding his feet to the (coal fed) fire now that a "Special Prosecutor" has been appointed.


While Ken Star kept Bill Clinton pinned to the mat we didn't expect him to keep his campaign promises, we expected him to fight for his political life. Their expectation's won't be too much different since in many cases it's the same people, they've just aged a little.


Those once referred to as the Bubba Vote may in fact feel that no matter who they vote for, the opposition always attempts a witch hunt, aiming at an impeachment. They saved Bill's second term with their votes, will they repeat for Trump?


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 19, 2017, 01:00:50 AM
Coal plants failed in Queensland heatwave on day of record demand
“Are Australia’s coal and gas generators fit for purpose to power Australia through next summer’s heatwaves? The evidence of last summer suggests they cannot be relied upon, with a new report showing how coal plants melted in the heat in Queensland on a day of record demand.”
Quote
...
The events of the past summer has caused one of the biggest network owners to complain about the reliability of fossil fuel generation. Spark Infrastructure, which owns networks in Victoria and South Australia, said gas generators were proving unable to deliver reliable power at times of peak demand.

It also accused them of charging excessive prices for both their retail operations and their generation. This follows questions about the reliability of fossil fuel generators and their ability to deliver the grid security they are paid handsomely to do.

AEMO has admitted that some legacy coal and gas generators have no performance standards, and it may not even know what their control settings are. A point underlined by Tom Butler, in his piece today, which analyses numerous issues with governor controls and other issues, and by other submissions which point to system weakness from fossil fuel generation.

The AER has been chronicling all sorts of occasions when coal and gas generation has been lost due to the heat. Apart from the events on February 6, February 10, February 12 and March 3, mentioned above, more capacity was lost in January, mostly the result of “heat” issues that forced coal and gas generators across the state to lower capacity.

On Friday, January 13, for instance, between 600MW and 670MW of coal and gas capacity suddenly became “unavailable” due to “plant limitations, some of which related to the high temperature.”

And, of course, there was the February 8 incident in South Australia, when 90,000 people lost power for up to 45 minutes when one major gas unit sat idle while the lights went out, and as several other gas units failed in the heat.
...
http://reneweconomy.com.au/coal-plants-failed-in-queensland-heatwave-on-day-of-record-demand-85223/ (http://reneweconomy.com.au/coal-plants-failed-in-queensland-heatwave-on-day-of-record-demand-85223/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 21, 2017, 03:08:37 PM
The coal miner who became a data miner
Quote
A heavy maintenance superintendent for a surface coal mine in Elgin, Texas, Evans was responsible for figuring out how to patch or replace outdated parts of a field delivery system that ferried coal from the mine to a plant. Each minute of downtime could cost the company as much as $170.

Now the third-generation coal miner gets her adrenaline rush sitting indoors on a soft swivel chair, fixing code on a computer screen. The 33-year-old is a data scientist currently doing a paid residency at Galvanize in Austin....
http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/17/technology/coal-miner-data-miner/index.html (http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/17/technology/coal-miner-data-miner/index.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 22, 2017, 09:48:24 PM
In 2017 alone, enough US coal plants to power Qatar have announced closures
Quote
...
Trump’s coal magic has worked but not in the way Gillette had hoped. In April, US coal production was up 17% compared to a year ago. At the same time, however, coal mining jobs were down 8% (about 6,000 jobs).

This year alone eight coal power plants have announced closures. Many are shutting decades before their expiry date. The closures total 9.4 GW of lost electricity generating capacity, which is more than what all of Qatar can produce today.
...
Some other power companies haven’t announced closures, but are moving in that direction. For instance, DTE Energy, Michigan’s biggest power supplier, announced last week that it will retire all its coal-fired plants by 2050, moving to natural gas and wind.

The most common reason for an early closure is that the plants are no longer economically viable. The shale gas boom has made natural gas very cheap—cleaner and more efficient fossil fuel. The rate per kilowatt-hour offered by coal power plants is increasingly being beaten by natural gas or even renewables like wind and solar.
...
https://qz.com/988271/donald-trumps-coal-promise-us-coal-fired-plants-forced-to-announce-closures-in-2017-alone-could-power-all-of-qatar/
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 23, 2017, 08:18:47 PM
Wind Project in Wyoming Envisions Coal Miners as Trainees
Quote
Goldwind Americas, an arm of a leading wind-turbine manufacturer based in China, has been expanding its business in the United States. It has been careful to seek out local, American workers for permanent jobs on the wind farms it supplies.

Now it is trying to extend that policy to an unlikely place: Wyoming, which produces more coal than any other state and has hardly welcomed the march of turbines across the country, even imposing a tax on wind-energy generation....
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/21/business/energy-environment/wind-turbine-job-training-wyoming.html (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/21/business/energy-environment/wind-turbine-job-training-wyoming.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 23, 2017, 08:30:34 PM
Wyoming has  some honkin' big wind farms under development.  Coal may still have enough political power to mess with wind, but look for that to change.

All it's going to take is for Wyoming's wind industry to start employing a lot more people than Wyoming's coal industry.  And that shouldn't take long.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 24, 2017, 07:39:42 AM
Quote
Though India had been expected to be the site of a coal boom, plans for new coal construction totaling nearly 14 GW have been cancelled so far this month.

Analyst Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis pegged the coal cancellations on record-low solar tariffs of three cents per KW/hr, The Independent reported. Buckley said as of January last year energy analysts predicted such a low price could never be achieved.

That price is lower than the current wholesale coal power price of four cents per KW/hr.

“For the first time solar is cheaper than coal in India and the implications this has for transforming global energy markets is profound,” Buckley said.

“Measures taken by the Indian Government to improve energy efficiency coupled with ambitious renewable energy targets and the plummeting cost of solar has had an impact on existing as well as proposed coal fired power plants, rendering an increasing number as financially unviable. India’s solar tariffs have literally been free falling in recent months.”

http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2017/05/india-cancels-plans-for-14-gw-of-coal-due-to-cheap-solar.html (http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2017/05/india-cancels-plans-for-14-gw-of-coal-due-to-cheap-solar.html)

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 24, 2017, 09:54:19 PM
"UK coal:

Fiddlers Ferry & Aberthaw didn't run at all during April. None of UK coal plants ran for more than 20% of hours..."
https://twitter.com/DrSimEvans/status/865481140357914624
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on May 24, 2017, 11:53:31 PM
Low utilization means more thermal cycle. Huge boilers at coal plants really dont like thermal cycle, they want to sit at temperature. Maintenance expense, downtime, lifetime change nonlinearly with frequency of thermal cycles.  The brave new world of vanishing baseload has no room for inflexible generation.

Unfortunately, that world seems to have no room for destitute employees either.

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2017, 05:51:52 AM
Quote
Along with developing sprawling new wind and solar farms, China is investing heavily in the most efficient coal technologies. In fact, new plants under construction in the country are dramatically more efficient than anything currently operating in the U.S....

China is closing down many of its older coal plants. At the same time, China’s operating coal plants must meet a very high efficiency standard by 2020 -- a bar that very few American coal plants can meet.

 CAP researchers dug into a wave of Chinese coal plants announced between 2013 to 2016 and found that many of them likely won't get constructed.

"What American observers need to know is that many of those new plants are white elephants that China cannot fully utilize. They represent a blip rather than a trend, and Beijing is already moving to shut down many of these new plants."

Still, the plants currently under construction in China are some of the most efficient in the world. The report found that 90 out of 100 of China’s most efficient coal plants are ultra-supercritical, which means they’re operating at high temperatures of over 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures of more than 5,000 pounds per square inch.

In contrast, only one of America's 100 most efficient coal plants is ultra-supercritical. The rest are subcritical or supercritical, which operate at much lower temperatures and pressures, and thus are far less efficient.

Chinese citizens are pressuring the government to solve severe air pollution problems, forcing Chinese officials to halt many new plants. Cheap natural gas is a primary reason for coal retirements in the U.S.

China doesn’t have the same type of easily accessible, low-cost domestic natural gas that America does. This makes efficient coal more important to its energy mix in the medium term, conclude the analysts.

"Energy solutions that work well for China will not necessarily work well for the United States. In addition to the massive population disparity, the United States has access to cheap and plentiful shale gas, and China does not. If China is going to reduce emissions substantially, more efficient coal generation has to be part of its equation, at least for the near to medium term. In the United States, investing in next-generation clean coal plants is not a good solution, because natural gas is cheap, plentiful and lower-emitting than all but the most expensive coal-fired power," write the researchers.

The transformation won’t be easy for coal workers. But employment in clean energy will far outpace the decline in coal jobs in China.

According to the report, Beijing expects its coal sector to shed 1.3 million workers between 2016 to 2020. Meanwhile, 13 million new clean energy jobs are slated to be created in China by 2020.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/chinas-coal-fleet-will-soon-be-more-efficient-than-americas (https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/chinas-coal-fleet-will-soon-be-more-efficient-than-americas)


Trading one coal job for ten clean energy jobs seems like a good deal to me. 
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 25, 2017, 05:55:31 AM
Quote
A new jobs training initiative in Wyoming seeks to bridge the gap between diminishing coal employment and booming wind technician jobs.

Goldwind Americas, the local branch of the major Chinese turbine manufacturer, is launching a free jobs training program for what the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks as the fastest-growing job in the U.S. Wind turbine service technician employment is slated to grow 108 percent in the 10 years starting from 2014, with median wages of $52,260 in 2016.

The Goldwind Works program will tackle the demand for skilled turbine repairs alongside another national challenge: the declining fortunes of America's coal miners. The company is building a massive wind farm in a part of Wyoming with a history so linked to the coal industry that it is called Carbon County.



https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/chinese-wind-turbine-company-goldwind-wants-to-hire-out-of-work-coal-miners (https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/chinese-wind-turbine-company-goldwind-wants-to-hire-out-of-work-coal-miners)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 25, 2017, 09:05:45 PM
Desperate....

State lawmakers want the public to pay to prop up coal
Lawmakers in Ohio are proposing to subsidize permanently two coal-fired plants.
Quote
As coal-fired power plants continue to shutter across the country, politicians at the local and federal level are trying increasingly desperate measures to keep the once-dominant fuel afloat.

In Ohio, legislators have proposed a bill that would permanently subsidize two coal-fired power plants, owned jointly by American Electric Power and other major electricity utilities in the state. The subsidies would guarantee income for the power plants, even when the cost of electricity was less than the cost of operating the plants.

Money from the subsidies would come directly from consumers, who would be charged higher rates to pay the plants’ guaranteed income. If the plants became profitable, the customers would receive a credit back for the amount that they paid.

The move has prompted criticism from environmental groups, which accuse politicians of forcing consumers to bear the costs of outdated technology.
...
https://thinkprogress.org/coal-subsidies-studies-politicians-977b2381aa3a
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on May 26, 2017, 05:22:18 PM
Desperate....

State lawmakers want the public to pay to prop up coal
Lawmakers in Ohio are proposing to subsidize permanently two coal-fired plants.
Quote
As coal-fired power plants continue to shutter across the country, politicians at the local and federal level are trying increasingly desperate measures to keep the once-dominant fuel afloat.

In Ohio, legislators have proposed a bill that would permanently subsidize two coal-fired power plants, owned jointly by American Electric Power and other major electricity utilities in the state. The subsidies would guarantee income for the power plants, even when the cost of electricity was less than the cost of operating the plants.

Money from the subsidies would come directly from consumers, who would be charged higher rates to pay the plants’ guaranteed income. If the plants became profitable, the customers would receive a credit back for the amount that they paid.

The move has prompted criticism from environmental groups, which accuse politicians of forcing consumers to bear the costs of outdated technology.
...
https://thinkprogress.org/coal-subsidies-studies-politicians-977b2381aa3a (https://thinkprogress.org/coal-subsidies-studies-politicians-977b2381aa3a)


As more companies leave Ohio in search of cleaner and cheaper energy.


Won't they ever learn?
Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on May 26, 2017, 05:32:58 PM
They want a free market until it doesn't suit them, then government subsidies are fine if they are the ones on the receiving end. Socialism for corporations, free market capitalism for workers.

The state should spend the money on retraining the workers for renewable jobs, and let the fossil fuel corporations whither away.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2017, 06:04:14 PM
Quote
As more companies leave Ohio in search of cleaner and cheaper energy.

Won't they ever learn?

It feels like we are continuing to hollow out the rust belt states.  Brighter kids mostly leave for places where opportunities are better.  The folks who have stayed behind don't seem to have the cognitive ability to rebuild their economies.  They're caught up into resentment, blaming others, and opioid addiction.

Perhaps, at some time, they will bottom out and turn things around.  Or maybe the US Midwest largely consist of agriculture and wind farms and little else.

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on May 26, 2017, 06:20:40 PM
Within a couple of decades people and businesses could come flocking back as the realities of sea level rise, high temperatures/drought and crazy weather make themselves increasingly felt in the south.

Much safer in Ohio, surrounded the Great Lakes with the rainfall moving northwards and away from the coasts. Perhaps a great long-term investment opportunity?
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 26, 2017, 08:11:24 PM
Within a couple of decades people and businesses could come flocking back as the realities of sea level rise, high temperatures/drought and crazy weather make themselves increasingly felt in the south.

Much safer in Ohio, surrounded the Great Lakes with the rainfall moving northwards and away from the coasts. Perhaps a great long-term investment opportunity?

Not that soon, but if we move to something like guaranteed basic incomes then I would expect people to start seeking out the nicer places in the interior where they could find less expensive places to live, a spot for gardening, and access to uncrowded recreational lands.  Some of the places in the middle of the country where economies are crashing are very beautiful. 

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on May 26, 2017, 08:15:37 PM
The stark difference between Ohio, Michigan, northern New York and Ontario is quite stunning. With better transportation and less border hassle you could see some Canadians commuting from south/west of the border. Especially given the radical differences in property prices.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 27, 2017, 02:12:15 AM
Australia:

"Hell hath no fury like the Country Womens Association..."
https://mobile.twitter.com/australisterry/status/867709863438069760 (https://mobile.twitter.com/australisterry/status/867709863438069760)

CWA makes it policy to ban Coal Seam Gas as Nationals declare they want to expand industry
Quote
The Country Women’s Association has passed a motion calling for a halt to any further “unconventional gas exploration” in NSW - a ban on Coal Seam Gas.
http://www.theland.com.au/story/4686569/coal-seam-gas-cwa-votes-to-ban-it/ (http://www.theland.com.au/story/4686569/coal-seam-gas-cwa-votes-to-ban-it/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 27, 2017, 07:55:34 PM
Australia:

Adani's coal mine dealt fresh blow as Queensland shunts $1 billion rail loan role
Quote
Prospects for the controversial Adani coal mine have dimmed further after the Queensland government said it wanted no role in any federal loan to support the project.

In a statement on Saturday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that "consistent with our election commitments, cabinet has determined that any [Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility] loan needs to be between the federal government and Adani".
...
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/adanis-coal-mine-dealt-fresh-blow-as-queensland-shunts-1-billion-rail-loan-role-20170527-gweiuj.html (http://www.smh.com.au/environment/adanis-coal-mine-dealt-fresh-blow-as-queensland-shunts-1-billion-rail-loan-role-20170527-gweiuj.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: sidd on May 28, 2017, 07:50:16 AM
I cant believe this guy. Hopefully the Supremes will refuse to hear the appeal.

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/335280-convicted-ex-coal-boss-appeals-case-to-supreme-court (http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/335280-convicted-ex-coal-boss-appeals-case-to-supreme-court)

sidd
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: DrTskoul on May 28, 2017, 02:59:43 PM
Vietnam makes a big push for coal, while pledging to curb emissions – “If the entire region implements the coal-based plans right now, I think we are finished”

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2017/05/vietnam-makes-big-push-for-coal-while.html?m=1 (http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2017/05/vietnam-makes-big-push-for-coal-while.html?m=1)

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Shared Humanity on May 28, 2017, 04:15:54 PM
Vietnam makes a big push for coal, while pledging to curb emissions – “If the entire region implements the coal-based plans right now, I think we are finished”

http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2017/05/vietnam-makes-big-push-for-coal-while.html?m=1 (http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2017/05/vietnam-makes-big-push-for-coal-while.html?m=1)

I visit this blog daily. I use to spend a lot of time in the "Policy and Solutions" section but quit visiting a couple of years ago as it depresses me. Solutions????? Hah!
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 28, 2017, 05:31:14 PM
Perhaps you should read more.  Solutions abound.  The cost of solutions is plunging.  The implementation of solutions is accelerating.

The planet has hit peak coal and coal consumption is falling.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: oren on May 28, 2017, 08:24:41 PM
SH, I am depressed too, but Bob here is doing his best to cheer me up. A pretty good job sometimes.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on May 28, 2017, 11:56:31 PM
If you're someone who has a need to worry, then worry about how we reduce the amount of CO2 already in the atmosphere.  We have the technology we need to stop adding to our problem.  And the economics will, I think, get the world largely off fossil fuels before 2050.

Re-sequestering the stuff we released to date plus what we release over the next 20-30 years is an unsolved problem.

And you can worry about how much worse rising sea levels and extreme weather will get before we level things out.  I've given up on Miami.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on May 30, 2017, 04:52:28 PM
U.S.:  PSEG shuts down its last coal plants in New Jersey: `It's just economics'
Quote
Like many 57-year-olds, the Mercer Generation Station can still do its job, which is producing electricity from Appalachian coal for a public hungry for power. But this former workhorse of the grid has been eclipsed by a new generation of power plants, and on Thursday it will shut down for good.

Public Service Enterprise Group of Newark, N.J., announced in October that it would shut down Mercer and the Hudson Generation Station on June 1, retiring its two remaining coal-fired power plants in New Jersey, casualties of a sustained low-price environment brought on by inexpensive natural gas.

The closures take place just six years after the company’s power-generation subsidiary, PSEG Power, completed more than $1 billion in upgrades to environmental controls at the two sites to comply with new federal emissions standards. Though the company correctly anticipated stricter environmental regulations, it did not foresee the tumble in energy prices brought on by shale gas.

“We made a bet on high gas prices,” Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s chief executive, said in an interview last week. “We got that wrong.” The company took a loss of $555 million last year on the plant closures and anticipates an additional non-cash write-off of up to $960 million in 2017.

Environmentalists claimed credit for forcing the two coal plants to close, but PSEG says it was really fracking that undermined them. “The way the market works, the economics don’t work,” Bill Thompson, PSEG Power’s senior director of operations, said during a Mercer plant tour last week. “They’re not getting shut down for equipment conditions. It’s just economics.”
...
Ten years ago, the plant ran nearly every day, producing more than three million megawatt hours of electricity, according to PSEG Power. In 2016, Mercer produced a mere 1,867 megawatt hours. Last year, it operated only two days in January, when the regional power-grid operator, PJM Interconnection, called on it to meet high winter demand. The generation station has been inactive for 17 months.
...
PSEG Power still operates the Bridgeport Harbor plant in Connecticut, which is scheduled to be retired in 2021 and replaced by a gas plant. It also has ownership stakes in the Keystone and Connemaugh coal plants in Western Pennsylvania, which are built near mines and operate with high efficiency. But it sees no growth in coal.

“We won’t be investing in new coal,” Izzo said.

At Mercer, PSEG’s environmental investments are the main features of the tour. It added precipitators in 1995 to reduce soot emissions, and the first of three units to reduce nitrogen oxides, which contribute to ground-level ozone, or smog. In 2004, it added a $100 million selective catalytic reduction unit to cut nitrogen oxides, and in 2007 a $10 million carbon-injection unit to reduce mercury. In 2010, it spent $500 million to build a baghouse and scrubber to control sulfur, mercury and particulates.

“They’re very clean plants and not because they don’t run,” Izzo said. The emissions-control features now occupy two times more land on Mercer’s 114-acre site than the original power plant.
...
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/pseg-shuts-down-its-last-n-j-coal-plants-its-just-economics-20170530.html (http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/pseg-shuts-down-its-last-n-j-coal-plants-its-just-economics-20170530.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on May 30, 2017, 06:14:18 PM
U.S.:  PSEG shuts down its last coal plants in New Jersey: `It's just economics'
Quote
Like many 57-year-olds, the Mercer Generation Station can still do its job, which is producing electricity from Appalachian coal for a public hungry for power. But this former workhorse of the grid has been eclipsed by a new generation of power plants, and on Thursday it will shut down for good.

Public Service Enterprise Group of Newark, N.J., announced in October that it would shut down Mercer and the Hudson Generation Station on June 1, retiring its two remaining coal-fired power plants in New Jersey, casualties of a sustained low-price environment brought on by inexpensive natural gas.

The closures take place just six years after the company’s power-generation subsidiary, PSEG Power, completed more than $1 billion in upgrades to environmental controls at the two sites to comply with new federal emissions standards. Though the company correctly anticipated stricter environmental regulations, it did not foresee the tumble in energy prices brought on by shale gas.

“We made a bet on high gas prices,” Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s chief executive, said in an interview last week. “We got that wrong.” The company took a loss of $555 million last year on the plant closures and anticipates an additional non-cash write-off of up to $960 million in 2017.

Environmentalists claimed credit for forcing the two coal plants to close, but PSEG says it was really fracking that undermined them. “The way the market works, the economics don’t work,” Bill Thompson, PSEG Power’s senior director of operations, said during a Mercer plant tour last week. “They’re not getting shut down for equipment conditions. It’s just economics.”
...
Ten years ago, the plant ran nearly every day, producing more than three million megawatt hours of electricity, according to PSEG Power. In 2016, Mercer produced a mere 1,867 megawatt hours. Last year, it operated only two days in January, when the regional power-grid operator, PJM Interconnection, called on it to meet high winter demand. The generation station has been inactive for 17 months.
...
PSEG Power still operates the Bridgeport Harbor plant in Connecticut, which is scheduled to be retired in 2021 and replaced by a gas plant. It also has ownership stakes in the Keystone and Connemaugh coal plants in Western Pennsylvania, which are built near mines and operate with high efficiency. But it sees no growth in coal.

“We won’t be investing in new coal,” Izzo said.

At Mercer, PSEG’s environmental investments are the main features of the tour. It added precipitators in 1995 to reduce soot emissions, and the first of three units to reduce nitrogen oxides, which contribute to ground-level ozone, or smog. In 2004, it added a $100 million selective catalytic reduction unit to cut nitrogen oxides, and in 2007 a $10 million carbon-injection unit to reduce mercury. In 2010, it spent $500 million to build a baghouse and scrubber to control sulfur, mercury and particulates.

“They’re very clean plants and not because they don’t run,” Izzo said. The emissions-control features now occupy two times more land on Mercer’s 114-acre site than the original power plant.
...
http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/pseg-shuts-down-its-last-n-j-coal-plants-its-just-economics-20170530.html (http://www.philly.com/philly/business/energy/pseg-shuts-down-its-last-n-j-coal-plants-its-just-economics-20170530.html)


With only 3% of NJ's power now coming from coal they are within shooting distance of joining Ontario and offering industry coal free electricity, something environmentally aware boards of directors may appreciate.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 01, 2017, 04:06:57 AM
On his fifth day in power, South Korea’s new president shut down 10 big coal-power plants
Quote
The South Korean capital, Seoul, is among the world’s most polluted cities, so it’s no surprise that air pollution was one of the key campaign issues for the newly elected president, Moon Jae-in.

That’s why, on his fifth day in power, Moon has announced that the country will temporarily shutter 10 coal power plants now and will shut them down completely within his five-year term. The move should bring respite from the choking air pollution, but it raises questions about South Korea’s energy security.
...
Nuclear power’s contribution to South Korea’s mix has fallen from 40% to 30% over the last 10 years, as plants have been decommissioned over safety issues. To make up for the fall, the contribution of coal has shot up to 40%.... The country operates 53 coal-power plants, and plans to build another 20 in the next five years.
...
https://qz.com/983626/moon-jae-in-south-koreas-new-president-is-shutting-down-10-big-coal-power-plants-in-his-first-week-in-office/
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 02, 2017, 02:31:26 AM
New England's Last Big Coal-Burning Power Plant Switches Off
Quote
SOMERSET, Mass. (AP) — New England's largest — and one of its last — coal-fired power plants was shutting down permanently Wednesday.

The Brayton Point Power Station was scheduled to power down before a midnight Thursday deadline, culminating a decades-long shift from coal, oil and nuclear energy to lower-cost natural gas.

The plant has burned coal since 1963 along Mount Hope Bay in Somerset, near the Rhode Island border. It has generated controversy for almost as long, with residents, fishermen and environmentalists decrying the damage that its cooling canals — nicknamed "killing canals" by activists in the 1970s — caused to fisheries.

The coal plant's final hours came on the same day that President Donald Trump's administration said he expects to withdraw the United States from a landmark global climate agreement. The Republican president has moved to delay or roll back federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions while pledging to revive long-struggling U.S. coal mines.
...
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/massachusetts/articles/2017-05-31/new-englands-last-big-coal-plant-powering-down (https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/massachusetts/articles/2017-05-31/new-englands-last-big-coal-plant-powering-down)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 02, 2017, 04:58:53 AM
Trump got a threefer...

"On June 1, Public Service Enterprise Group, the parent of PSEG Power, will retire the two largest coal plants remaining in New Jersey. The Mercer and Hudson generating stations will close on Thursday, as inexpensive natural gas continues to force coal off of the grid in states across the country."

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/three-coal-plants-close-as-trump-rumored-to-exit-the-paris-climate-deal (https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/three-coal-plants-close-as-trump-rumored-to-exit-the-paris-climate-deal)

Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on June 04, 2017, 11:57:44 PM
Vietnam Turns To Coal

"Greenhouse gas increase already outpaces GDP by a factor of three"

http://www.asiasentinel.com/econ-business/vietnam-turns-to-coal/ (http://www.asiasentinel.com/econ-business/vietnam-turns-to-coal/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 11, 2017, 05:02:32 PM
It seems clear that money does not make a person smart.  :-\

An Indian billionaire is forging ahead with a massive coal mine in Australia that activists say will be a disaster for the environment.
Quote
Gautam Adani said Tuesday that he had given the "green light" to his firm's $12 billion coal project in Australia's northeastern Queensland state.

"This is the largest single investment by an Indian corporation in Australia, and I believe others will follow with investments and trade deals," Adani said in a statement.

The Adani Group is also building a 240-mile railway line and an airstrip at the mine, which it says will create at least 10,000 new jobs.

Environmental groups and many politicians are bitterly opposed to the project, saying it will lead to the destruction of the environment. Greenpeace Australia described it as a "death sentence" for the Great Barrier Reef.

"The people of Australia have overwhelmingly rejected this toxic project," Greenpeace campaigner Nikola Casule said in a statement on Tuesday. "The age of coal is dead and we need real leadership to ensure a just transition away from fossil fuels."

India, where Adani is planning to ship most of the Queensland coal, is trying to make that transition despite still relying on coal for 60% of its power. The Indian government is targeting a tenfold increase in solar energy capacity by 2022, and solar power is now cheaper than electricity from coal fired power stations.

"It doesn't make sense to be planning huge long-term investments in coal when we have surplus power production and rapidly falling cost of renewable power," Vinay Rustagi, managing director of energy consultancy Bridge to India, told CNNMoney. "It is hard to see any merit in this news from an Indian perspective."

Adani doesn't see it that way. He says the project will relieve "energy poverty in India," where 300 million people still aren't connected to the electricity grid....
http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/06/news/economy/coal-mine-australia-india-adani/index.html (http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/06/news/economy/coal-mine-australia-india-adani/index.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 15, 2017, 02:02:24 AM
According to BP Plc’s annual review of global energy trends.

World Coal Production Just Had Its Biggest Drop on Record
Quote
U.S. demand for coal fell by 33.4 million tons of oil equivalent last year to 358.4 million, the biggest decline in the world in absolute terms, BP data show.

Global consumption dropped 1.7 percent last year compared with an average 1.9 percent yearly increase from 2005 to 2015, according to BP. China, which accounted for about half of the coal burned in the world, used 1.6 percent less of the fuel, compared with an average 3.7 percent annual expansion in the 11 preceding years.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-13/coal-s-era-starts-to-wane-as-world-shifts-to-cleaner-energy (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-13/coal-s-era-starts-to-wane-as-world-shifts-to-cleaner-energy)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 16, 2017, 08:14:46 PM
For this large, historic university in coal-rich central Pennsylvania, switching to natural gas last year was a big deal.

One year later: Reflecting on Penn State’s switch from coal to natural gas
Quote
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — One year ago, Penn State’s University Park campus officially switched from coal to natural gas to power and heat the buildings on campus. The “Last Day of Coal” celebration in March of 2016, which beckoned in a new era for Penn State, also recognized the major role coal played in the history of the University. ...
http://news.psu.edu/story/460837/2017/04/17/campus-life/one-year-later-reflecting-penn-state’s-switch-coal-natural-gas (http://news.psu.edu/story/460837/2017/04/17/campus-life/one-year-later-reflecting-penn-state’s-switch-coal-natural-gas)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 16, 2017, 09:29:17 PM
The global coal boom finally seems to be winding down
Quote
As the annual BP Statistical Review of World Energy reveals, global demand for coal has fallen for the second year in a row. ...
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/16/the-global-coal-boom-finally-seems-to-be-winding-down.html (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/16/the-global-coal-boom-finally-seems-to-be-winding-down.html)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on June 18, 2017, 06:54:21 PM
No wonder India does not need any new coal-fired electricity generating plants

Found this graph of the amount of India's additional coal fired capacity per year, a picture says it so much better than words.

(https://cdn.theatlantic.com/assets/media/img/posts/2017/05/coal/b26c7d992.png)

They seem to have seen the light, planning to overachieve their Paris INDC, although coal usage will still increase somewhat due to the need to power very rapid economic growth.

"An energy blueprint released this week by the Indian government predicts that 57 percent of total electricity capacity will come from non-fossil fuel sources by 2027—exceeding the Paris Agreement’s target of 40 percent by 2030. Currently, almost 33 percent of the country’s total energy comes from non-fossil fuel, which makes the Paris target relatively unambitious—it looks like India is almost three-and-a-half years ahead of schedule."

https://www.citylab.com/tech/2017/05/will-india-ever-need-another-coal-plant/528111/ (https://www.citylab.com/tech/2017/05/will-india-ever-need-another-coal-plant/528111/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on June 18, 2017, 08:12:37 PM
Global wind and solar costs to fall even faster, while coal fades even in China and India

Bloomberg New Energy Finance Report (you can download the exec summary for free)

"This year’s forecast from BNEF sees solar energy costs dropping a further 66% by 2040, and onshore wind by 47%, with renewables undercutting the majority of existing fossil power stations by 2030.

New Energy Outlook 2017, the latest long-term forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, shows earlier progress than its equivalent a year ago towards decarbonization of the world’s power system – with global emissions projected to peak in 2026 and to be 4% lower in 2040 than they were in 2016.

In the U.S., the Trump administration has voiced support for the coal sector. However, NEO 2017 indicates that the economic realities over the next two decades will not favor U.S. coal-fired power, which is forecast to see a 51% reduction in generation by 2040. In its place, gas-fired electricity will rise 22%, and renewables 169%."

Let's hope that emissions are a lot more than 4% lower in 2040 than now, otherwise we will already have blown well through 2 degrees centigrade. Seems Bloomberg has to keep updating its forecasts to be more bullish, so some hope there.

https://about.bnef.com/blog/global-wind-solar-costs-fall-even-faster-coal-fades-even-china-india/ (https://about.bnef.com/blog/global-wind-solar-costs-fall-even-faster-coal-fades-even-china-india/)
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 18, 2017, 09:44:47 PM
Quote
This year’s forecast from BNEF sees solar energy costs dropping a further 66% by 2040, and onshore wind by 47%

Unsubsidized PV solar in the US is averaging $0.05/kWh or less.  (That was the 2015 average and installed solar dropped 20% from 2015 to 2016.)

A 66% drop would take the price of solar to $0.017.  Less than two cents per kWh.

Unsubsidized onshore wind in the US is averaging $0.03/kWh or less.  (2016 prices have not yet been released.)

A 47% drop would take the price of wind to $00.16/kWh.  Also less than two cents per kWh.

I suspect neither will go that low as their operating costs are close to a penny.  But getting to two cents per kWh would mean abundant, cheap energy.    I do suspect we'll see those two cent prices well before 2040.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: TerryM on June 19, 2017, 03:36:15 AM
Bob
Does it strike you as odd that we place very high tariffs on imported PV panels, even as we subsidize their use?


AFAIK no large North American PV panel manufacturers are still in business. The idea that high tariffs could help them compete perished with them, so the only effect that the tariffs have now is to raise the cost of renewable electricity in both countries.


I'm unsure how much the price of panels affects the "all in" costs of an installed system, but if it's a low percentage of the final cost, then the tariffs are ineffective as well as a hindrance to free trade. If, as I suspect, the cost of panels does make up a substantial portion of the bottom line, then PV tariffs are directly responsible for whatever CO2 is emitted by the dirty energy that it would have replaced.


There is much talk about the need to halt subsidizing fossil fuels, this is always countered by very well heeled lobbyists. Speaking out against tariffs and trade restrictions on renewable energy systems might not raise such deep pocketed opposition.


Terry
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 19, 2017, 05:23:52 AM
Sunpower and First Solar are a couple of US panel manufacturers. 

I haven't been able to figure out where I stand on the tariff on Chinese panels.  If China is engaging in unfair pricing in order to force other countries to stop manufacturing then we pretty much have to do something about that. 

Utility fixed mount solar fell to $0.99/kWh in the first quarter of 2017.  I would guess paned are a bit less than half the total cost.  If the tariff is hurting installed prices then it's not hurting a lot.  Prices are down about 20% from a year ago. 

And that's 99 cents before the subsidy.  69 cents if the solar farm takes the 30% ITC. 

My big question is why we aren't seeing installation rates several times what they now are.  This is solar cheaper than the fuel cost for CCNG plants.  And a fixed price for 20 years.

There's a big market ahead for panels.  I don't know that we want to let China force us out of the business.  We can manufacture as cheaply as they can, I think.  Or at least very close and then save on shipping costs.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: rboyd on June 19, 2017, 05:42:03 AM
With electricity demand pretty much static in the US, any additional renewable capacity ends up replacing in-place capacity. So, for incumbent utilities it only really makes sense to replace close to economic end of life (i.e. fully depreciated) assets. Otherwise, they will have to take a one-time write-down of the none depreciated amount.

The exception would be if the operating losses were so great as to force the closure of a facility, or the profitability of the replacement was so much higher that it offset the depreciation write-off considerations.

These considerations must have some limiting effect on the rate of new renewables installations.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Bob Wallace on June 19, 2017, 05:53:31 AM
Something like 34 out of 61 US nuclear plants are no longer competitive.  Wind, solar and natural gas have undercut over half of all US nuclear plants.  Coal is probably doing a little better but a lot of coal is going to be shut because it would be too expensive to comply with air quality standards.

That said, I suspect any nuclear or coal plant that runs into a large repair bill is cooked.  Margins are very thin and if a repair bill is added it may make sense to just close down and replace with RE.

Utilities and energy companies are already writing off perfectly operable plants.  You can't take a daily loss in order to keep a plant open in hopes of recovering investment.  Expected profits are toast.

I remember my grandfather talking about what people did with their horse drawn buggies when Ford T Models became affordable.  They pulled very high quality buggies in the the field and set them on fire.  You couldn't sell a buggy, no one wanted one. 

My grandfather apparently had a very nice buggy that the family used to go to church on Sundays.  Once they got a car no one was ever going to ride in a buggy again.  And they needed the shed space for the car.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: numerobis on June 19, 2017, 01:01:53 PM
Nuclear plants are ruinously expensive to decommission. The single plant in Quebec is costing over a billion to stop running it (the previous government decided to shut it down rather than refurbish it).

So even if you're losing money with each kWh coming out of the plant, it can make accounting sense to keep it running and delay taking that charge until the next CEO's term.
Title: Re: Coal
Post by: Sigmetnow on June 19, 2017, 03:38:48 PM