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ccgwebmaster

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Re: Coal
« Reply #100 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?

Shared Humanity

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Re: Coal
« Reply #101 on: December 11, 2013, 09:07:46 PM »
JimD.....it can be depressing.

ritter

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Re: Coal
« Reply #102 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.

wili

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Re: Coal
« Reply #103 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'.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Coal
« Reply #104 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
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Re: Coal
« Reply #105 on: January 10, 2014, 02:59:19 AM »
Some more interesting reading on coal issues.

In  China.  BAD smog.

..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


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

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/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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Re: Coal
« Reply #106 on: January 11, 2014, 12:19:48 AM »
Gasification looking more likely with that news.

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #107 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
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #108 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.

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
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #109 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.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

deep octopus

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Re: Coal
« Reply #110 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

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #111 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.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

deep octopus

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Re: Coal
« Reply #112 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.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #113 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

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
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deep octopus

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Re: Coal
« Reply #114 on: January 31, 2014, 07:52:05 PM »
Oh my God, what the fuck.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25974608
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.

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #115 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.

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%....


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.


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
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #116 on: January 31, 2014, 08:50:18 PM »
Another interesting article

Coal Markets Hit Hard as Emerging Economies Begin to Wobble

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
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #117 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/
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JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #118 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.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #119 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/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #120 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/

Pretty clear this is happening big time.  :)
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JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #121 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.
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How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #122 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
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Re: Coal
« Reply #123 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:



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



This is an image of the extraction in progress:



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



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:



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….

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #124 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/
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JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #125 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

Building in a flood zone?

Note the cost figures from this link.

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

It will be interesting the see how this actually turns out.
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How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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Re: Coal
« Reply #126 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
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JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #127 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.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Coal
« Reply #128 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.

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
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Re: Coal
« Reply #129 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/
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Re: Coal
« Reply #130 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
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 05:02:50 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Re: Coal
« Reply #131 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.

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?   
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Re: Coal
« Reply #132 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/
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Re: Coal
« Reply #133 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.
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Re: Coal
« Reply #134 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.

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.

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). 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Coal
« Reply #135 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.
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Re: Coal
« Reply #136 on: March 20, 2014, 02:44:11 AM »
I'm not sure this counts as a commitment to renewable energy.

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
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How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Coal
« Reply #137 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/


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.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #138 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.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #139 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!   ;)
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Re: Coal
« Reply #140 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#
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Re: Coal
« Reply #141 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/
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Re: Coal
« Reply #142 on: March 22, 2014, 08:42:24 PM »
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.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #143 on: March 30, 2014, 06:56:14 AM »
heeheehee

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

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Re: Coal
« Reply #144 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.

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Re: Coal
« Reply #145 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

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)

« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 08:07:08 PM by SATire »

Shared Humanity

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Re: Coal
« Reply #146 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

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Re: Coal
« Reply #147 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):
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 09:29:53 PM by SATire »

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Re: Coal
« Reply #148 on: March 31, 2014, 01:07:43 PM »
Oh great.

Newly Discovered North Sea Coal 'Could Power Britain for Centuries'
(The link is to a Yahoo story. The original Sunday Times article on which it's based is behind a paywall.)
"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
"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"...

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Re: Coal
« Reply #149 on: March 31, 2014, 01:11:01 PM »
"If we put aside the green issues"...

Exactly what I thought, when I read it.
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