Posts Tagged ‘Coal’

Credit: Coal India Limited


A big vote of no confidence in the Paris climate agreement, by the world’s second most populous country. Political reality comes first: coal is much cheaper than nuclear.

India has decided to cut its planned nuclear power plant construction by two-thirds, says The GWPF. This will further expand the country’s use of coal for electrical power generation.

The Financial Express, one of India’s major newspapers, reports that the Narendra Modi government, which had set an ambitious 63,000 MW nuclear power capacity addition target by the year 2031-32, has cut it to 22,480 MW, or by roughly two-thirds.

The decision has enormous implications for expanding use of coal for electrical power generation and for release of CO2, other greenhouse gases, and for adding to India’s dire air pollution problems in its major cities.

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Hambach surface mine, Germany [image credit: Wikipedia]


Looks like a case of protest gone mad over Europe’s largest surface coal mining operation.

The finance chief of an RWE renewable energy subsidiary was struck by unknown assailants as he crossed a park near Düsseldorf, reports DW.com. Police said they were investigating “in every direction”.
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A German energy executive has been badly injured in an acid attack, his company confirmed early Monday. Bernhard Günther, the CFO of energy giant RWE’s green subsidiary, Innogy, was struck as he crossed a park in Haan, a well-to-do suburb of Düsseldorf on Sunday.

“We are deeply shocked,” said Innogy chairman Uwe Tiggs. “Our thoughts are with Bernhard and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Two unknown perpetrators poured acid over the 51-year-old’s face before fleeing the scene on foot, according to a statement Günter made to police.

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Carrington gas power station, Greater Manchester


Britain badly needs new power stations but current national policy is working against that, argues an industry insider. Instead we have a ‘sticking plaster’ strategy.

Great Britain’s energy market, once the envy of free-marketeers after Margaret Thatcher ended decades of nationalisation in the 1980s, is once again under the spotlight – for all the wrong reasons, says businessman Peter Hughes at PEI.

The current Prime Minister Theresa May is fond of referring to the UK’s “broken energy market”. While she may use the phrase to justify a cap on consumer energy bills, she could just as easily apply it to the failure of successive governments to encourage the building of new power plants.

As old coal and aged gas and nuclear power plants head towards decommissioning, the UK faces the possibility of a shortfall in its future electricity supply that cannot be plugged by intermittent renewables alone.

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France’s President Macron at Davos


France’s virtue-signalling anti-coal pledge may sound grand, but as the report points out it ‘only has three power plants that burn coal’, providing 1% of its electricity. Another potential problem for France is the inflexibility of nuclear power, which is not suitable for rapid ramping up and down in response to changes in demand and/or short-term fluctuations in renewable energy. In February 2017 the German nuclear plant at Brokdorf was taken offline after the operation of the plant in “load-following” mode had contributed to unexpected oxidation of its fuel rods.

France failed to meet its global warming target, as The Daily Caller reports.

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Hazelwood power station, Australia – closed in 2017 [image credit: Simpsons fan 66 at English Wikipedia]


How much enforced variability in electricity generation can a country’s power system tolerate? A close look at the numbers for Australia is not encouraging, to say the least.

How often have you heard that Wind power is intermittent, but has anyone ever explained that to you, or shown just how it actually is intermittent, and what it means, asks TonyfromOz.

What if you need a dedicated amount of power all the time? Can wind power be relied on to generate that dedicated amount of power?

Over the last Month, I have been detailing the closure of the 53 year old Hazelwood brown coal fired power plant in the State of Victoria here in Australia, and comparing that plant’s power generation with wind power across the whole of Australia, and that Post is at this link.

The main comparison was with all the wind plants across the whole of Australia, but I was also including the data for just the wind plants in the same State that the Hazelwood plant was in, Victoria.

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Guangzhou, China


If there were prizes for irony, this would have to be a contender. Does the coal generate its electricity?

China, already the world’s biggest electric-vehicle market, is now using battery power to fuel cargo shipping as well, reports Quartz Media.

A Chinese company has built a 2,000 metric-ton (2,204 tons) all-electric cargo ship, which was launched from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in mid-November, according to state-run newspaper People’s Daily.

The 70-meter long (229 feet) and 14-meter wide (45 feet) ship is equipped with over 1,000 lithium batteries, with a total capacity of 2,400 kilowatt-hours.

By comparison, Tesla’s Model X is equipped with a 100-kWh battery that allows it to drive nearly 570 kilometers (350 miles).

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Gateway to the COP24 climate conference in 2018


Poland doesn’t plan to undermine its economy to please the EU or anyone else with an agenda. The report notes: ‘Ironically, next year’s climate conference will be held in the southern Polish city of Katowice – the centre of the coal-producing Silesia region’. Maybe the local miners would like to pay them a visit 😎

Poland is on a collision course with EU chiefs over its continued heavy use of fossil fuels, as the country prepares to receive its first shipment of US coal, reports the GWPF.

Prime Minister Beata Szydło has warned MEPs she will “throw it back at them” if they criticise her nation’s carbon consumption at next month’s EU summit.

And that could set the scene for more stand-offs next year, when Poland hosts the next round of UN climate talks.

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‘The donkey goes on to the ice until it breaks’ – German proverb [image credit: evwind.es]


Debatable claim in the headline, but the German ‘energy transition’ has certainly hurt electricity consumers as prices have shot up in the last decade, with fortunes being wasted on vain attempts to tweak the climate system.

As Bonn this week hosts the COP23 climate talks, a new report claims that Germany’s Energiewende programme “has made things worse for the climate”, reports PEI.

It says it has done this “by shutting down nuclear capacity and locking in dependency on coal for decades, despite hundreds of billions in investments and subsidy-schemes”.

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Needless to say this will go down like a lead balloon with climate obsessives, but that’s their problem. How many of them live in parts of the world where electricity and other types of power are in short supply?

President Donald Trump’s administration has envoys at the UN-sponsored talks in Bonn, Germany, even though the US has derided the Paris Agreement climate accord and has begun a years-long process to withdraw from it, reports the South China Morning Post.

The meeting, the Conference of Parties 23, is intended to hammer out the details of the Paris Agreement’s efforts to try to fight climate change.

While a small State Department team has been on the ground for technical negotiations since the talks opened last week, the administration is sending another delegation for the second week that will include senior White House advisers.

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Political posing in Paris was pointless propaganda about planet
preservation, as this GWPF report shows. Obsessing about carbon dioxide is futile, but no doubt lucrative for the few.

Here’s a United Nations climate report that environmentalists probably don’t want anybody to read. It says that even if every country abides by the grand promises they made last year in Paris to reduce greenhouse gases, the planet would still be “doomed.”

When President Obama hitched America to the Paris accords in 2016, he declared that it was “the moment that we finally decided to save our planet.” And when Trump pulled out of the deal this year, he was berated by legions of environmentalists for killing it.

But it turns out that the Paris accord was little more than a sham that will do nothing to “save the planet.”

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German coal operation


Ideology versus reality? Obsessing over climate looks to have created a mission impossible unless somebody backs down in the German coalition talks. Bizarre that running a country of over 80 million people seems to rest on this one sticking point: how to put the ‘coal’ in coalition.

When it comes to climate change, there are worlds apart between Germany’s aspiring Jamaica Coalition partners, as the GWPF reports. It is all about coal and it is not certain the divide can be bridged.

When the wind is not blowing and the sky is overcast by dark clouds, wind turbines and solar panels cannot generate any electricity. Energy bottlenecks are threatening. Business organisations warn that such “dark doldrums” could trigger complete shutdown in Germany’s industrial heartland.

Coal-fired power plants, thus, are indispensable for a long time to come.

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Coalition crisis?


German politics could be reduced to a divisive squabble over ineffective attempts to alter global climate by industrial means, amidst threats of crashing the talks.

Exploratory talks in Berlin over the possible first Jamaican coalition at federal level have so far been quite harmonious, reports the GWPF.

Despite arguments between the Liberal Democrats (FDP) and the Greens over the abolition of the solidarity surcharge (established nearly 30 years ago to rebuild the public infrastructure of the former communist states in East Germany) – overall the discussions seem to be relaxed so far.

This could change on Thursday when there are delicate topics on the agenda: refugees, climate and energy.

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Power lines in Victoria, Australia [credit: Wikipedia]


Still trying to square the circle of unreliable, expensive renewables and reliable, affordable electricity supplies. At least one backbencher is starting to get it: “The problem with solar and wind … you’ve got to have them backed up in some way, and that’s either got to be a coal-fired power station, a gas generator or some form of battery.” And making batteries to the scale of power stations is neither practical nor affordable.

The details have not officially been released, but the ABC understands Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will argue his policy will lower electricity bills more than a Clean Energy Target (CET), while meeting Australia’s Paris climate change commitments, as the GWPF reports.

It is understood Cabinet last night also agreed to force retailers to guarantee a certain amount of so-called dispatchable power that can be switched on and off on demand, to avoid outages.

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US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt


It’s hard to miss an undercurrent of dislike for this new but expected US policy in the report, which will no doubt be amplified in the usual quarters.
H/T WGRZ

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that he will sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, the Associated Press reports.

“The war on coal is over,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt declared in the coal mining state of Kentucky. For Pruitt, getting rid of the Clean Power Plan will mark the culmination of a long fight he began as the elected attorney general of Oklahoma.

Pruitt was among about two-dozen attorney generals who sued to stop President Barack Obama’s push to limit carbon emissions.
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Chances are this will go down like a lead balloon with intermittent renewable energy suppliers, who are used to having electricity supply rules working to their own advantage.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is asking the federal agency that oversees the U.S. grid to issue a new rule to restructure electricity markets to fully compensate power plants for the reliability they provide, writes Michael Bastasch at Climate Change Dispatch.

Perry sent his policy proposal to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Friday. The letter asks FERC to create an electricity pricing regime that allows power plants to recover the costs of providing baseload power. It will likely be seen as a lifeline to coal and nuclear power plants.

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Lots of coal in Australia


Some say the ‘soaring prices and increased black outs’ mentioned in the report are at least partly due to over-hasty substitution of fuel-powered generation by expensive and intermittent renewable energy, mainly wind and solar. Now the argument is that Australia needs early action to try and prevent the situation getting even more serious.

Alan Finkel, Australia’s chief scientist, believes the country would be better off extending the life of existing coal-fired power plants, rather than investing in clean coal technology, as PEI reports.

Finkel says the move would increase Australia’s energy security in an affordable manner.

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Dumper truck symbol = coal production [click on image to enlarge]

Dumper truck symbol = coal production [click on image to enlarge]

Can politicians put sanity ahead of ideology for Australian electricity generation following recent blackout fiascos?

The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has reinforced his belief in the importance of coal as a pragmatic part of the global energy mix, reports PEI. The Australian online reports Turnbull as saying he had the same opinion while leader of the opposition in 2009.

“We are the biggest coal exporter in the world. If anybody — if any country — has a vested interest in demonstrating that clean coal and cleaner coal with new technologies can make a big contribution to our energy mix — and, at the same time, reduce our emissions in net terms — it’s us.”

“Our approach, and my approach, to energy is absolutely pragmatic and practical. This is not a matter for ideology.” Mr Turnbull said both renewables and fossil fuels would have a role to play in energy production in the future.
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Beijing smog [image credit: BBC / Reuters]

Beijing smog [image credit: BBC / Reuters]


The BBC TV News was quick to claim this should encourage China to ‘move away’ from fossil fuels. They conveniently (for themselves) forgot to mention that gas is also classed as a fossil fuel but does not cause smog, so is a viable option which China will use. The BBC’s implication was that alternatives like renewables would save the day, but ironically the smog itself is only lingering due to lack of wind and is blocking out the sun.

NB the report below is from CBBC (children’s TV) and doesn’t include the ‘spin’.

Parts of China have been covered under a thick blanket of smog for the last four days.The air quality in China can sometimes be so bad, that the government have to give people warnings about the level of pollution in the air.

When the levels are high they can close schools, stop planes taking off, close factories and limit the number of cars on the road.In north and central China, cities like Beijing, are currently under a red alert air pollution warning – the highest level.
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Bumpy road ahead?[image credit: RWE]

Bumpy road ahead?[image credit: RWE]


Pursuit of short-sighted energy policies is leading Germany on a dangerous path, as DW.COM reports from the AGM of major company RWE (aka ‘npower’ in the UK). Turning a blind eye to the possibility of future reliance on renewables won’t end well, says the CEO. Will any top politicians listen to the advice?

German power group RWE endures a bruising shareholders’ meeting. Still heavily involved with coal, the energy company has caught the brunt of activists and market changes. But its CEO has fought back, making the case for non-renewable energy sources.

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Ferrybridge 'C' Power Station  [image credit: Lynne Kirton / Wikipedia]

Ferrybridge ‘C’ Power Station
[image credit: Lynne Kirton / Wikipedia]


What exactly is replacing this generating giant? Only a small-scale waste wood burning operation it seems.

One of the UK’s landmark coal-fired power plants will close today after half a century of service. Ferrybridge C in Yorkshire was taken offline last week and will officially shut this afternoon, reports PEI.

Construction of the plant began in 1961 and it started generating electricity on February 27 1966. It became a record-breaking example of coal-fired power.

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