Newsbytes- The New Coal Boom

Cheap & Abundant Coal Biggest Challenge For UN Climate Agenda

Since 1973, coal consumption has grown faster than any other form of energy. Growth in coal consumption has been critical in providing electricity access in developing countries. Based on the results of three different estimates, this paper finds that between 1990 and 2010, about 830 million people—the vast majority in developing countries—gained access to electricity due to coal-fired generation. Coal-fired-generation capacity continues to grow in wealthy countries, too. For electricity production, no other energy source can currently match the black fuel when it comes to cost, scale, and reliability. In all, more than 500 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity will likely be built worldwide by 2040. —Robert Bryce, Manhattan Institute, October 2014

U.N. calls to curb greenhouse gas emissions by ending most electricity generation using coal will face some tough challenges, with coal mining going through a growth spurt in countries such as Australia. Although coal is blamed for contributing to climate change and causing large amounts of harmful pollution, it remains by far the most important fuel for power generation at a global share of around 40 percent. The size of the challenge is reflected in forecasts for energy demand growth across Asia, where coal is the fuel of choice and expected to meet almost 60 percent of demand growth over the next 20 years, according to Roche. –James Regan, Reuters, 3 November 2014

The IPCC synthesis report doesn’t say anything new. We’ve heard this for the last 20 odd years. This is the 5th report by the IPCC and it doesn’t change the underlying problem of the international community to come to a binding climate agreement. So this is nothing new and it’s unlikely to change the UN deadlock. – Benny Peiser, BBC News 24, 2 November 2014

The “synthesis report” of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published yesterday, warns of an increased “likelihood” of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts if emissions continue. But when you cut through the spin, the IPCC is actually saying that there is a range of possibilities, from no net harm at all through two middling scenarios to one where gathering harm from mid-century onwards culminates in potentially dire consequences by 2100. We are being asked to make sacrifices today to prevent the possibility of what may turn out to be pretty small harm to very wealthy people in the future. –Matt Ridley, The Times, 3 November 2014

Here’s what I believe. There is nothing more pressing in our time than confronting and solving the climate crisis. We have no time to spare. We must act now. Luckily, we have all the tools we need to solve this challenge. All we need is political will—but political will is a renewable resource! That’s why the election on November 4th is so monumentally important. President Obama is now leading on this issue—but we need to elect more Democrats dedicated to putting the future of our planet before the interests of Big Oil and Coal and other large carbon polluters who demand the right to use our atmosphere as an open sewer without any accountability. –Al Gore, The Weekly Standard, 1 November 2014

The chairman of the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in a statement that he appreciates efforts “to better understand the complex science of our ever-changing planet,” but adds that the new IPCC report “says nothing new.” “Similar to previous reports, the latest findings appear more political than scientific,” he said. “People are tired of the re-packaged rhetoric. It’s time to stop fear mongering and focus on an honest dialogue about real options.”  Smith said it appears that the U.N. is “once more attempting to provide cover for costly new regulations and energy rationing.”–Kyle Balluck, The Hill, 2 November 2014


64 thoughts on “Newsbytes- The New Coal Boom

  1. All this when we are in the “Quaternary glaciation, also known as the Pleistocene glaciation or the current ice age, refers to a series of glacial events separated by interglacial events during the Quaternary period from 2.58 Ma (million years ago) to present.”.

      • Down here in Tennessee we call him either Ole Spotted Al Gore, or just plain Spotted Al, or Doofus (look it up, it fits him to a “T”). Take y’all’s pick, Ya know, didn’t I say.
        Here in Nashville, among those of us who are enlightened ( real scientists (me, PhD ( Piled higher und Deeper))), Spotted Al is a yoke, by yimminy!!
        Coal, it’s what’s cooking dinner…!!
        Don Horne
        Music City USofA

    • Sounds like the powers to be expect the bottom to drop out of the wind farm business and want to off load shares and responsibility before that happens.

    • Anyone who buys those boondoggle deserve to stuck with the clean up cost, I wonder if the salvage on the steel and metals will make up for the cost of disassembly and removal of the base and roads?

    • As long as he doesn’t expect any happy endings, I’m okay with him continuing to spout his nonsense.

  2. ” … we need to elect more Democrats …”
    Ah. Will tomorrow’s vote not serve, then, as a referendum of sorts on saving the planet? Harry?

  3. Saving yourself trumps saving the planet from an imaginary problem. The warmists may be winning the PR war for now but they will not win the practical energy battle.

    Oil may be mostly abiotic, but coal was once alive. Burn it and you feed the world’s poor plus endangered species and make more life on Earth. That is where my heroine name comes from that I usually post here under.
    My legal name is Esther Cook; my Christian name is Photina Cook, and my Jewish name is Esther, daughter of Adam.
    As to temperatures, look up “climate optimum,” “Eocene Climate Optimum” and notice the relative biodiversity in the tropics, temperate regions and polar regions.

    • But the helium trapped in most petroleum resources is distinctly of deep-mantle origin, thus supporting abiotic origin. Though the organic believers claim abiogenesis is ‘discredited’, it is still highly debated therefore their theory is not ‘settled science’, yet.

      • No chance that petroleum is other than of organic origin. The helium associated with natural gas comes from radioactive decay of uranium and thorium of the sediments.

    • Acuttaly I believe oil is the calcium carbonate the slid under the continental shelf by seduction, The matter that sinks into the mantel from the ocean floor is basically calcium carbonate with large amounts of water once you apply the pressure and the heat of the mantel you would separate the heavier calcium of the carbon hydrogen and oxygen the liter material will again seek it way to the servface. The Calcium and heavy mater require hotter process to be expelled, Most oil and gas fields are found around fault lines. It is not that shale is formed with the oil I think the oil ends up in shale because shale is porous. If what I believe is correct yes pollen would be in oil. Oh by the way limestone is from organic origin, is it not?

  5. The biggest frustrations to the green movement must be that the developing world is ignoring them. India and China being the most important of these. Meanwhile their policies are tanking the economies of the 1st world countries, swaying the probability that China and India will have an even larger influence on the future.
    1400 years ago the Mohammedan? people were the most scientifically literate culture in the world, or so I’ve have many progressives tell me. What they don’t mention is that their religion stagnated their culture and their scientific advancement, leaving it to be taken up by the barbarians of the north who at the time thought bathing was a major contributor to disease.
    We can see the same thing starting now with the Green Religion. It is going to stagnate and devolve our civilization and we’ll end up a backwater dependent on the Chinese and the Indians a hundred years down the road.
    They’re the one who are likely going to go out into space and build space colonies and develop the resources of the moon and asteroids.

    • This project was only economical because the CO2 they were capturing was being injected into an oil field to force oil out. The recovered oil more than paid for the cost of the Carbon Capture.
      Simply injecting it into the ground to store, with no side benefits is not practical I believe.
      I did wonder after reading this if there was anyway to use the technology as part of the Fracking process.

      • Plus the “disposal” holes had already been drilled. When you add the cost of actually drilling the holes, it becomes even more uneconomic.
        Large generating plants have of lifetimes up to 100 years. Have we really thought about what might happen if we shove massive amounts of CO2 down drill holes for that length of time? Talk about unintended consequenses.

      • See my essay Clean Coal in ebook Blowing Smoke for the physical and commercial details of CCS as of 2014. Only viable if the CO2 can be sold for tertiary oil recovery. It lowers crude viscosity, so enhances the recovery factor, depending on the crude and the reservoir. Works best on heavy oil in carbonate reservoirs like the Permian basin in Texas. Is pretty useless for light crude in sandstone reservoirs, where simple waterflood is used like at Ghawar in Saudi Arabia.

      • Rud, your “reservoir engineering” is right (how CO2 works in a reservoir).
        But if we use “captured CO2” to enhance oil production, there will be more CO2 into the atmosphere, compared to not capture the “first CO2”. Who is fooling who (if intention is to save the wourld from CO2) ?

      • In any industrial application it cost more to capture co2 than to produce it. What a great idea!! We’ll stick it in the ground!! (sarc)

    • Carbon Capture
      Saskatchewan Coal Fired Power Plant With Carbon Capture
      Joy To Canada (Saskatchewan) At Taxpayers’ Expense
      Boundary Dam Coal Fired Power Plant In Saskatchewan, Canada
      Located southeast of Regina, Saskatchewan’s capital.
      October 2, 2014
      Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan, switched on a $1.4 billion coal fired generator, fitted with CCS which will “capture more than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide that would otherwise escape to the atmosphere.”
      Several pilot scale capture facilities have operated in the past but this is the first time carbon capture has operated on a commercial scale on a power station anywhere in the world.
      However, where the dishonesty comes in here is by omission.
      The plant will capture around one million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to taking 250,000 cars off Saskatchewan roads annually but it’s sad to say that they aren’t really revealing the costs of this fantasy project.
      Fact: The cost to upgrade a 30-year old coal fired power plant was $400 million.
      Fact: The original plant was rated at 139 MW.
      Fact: The upgraded coal fire power plant is now rated at 162 MW.
      Fact: The cost for CCS was a cool $1 billion with a cost over-run between $150 to $200 million ($1.2 billion total). Final cost to be revealed at a later date.
      Fact: CCS unit needs about 34 MW to operate, resulting in a “parasitic loss” of about 21 per cent of the plant’s power. Then, another 18 MW are needed for other systems, reducing the net output to 110 MW or a total of about 32 per cent of the plant’s power.
      Fact: Original old plant power sent to the grid was rated at 139 MW. Power being sent to the grid after the upgrade to 162 MW will be about 110 MW. Reduction of power being sent to the grid is about 29 MW.
      The upgrade to the coal fired power plant, included a new, high-efficiency boiler and steam turbine with a nameplate capacity of 162MW. This however, represents a loss of 32 per cent of the plants power which is one point short of one-third the plant’s capacity. Is this progress and is this providing power to the people of Saskatchewan at the lowest rates possible because, after all, this is a ‘Public Utility’ whose only interest is to provide safe and reliable electricity at the cheapest rate possible.
      So effectively, efficiency has been cut by a third, for a tripling of the capital cost. This was done in a true ‘progressive’ style. Let’s do something based on junk science and let’s spend as much of the public’s money as we can and in the process let’s build a larger capacity power plant that sends less power to the grid. This is the ‘leftard’s’ vision of saving the planet with other people’s money for absolutely no benefit to the citizens of Saskatchewan.
      Additionally, as I understand it, we are increasing the volume of coal being burned in relation to the expected electrical output that will reach the grid if you consider we are producing more power with more coal so that we can send less power to the grid. Okay! I think I understand!
      Not bad for a $1.4 to $1.6 billion investment which will be paid for by the people of Canada and the people of Saskatchewan. SaskPower, the utility provider received $240 million from the Government of Canada to help with construction costs. The rest I am assuming will be paid over the next 25-years or so by the people of Saskatchewan through higher utility rates.
      Colourful language was used indicating that the loss of 29 MW of power to the grid is an “energy penalty.” What a load of horse manure.
      Also stated was that the majority of the captured gas from the Boundary Dam site is being sold to operator Cenovus for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) at its Weyburn oilfield. Cenovus has set up injection wells and built a 40 mile-long pipeline connecting Weyburn with Boundary Dam. I can’t find the quote but someone, during the opening ceremonies stated that we will make some money selling the CO2 captured that will be used for enhanced oil recovery. I wonder how much CO2 will need to be sold and for how many years before that $1.2 billion plant will be paid for. Any guesses?

      • The public sector is now participating in environmental scams. I will bet that if you get the actual cost figures you will see that the public is subsidizing Cenovus in their secondary recovery operations in amounts of hundreds of millions over the life of the project. My feeling is that Cenovus probably is behind the whole scam.
        If you look into it, you will find that a number of oil companies are pushing CO2 sequestration. BP is one. They are smacking their lips over getting CO2 for secondary recovery of their North Sea production. By the way, CO2 injection is by far the most efficient method of secondary recovery. The stakes are at billions of $ for large operators. In short, big oil (and not so big oil) stands to benefit hugely from the CO2 scam.

      • Peter, was a lot cheaper before.
        Weyburn-Midale Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project
        Company/Alliance: Cenovus Energy, Apache Canada, PTRC (Petroleum Technology Research Center)
        Location: Weyburn Saskatchewan, Canada
        Start Date: October 2000
        Size: 1 Mt/yr: Over 20 Million tons injected since the project start

        CO2 Source: Coal Gasification from the Great Plains Synfuels Plant near Beulah, North Dakota (The CO2 is piped to Weyburn EOR site in Saskatchewan Canada)
        Storage: The CO2 is piped via an onshore 315 pipeline for EOR in 2 carbonate fields. Cenovus Energy owned Weyburn field (6,500 t/day) and Apache owned Midale field (1,200 t/day)
        To increase oil production and CO2 EOR research. The 8 year project is estimated to cost $80 million.
        One reason for the lower cost is the Coal Gasification cooks the coal and high levels of CO2 is tapped off the process without much filtering.

  6. Look how tiny solar and wind are , even in 2040 according to their projection !
    Add them together, not even 1/4th the energy from coal.

  7. Burning coal does produce CO2, but it does not have to produce much else in the way of traditional pollution. Pulverizing and washing prior to burning, wet SO2 scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators/bag houses, and activated charcoal flue gas treatments reduce the rest a great deal. But you have to add them. china did not until 2007. They have all that abatement technology on all their new supercritical generating plants, which are also the world’s most efficient. 45% net thermal; US average of older, not supercritical, plants is 34%. China is building those at a rate of about 1 every three weeks at least through 2016 under the current plan.

    • And after you add them, you have to maintain them. The world was burning coal for energy with the technology of 100 years ago. And using the heat to power steam turbines on a large scale slightly less than 100 years ago. All that classifies as “low-tech” these days which in turn means it can be operated and maintained by developing economies.
      What’s involved in keeping all the more modern pollution control systems functioning?

      • Good point, but the real answer is little more than needed to keep such a coal coal staion going at all, or the tranmission grid to which it is attached. Take wet Scrubbing. Spray a mist of lime and water into the stack gas. Note that is cooled, so you need parasitic auxiliary blowers to move the fluegas on. But the SO2 combines with CaO to form gypsum (calcium sulphate, the core ingredient of wallboard) so is scubbed from the atmosphere into the recovered sludge. And the powdery gypsum can be sold as a byproduct–to make wallboard
        Now if you are an alarmist you say lime! More CO2 produced from limestone!! And if you are me, you say yup, and all that ocean CO2 fertilization is producing more limestone (calcium carbonate shells and exoskeletons). And so it goes. Gaia is a complicated, living and breathing planet.

      • The capital investment to put this technology in place, especially as a retrofit is far from trivial. I was tangentially involved in such a project, and it was one billion $US to implement for two (2) boilers with a capacity of about 1,300 MW. And while there may be a market for gyp board from the sludge, you’ll never make enough gyp board to take it all if every power plant were retro-fitted.

  8. We’re in an interglacial, a short recurring several thousand years long respite from a grueling several million years long (so far) ice age featuring extensive glaciation. If we can use fossil fuels to warm us up and pop us out of that ice age all the while providing us with energy to run our civilization wouldn’t that be a good thing? The alternative is to sink back into glaciation where we would undoubtedly have to use those fossil fuels anyway just to stay warm. The worst case (and the most likely case) is that man generated CO2 has nothing to do with global warming. In either case there’s no reason to stop using fossil fuels until we develop really efficient alternate energy sources (e.g. fusion).

  9. “……..but we need to elect more Democrats dedicated to putting the future of our planet before the interests of Big Oil and Coal and other large carbon polluters who demand the right to use our atmosphere as an open sewer without any accountability.” –Al Gore, The Weekly Standard, 1 November 2014.
    Note to Al Gore: CO2 is not sewage. If you believe that it is, I strongly recommend you take a course in plant biology. Furthermore, if you believe that wind and solar can be sufficient substitutes for all the energy we get from coal, oil and natural gas, you are living in a fantasy world that can never be. Nuclear is the only energy source that can displace the electrical energy we get from coal and NG. Stop feeding us your B.S. Al. The more you do that, the less relevant you become.

    • CD. We both know he doesn’t believe a word of it or his lifestyle would reflect it. It’s all about money for him

      • Is Al’s beach house under water yet? I bet it isn’t. It’s supposed to be. Say one thing and make money, but do another. That’s the real science.

  10. Someone on WUWT once pointed out that burning coal releases less than 1% of the energy in coal. The missing 99% being accounted for by the uranium and thorium content in coal. We should be extracting that and generating electricity from the uranium and thorium and then using the coal as a chemical feedstock.
    Burning coal is a waste.

  11. Someone on WUWT once pointed out that burning coal releases less than 1% of the energy in coal. The missing 99% is accounted for by the uranium and thorium content in coal. We should be extracting that and generating electricity from the uranium and thorium and then using the coal as a chemical feedstock.
    Burning coal is a waste.

  12. Way off topic, I know but this is so funny I can’t help myself…
    Exercise would be some much more rewarding if calories screamed when they burned!

  13. Did anyone else notice that the photo of the orange electric cord “connected” to the chunk of coal shows the female end of the cord? In other words, the coal chunk is drawing power FROM the electric cord, not providing power to the cord. The top of the orange connector is designed to defeat plugging in a polarized cord upside down.
    Yes, it’s more convenient for the photographer not to have to hollow out room for the three metal prongs inside the coal chunk, or cut off the prongs altogether. To me, however, this photo says “ignorance” more than anything else.

  14. Al Gore, The Weekly Standard, 1 November 2014
    “Here’s what I believe. There is nothing more pressing in our time than confronting and solving the climate crisis. We have no time to spare. We must act now. Luckily, we have all the tools we need to solve this challenge. All we need is political will—but political will is a renewable resource! That’s why the election on November 4th is so monumentally important. President Obama is now leading on this issue—but we need to elect more Democrats dedicated to putting the future of our planet before the interests of Big Oil and Coal and other large carbon polluters who demand the right to use our atmosphere as an open sewer without any accountability.”


  15. I see your point Jimbo but I think they do believe in it. It’s just that their inflated views of their own self worth makes them believe that they are justified burning colossal amounts of fuel to spread their message of doom. They honestly believe it is up to them to save the world. Narcissism in the extreme!

    • they are justified burning colossal amounts of fuel
      by Al’s rational we are all entitled to burn as much as we want to do our bit to save ourselves. after all , we are all part of the world. so in saving ourselves we are saving the world.

    • They don’t believe any of it, but they do know something else. Travel will become impossible, most will not know what’s going on. Fuel will become a lot more expensive as the temperatures decline and if CAGW has it way production will be cut. Price of fuel will then attain a life of it’s own. Propane was $5/gal last winter. Most homes beyond the gas mains are heated by propane. Food will definitely become more expensive as the cost and production of machinery increases. Along with that is the cost of raising food from planting to harvesting and fertilizers, processing, and transportation. Clothing will suffer from the same problems as food production, Forget housing and road building.
      Returning to travel, I’d like to point out just two things I know for sure since I was there. One, I was traveling through Indiana and saw a farmer harrowing liquid co2 into the soil. The CAGW swore up and down this didn’t happen anywhere. Second, Live Science published on the same day about the drought in Pueblo, CO as it was flooding and nearby dams were having to release water. How would somebody in NY know any of this if they never ventured off their block?
      Forward selling and buying is the name of the game. What I think is that the CAGW people, if successful, will drive energy stocks so low that they can pick them up for a pittance wiping out a lot of stock holders, then if my info is correct, when it starts getting colder, sell the fuel back at many times the price now. Oh well, we were wrong about CAGW, we are dealing with the situation as it is right now. And right now, I have a ton of coal to sell you. If you want to keep warm this winter.

    • Colorado Wellington, the following illustrates what happens when you listen to worried greens – you end up going round in circles like a headless chicken with no good coming of it.
      From your De Spiegel article dated January 2013.

      Energy Paradox
      The increase in coal-generated power also led to a new record in German electricity exports to around 33 billion kilowatt hours. “In 2013 Germany exported more power than it imported on eight out of 10 days. Most of it was generated by from brown coal and anthracite power stations,” said Patrick Graichen, a power market analyst at Berlin-based think tank Agora Energiewende. “They are crowding out gas plants not just in Germany but also abroad — especially in the Netherlands.”

      From your Yahoo News article date November 2014.

      Germany is turning against coal as a fuel for generating electricity, a move that will boost the nation’s reliance on natural gas from Russia.
      Alarmed that curtailing nuclear power has prompted utilities to burn the most coal in six years, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is working on a plan to reinforce Germany’s commitment to reduce fossil-fuel emissions.

      Back to coal, back to gas and maybe back to nuclear again. Co2 reduction and providing energy for you nation is not easy as they are finding out the painful way.

  16. And the best thing about coal is it proves the most beneficial CO2 to crops and the environment. On to 1,000ppm, +1C of beneficial warming and the delay in the return of the ice sheets.

  17. People today are not stupid. The IPCC declared “There’s a wolf… there’s a wolf” once, twice, thrice and then a fourth time in 2007. This fifth time, very few even bother to listen anymore.

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