IEA: Global Coal Demand Bounced Back in 2017

Guest climate wrecking by David Middleton

It looks like my third-favorite fossil fuel continues to refuse to die…

Business

Coal Demand Bounced Back in 2017 After Two Years of Decline: IEA

By Jeremy Hodges
November 12, 2018, 6:00 PM CST

  • India and Southeast Asia are driving demand for fossil fuels
  • Investment in new coal power plants at lowest in a decade

Demand for coal rose for the first time in two years in 2017 with China and India burning more than anyone else, a blow for environmental groups hoping to limit use of the dirtiest fossil fuel.

The International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook published on Tuesday indicates coal will remain a key fuel to provide heat and light through 2040.

Key Takeaways

  • Global coal demand will begin to flatten by 2040, according to the IEA’s central scenario which tracks energy use on the assumption that governments will implement current and announced policies. In its most environmentally friendly outlook, the Paris-based institution says demand will ease to 2.28 billion tons in 2040 from 5.36 billion tons last year.

Source: International Energy Agency WEO 2018

  • Coal’s share of global energy demand would have to fall to 12 percent by 2040 to make a substantial dent in global warming, down from about 27 percent currently and the 22 percent under the IEA’s central forecast.
  • Asia is driving demand, especially India and the nations in the southeast of the continent. That’s helping make up for industrial nations such as Canada, Germany and the U.K. that are working to phase out the fuel.
  • Investment in new coal-fired power plants was at its lowest in a decade in 2017. Large investors and insurers are moving away from coal in growing numbers as public pressure to meet global climate targets gets ever stronger. Assicurazioni Generali SpAAllianz SE and AXA SA and Standard Chartered Plc are among those to have made public their ambitions to exit coal.

[…]

Bloomberg

That’s funny!  Even with all of the climate-saving pledges from nations gullible enough to stay in the Paris deal, coal demand is projected to remain flat until 2040.  Can you say “feckless”?

IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2018 is available for purchase from the IEA.  The Executive Summary is available free-of-charge.  This is from the Executive Summary:

The increasing competitiveness of solar PV pushes its installed capacity beyond that of wind before 2025, past hydropower around 2030 and past coal before 2040. The majority of this is utility-scale, although investment in distributed solar PV by households and businesses plays a strong supporting role. The WEO-2018 introduces a new metric to estimate the competitiveness of different generation options, based on evolving technology costs as well as the value that this generation brings to the system at different times. This metric confirms the advantageous position of wind and solar PV in systems with relatively low-cost sources of flexibility. New solar PV is well placed to outcompete new coal almost everywhere, although it struggles in our projections to undercut existing thermal plants without a helping hand from policy. In the New Policies Scenario, renewables and coal switch places in the power mix: the share of generation from renewables rises from 25% today to around 40% in 2040; coal treads the opposite path.

If the installed capacity of solar PV passes coal before 2040… Coal will still be generating at least twice as much electricity as solar PV.  While coal-fired power plants are capable of delivering >85% capacity factors, they generally deliver at about 55% capacity factors.  Solar PV struggles to deliver 25% capacity factors.

What coal did today… Or at least did in a 24 hour period when this image was generated on a computer, likely to have been coal-powered.

As recently as 2016, coal generated almost as much electricity as natural gas, hydro-electric, soalr, wind, geothermal and other renewable schemes… Combined.

World gross electricity production, by source, 2016
Coal 38.3%
Natural Gas 23.1%
Hydro-electric 16.6%
Nuclear 10.4%
Solar/Wind/Geothermal/Tidal/Other 5.6%
Oil 3.7%
Biofuels and Waste 2.3%
Total 100.0%
Coal 38.3%
Gas+Hydro-electric+Solar/Wind/Geothermal/Tidal/Other 45.3%
Fossil Fuels+Nuclear 75.5%
Everything Else 24.5%

 

 

When you view fossil fuels from the perspective of primary energy consumption, which includes transportation and other energy use, not related to electricity generation, the insignificance of wind and solar become so obvious that Hans Blix could find it.

Have I posted this lately?

It’s a fossil fueled world. BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018.

Thanks to the Climate Wrecking industry and all of our customers, the world is doomed to at least 22 more years of this…

About the author

David Middleton has been a geologist/geophysicist in the evil Climate Wrecking industry since 1981.  His favorite fossil fuels are 1) oil 2) natural gas and 3) coal.  He doesn’t normally write or speak in the third person except when he’s doing his Bob Dole impression… But that’s how “about the author” thingies are usually written.  Long-live coal… MAGA!

Advertisements

59 thoughts on “IEA: Global Coal Demand Bounced Back in 2017

  1. Thank you David Middleton.

    Coal and nuclear are the reasons I pay 9½¢/kWh for my electricity.

    It’s wonderful.

      • In South Australia, we are paying twice what Warren is paying – 38c/kWh + service fee of $0.83/day.

        Aren’t we lucky to have the most wind generators of any Oz state or the price would be higher

        • When you had coal fired power plants, your costs were half that.

          Better luck still: AEMO predict a very high chance of major blackouts this summer.

    • I loved the mention of “increased public pressure” on governments to meet their climate deadlines. What bollocks! Very few members of the global public give a toss.

  2. I have to laugh whenever energy experts avoid the 800 pound energy technology gorilla: molten salt nuclear pwoer – cheaper than all other forms of power generation, quickly built in factories and located almost anywhere. China and India may be building coal plants,but their biggest programs are developing molten salt reactors , all the while still building conventional light water reactors.
    Only molten sala reactors make any sense as a future clean energy source.

  3. David , your auto correct is acting up again ….

    “When you view fossil fuels from the perspective of primary energy consumption, which includes transpiration (transportation ?) and other energy consumption not related to electricity generation”

  4. I am yet again relieved Hillary Clinton lost, as the US going to the sort of Energiewende program envisioned in the Clean Power Plan would have been a slow running disaster.

  5. Thanks, as always, David……..spot on!

    Please note the typo in your post above, however……”transpiration” should read “transportation”.

    • Laudible, but research on “options to consider plant designs that inherently emit no or low amounts of carbon dioxide (amounts that are equal to or lower than natural gas technologies) or could be retrofitted with carbon capture without significant plant modifications” is a waste of effort.

  6. Coal is a long-proven generator of reliable & dispatchable electricity. Now we have working fluidized-bed coal boilers, and these answer all of the questions/problems w/coal, except the pseudo hand-wringing about atmospheric plant-food (CO2).

  7. Coal’s days are numbered.

    There has been a civilization changing, disruptive ‘breakthrough’ in Nuclear design.

    The ‘breakthrough’ occurred 50 years ago. That design was covered up and then forgotten.

    The ‘breakthrough’ design in question was rediscovered roughly 10 years ago by a NASA engineer. He had the imagination to understand the implications of the design and the skills to promoted the idea.

    This a real breakthrough, not more talk.

    A company has copied the ‘breakthrough’ nuclear design. The ‘breakthrough’ design has passed Canadian phase 2 approval.

    The device in question is a water less Nuclear fission heat engine, not a Nuclear reactor.

    It is 1/10 the capital cost of pressure water reactor and can produce electricity as cheaply (all in costs, no credit for CO2) as coal with zero emissions.

    There is no liquid or vapour flow into or out of the fission heat engine.

    The only flow out of the fission heat engine is heat.

    The fission heat engine automatically load follows.

    The fission heat engine increases fission when the load increases and decreases fission when the load decreases.

    Temperature ‘failure’ overload is not possible.

    Deliberate temperature overload is possible however the consequences is the fission heat engine will need to be replaced. There are no failure modes that risk engine containment or that could cause a chemical explosion in the engine.

    There are no ‘failure’ modes for the breakthrough fission heat engine.

    P.S. I am working on a set of articles to discuss nuclear power and the breakthrough.

    • There has been a civilization changing, disruptive ‘breakthrough’ in Nuclear design.

      The ‘breakthrough’ occurred 50 years ago. That design was covered up and then forgotten.

      The ‘breakthrough’ design in question was rediscovered roughly 10 years ago by a NASA engineer. He had the imagination to understand the implications of the design and the skills to promoted the idea.

      This a real breakthrough, not more talk.

      Great, where can I see this “breakthrough” in action? What’s that? there currently are no power plants producing energy using this breakthrough? Then, sorry, but it is nothing but “more talk” until there is some action.

      • This different.

        John, this is the first bingo breakthrough. This a breakthrough that changes everything which everyone assumed has not possible. There is no new engineering/science required for this breakthrough.

        The design in question will be mass produced by multiple companies.

        This breakthrough is not stoppable. There are 1400 coal plants on order or planned. The cult of CAGW are going crazy. There is wind at the back of this project.

        The ‘breakthrough’ is a no ‘failure’ mode fission engine. The fission engine naturally without operator intervention, load tracks. The fission engine will idle.

        The fission engine is a load tracking, water less, low pressure (30 psi), sealed fission engine, that can produce electricity cheaper than a coal fired plant (all in costs, no credit for CO2 reduction, or zero emissions).

        The fission engine in question burns 4% enriched uranium with fuel efficiency six times better than current pressure water reactors. The fission engine produces six times less nuclear waste than current pressure water reactors. There is sufficient uranium to use this reactor to power all applications for 1000s of years. i.e. Thorium is not required.

        The basic design which was tested 50 years ago is engineeringly perfect (the modern version, is a sealed vessel, six heat exchangers, three small pumps, and a graphite core) and is not patentable.

        There is no flow into or out of the engine except for heat. This is a heat engine, not a reactor.

      • John:
        There have been many claims for a “Breakthrough”, and virtually all of them get the same sort of babble as a sale mechanism.
        Every one, I tried to chase down eventually ended up on a page requiring that I fill in my name, address, occupation, interests, etc. into a ‘form’.

        Astley sounds exactly the same, when in a couple of paragraphs he could’ve named the breakthrough and provided links to facts. Instead he ‘promises’ future writings.

        I am uninterested without simple direct facts. Playing shell games with knowledge and facts is pointless.

        • Indeed. When a “breakthrough” is presented as a sales-pitch, it makes me highly skeptical. I’ll believe the “breakthrough” exists when I see it in commercial operation, not before.

      • This is a good link to the Terrestrial talk that explains that design and how it solves every problem of the current pressurized water reactor.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgTgV3Kq49U&index=2&list=PLvhZbqjMlO2Jg3lhVFPjAuCieZvTXFYET&t=16s

        It was a cover-up that was forgotten.

        The NASA engineer, rediscovered this breakthrough, heard of the molten salt experiment in the late 1960s and found some of the original design team.

        The molten salt design team were told to stop all work on the molten salt heat engine including documentation.

        The head of the molten salt team was the developer of the pressure water reactor. He made the rounds of congress telling people that the pressure water reactor was not safe for larger sizes. He has fired for those comments.

        The design team did not understand why the fission heat engine design did not result in cheap, safe, commercial fission heat engines.

        The pressure water reactor design does not make engineering sense or cost sense.

        What the application requires is a fission heat engine, not a high pressure reactor what contains a liquid that forms hydrogen with the fuel rod coating.

        High pressure water that moves in and out of the pressure water reactor is the reason for the 10 inch thick reactor vessel that can only be produced in one country and the containment building.

        The Terrestrial fission engine has no possible over pressurizing events and operates at 30 psi as opposed the pressure water’s operating pressure of 150 atmospheres.

  8. Re: “While coal-fired power plants are capable of delivering >85% capacity factors, they generally deliver at about 55% capacity factors. Solar PV struggles to deliver 25% capacity factors.”

    True, and when coal power plants aren’t producing electricity, or when they are producing it at less than nameplate capacity, it’s usually only because the demand for that electricity is lacking. In other words, it’s a Good Thing.

    When solar PV panels aren’t producing electricity, it’s because they cannot do so (typically because starlight and moonlight are inadequate for the job). In other words, it’s a Bad Thing.

    Coal plants produce electricity when it is needed. Solar and wind produce electricity w/o regard to whether it’s needed. That’s a world of difference.

    • And… a coal-fired power plant operating at 55% spends less money on coal than one operating at 85%.

  9. Key Takeaways
    •Global coal demand will begin to flatten by 2040, according to the IEA’s central scenario which tracks energy use on the assumption that governments will implement current and announced policies. In its most environmentally friendly outlook, the Paris-based institution says demand will ease to 2.28 billion tons in 2040 from 5.36 billion tons last year.

    David
    Am I looking at the graphic directly below this statement incorrectly?
    The graphic appears to indicate the NPS Scenario of the Global Demand for Coal flattening at 2020 and proceeding fairly level through 2040 rather than increasing until, then flattening at 2040

  10. “Solar PV struggles to deliver 25% capacity factors.”
    Here in Alberta, AESO reports on all generators >5MW. Nothing is hidden including output of our first “large,” on-grid solar PV. By the end of Dec, we will have one full year of data for this project. Proponents can’t say anymore “it’s a test facility.” The 2018 output will be between 17 and 18%. To Oct 31 output was 19.6 % of nameplate capacity. Owners will howl that it was down because of forest fire smoke…yes, was a bit smokey for one month but it will have had little effect on annual capacity factor.

    Winter output is dangerously pathetic, with Jan and Feb averaging 4.4% of nameplate capacity.

    • A U.S. president and the whole Democrat political party. They all want to bankrupt the coal industry.

      The Democrats are living in a world of delusion of their own making. Deluded people do not make good decisions because they don’t see the real world.

  11. Of course “coal” bounced back…..duh.

    It’s all about base load power generation. Nukes are great but too expensive to set up and refurbish (talk to Ontario). Gas is great to but requires expensive infrastructure. Thus coal…cheap, abundant, reliable and safe. Plus the added atmospheric benefit of CO2.

    What’s not to like?

    Oh yeah, I forgot…..runaway hothouse earth, rising seas of acid, planet wide desertification, species extinction of historical extreme, Santa’s home disappears, unparalleled human migration forcing dogs and cats to live together…..the end of the world as we know it.

    • There is hope….

      Polar bears can swim, and if not extinct from the dreaded man-made global heat, they will rescue Santy and deliver the outfit to Greenland’s north shore and along with the flying reindeer, set up a wind/solar power base.

      I know it’s early, but this could be good news….Merry Christmas

  12. Who can help us bring our Carbon Capture Utilization System to President Trump?
    https://youtu.be/RQRQ7S92_lo
    We want to hear him say “America has an affordable clean coal solution, and it’s good for the environment and the economy”.
    Our motto is: Waste is not waste if it has a purpose. We want to recover the particulates. We want the heat energy out of the exhaust. This will create water. The CO2 is money and jobs. We will clean the ash and utilize it as well.
    I would like to hear your comments, or discuss it further. Contact me.

  13. The reason that here in Australia there is no private money available for the building of coal fired power stations is simple. With the almost certainty of the next Federal government being that of Labour, nobody is going to spend money on coal when the stated aim of that ALP is to only consider renewables.

    Of course even the ALP cannot ignore the effects long term of renewables, but in the next three years till the next election process we will not see any private money going into coal fired generation of electricity.

    Never mind we will still make lots of money selling coal to those nations who do not beelieve in the Greens fairy tales, so we will still get higher and higher amounts of CO2 plant food produced.

    MJE

  14. From the article: “Asia is driving demand, especially India and the nations in the southeast of the continent. That’s helping make up for industrial nations such as Canada, Germany and the U.K. that are working to phase out the fuel.”

    Asia is “helping to make up for”. I guess that’s one way of putting it.

    Another way to put it is Asia is nullifying all the CO2 reduction efforts of Canada, Germany, the UK, and all the rest of the EU, and we ought to throw Austrailia into that mix, too. All these Western nations are wasting their time and ruining their economies and ecology to reduce CO2 while Asia is pumping out more and more CO2 with no end in sight.

    The Chinese leader must have a big smile on his face over this.

  15. From the article: “Investment in new coal-fired power plants was at its lowest in a decade in 2017. Large investors and insurers are moving away from coal in growing numbers as public pressure to meet global climate targets gets ever stronger.”

    What public pressure? There is no pressure other than from the radical Left. Radical Leftists always assume they speak for everyone.

    Have there been any anti-coal demonstrations lately (or ever)? I don’t recall any. Other than Radical Leftists, who is putting pressure on the coal industry?

  16. As recently as 2016, coal generated almost as much electricity as natural gas, hydro-electric, soalr, wind, –> solar, wind,

Comments are closed.