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What fossil fuel conspiracy? Big oil hates big coal, likes big carbon

Seems some fossils are cheaper than others, and the Big Oil guys are not happy that Asia is buying so much Big Coal. Apparently quite a few Big Oil companies have become predominantly more Big Gas companies, but they are struggling against cheaper coal and lower demand.

It’s just a coincidence that four big oil gas companies are also headed by guys who want to save the Earth (with gas):

June 5th, 2015:  Shell, Total, BP Plc and other oil companies said …  that they’re banding together to promote gas as more climate friendly than coal.

Here’s the head of  French oil supermajor Total this week describing how coal is the competition:

Mr Pouyanne, who last year declared coal was “the enemy” of the gas industry, told the LNG18 conference in Perth that LNG demand was suffering just as a raft of new projects were coming on.

“We face a situation where we have more supply than demand, which has grown slower than expected because of competition between coal and gas,” he said.

“In Asian countries there is a shift from gas to coal because, the coal price has collapsed as well.”

Here’s another gas company head lamenting that the Paris agreement is not helping Big Oil enough, I mean, helping the planet:

Origin Energy managing director Grant King has joined the head of French oil supermajor Total in criticising nations that signed up to the Paris climate treaty but are increasing their use of coal at the expense of gas.

“The thing that is a big puzzle is that the world entered into a treaty to limit emissions to 2 degrees, yet many of the countries in that treaty are increasing coal consumption and it doesn’t square,” Mr King told The Australian on the sidelines of the LNG18 conference in Perth.

“Something’s got to give, you just can’t keep chasing lower emissions and adding higher intensity fuels into the mix.”

Big Oil-Gas CEO’s care about the climate, so they are worried when people are not switching to gas instead of coal, hence the need for the government to jump in and hobble the competition:

“We call for a carbon pricing mechanism because we think, and we observe today, that nothing is happening because of the differential in pricing between coal and gas,” he [Mr Pouyanne] said.

The Big-Oil guys will be more convincing when they offer to sell their gas as cheap as coal — “for the planet”.

Read more about the story in The Australian : Origin’s Grant King joins Total opposition to climate hypocrites

UPDATE: DavidS says I thought Big Oil was the funding source for sceptics. The reality is that big oil is the funding source for big Oil.

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104 comments to What fossil fuel conspiracy? Big oil hates big coal, likes big carbon

  • #
    sophocles

    `Big Coal’ can still compete with Big Oil with coal-liquid fuel processes, eg the Fischer-Tropsch process. And “save the planet” in the process.

    It uses a stream of CO (Carbon Monoxide) and H2 (hydrogen gas) to synthesise liquid fuels such light diesels and synthetic lubricants (oils). The Carbon Monoxide for FT catalysis is derived from other hydrocarbons. In gas-to-liquids synthesis, hydrocarbons added to the feedstock stream are low molecular weight materials (short chains) that would often be discarded or flared. It’s rather ironic that the FT process can be used to clean up the petroleum refining process by profitably using some of its `waste.’

    Fischer–Tropsch plants can use methane as a feedstock. They can also create methane but that is regarded as undesirable.

    The reactions are highly exothermic so the reactors run hot, with efficient cooling needed at various stages necessary. Optimum temperatures appear to be in the range of 150–300 °C. Higher temperatures lead to faster reactions and higher conversion rates but also tend to favor methane production, which may not be wanted.

    Increasing the pressure can give higher conversion rates. Higher pressures favour production of long-chained alkanes. Both of these effects are desirable. Typical pressures range from one to several tens of atmospheres. Even higher pressures would be favorable, but high-pressure equipment to contain them is more expensive, so there is a cost/benefit consideration. Also, higher pressures can reduce the catalyst’s performance, to the point of de-activation because of coke formation.

    Germany used the FT process throughout WW2, and still uses it to extract maximum benefit from its lower-grade coals. I understand South Africa used it and maybe still does. NZ has a large lignite coal field in Southland which could be very effectively and efficiently used as a coal-to-liquid base. But I can’t see NZ’s pollies growing the cojones to do it.

    Mr Pouyanne may be asking for more competition than he realises.

    140

    • #
      Robk

      I seem to recall that a few years ago coal liquification could compete with oil at about US$57/bbl. No doubt that figure is out of date by now. That’s quite aside from coal’s very competitive price and handling characteristics for generating electricity.

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      • #

        You are so damn practical no wonder you get “laid really good so seldom”.
        -will-

        10

        • #
          Robk

          When too much is barely enough, Will!

          10

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          We’re all getting “laid” far too often and not so “good” at all. I wouldn’t mind that so much if I could just be kissed now and then during the procedure. But that little nicety isn’t on the menu I guess.

          There ought to be a way to do something about that but no one can find it.

          20

    • #

      sophocles
      Thankyou for all that good technical info on how it works. I like this place. People like you keep it that way. Interesting how similar it all is to plastic thermal depolymerisation. I built a backyard unit a bit like this one but with a few saftey devices and less waste.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq1i7YcawxU
      I feed the waste gas back into the fire. You can see it is exothermic because the temperature of the pot goes up suddenly as it begins to work.
      The whole thing is not viable because it takes a whole days work to make two litres but it was fun to play with.
      Surely the methane production from the FT could be fed directly into electric generation.

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      • #
        OriginalSteve

        I still think regardless of current price and issues, more time should be spent on alt. tech like hydrogen.

        Yes….I acknowledge there are issues, yes its hard to store blah blah ….. these are just cop-out excuses – I’d like to see the same vigour applied to get results a-la flight to the moon to bring our tech up to speed in the hydrogen space.

        Oil and coal companies are just that – if they disappeared, something would replace them….

        The challenge is there….

        30

        • #
          Robk

          Steve,
          There has been plenty of work done on hydrogen as a fuel and it continues. The blah blah problems you mention have as yet to be overcome. I used to feel the same as you about hydrogen but have slowly come to see that hanging the hydrogen on a backbone of carbon (1-8 or so) solves a lot of the issues and can slot straight into existing infrastructure as a transition until some resolution of the practical constraints of hydrogen are found. Feedstock purity is a key requirement of fuel cells presently.

          40

          • #
            James Murphy

            I know one gentleman who has, for many years, run a small (home-made) hydrogen generator in his car, not as a fuel by itself, but as an additive to the fuel/air mix in a petrol engine. He claims to see a significant fuel efficiency increase from it, though even if he didn’t see this, I think he would still play around with it, because the challenge of making it work is all part of the fun.

            30

            • #
              Robk

              I too heard of some adding dissociated water to the engine inlet. If there was/is any effect(the gasses are produced by the car’s alternator) I can only imagine it is from a hotter burn at ignition. I never did find any solid, credible evidence to substantiate the claims. That didn’t deter the faithful though.

              20

              • #
                ROM

                Nah! Just feed a large whiff of LPG out of one of those domestic type cylinders into the air intake of a diesel and hang on hard as that engine gets to work.
                The tractor pull competition guys do it all the time.

                30

              • #
                OriginalSteve

                It does work to a degree – the browns gas does up the octane rating of the existing fuel by 5-10 points. I had an old 4 cylinder ford that ran an on-board dissociator and while it did drain the battery fast, the extra oomph you’d get from the HHO was noticeable.

                Problem is when you use stainless plates and NaOH you wind up with hexa chlorides ( from memory ) which can be nasty.

                One night for a giggle, I decided to fill up a small plastic bag with some browns gas, probably about the size of a soccer ball. I decided to ignite it from a safe distance just in case. Well, it didnt burn – it ….er…. more like detonated. Shook windows of the house, dogs barking etc etc…..figured it was a decent fuel…. ;-)

                10

      • #
        sophocles

        Love it :-) .

        The equipment has that delightful ex tempore `back yard’ flavour. Thank you Siligy.

        Methane manufacture in an FT reactor is probably undesirable for several reasons.
        First, methane is not the intended output, so its production is wasteful in that sense.

        Secondly, methane is highly flammable, and under pressure, at elevated temperatures, it could be explosive. I’ve played with nitro-based explosives but not methane.

        Last, it could modify the output stream with other undesired reactions but I’m guessing here.

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    • #
      ianl8888

      I’ve commented on the FT process a few times. But always the same story returns anew.

      Yes, the Germans used it in WW2 for oil supplies, failing to capture Stalingrad and the associated Russian oilfields. And yes, the South Africans used it during the apartheid era when they were unable to buy oil on the open market.

      But the FT process is expensive of yield. Please try to understand what that means – the various oil fractions produced are very high cost, and people will only use it in extremis.

      A few high-tech chemical engineering organisations (including some German ones) have been researching the LaTrobe lignite deposits for both FT and gasification methods for well over twenty years (I’ve ben part of a due diligence technical group for them). Still no economic outputs yet. Similarly, the NZ Southland lignite deposits are in the same situation.

      None of that is to say that technological improvements won’t turn up. Just not any time soon.

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      • #
        sophocles

        ian1888:
        Thank you. I admit to not giving cost any attention at all. The 2008 economic crash occurred about the same time Solid Energy (NZ’s coal miner) was making noises about conversion of the Southland lignite deposits. I assumed the deathly silence from then on was from SE’s slide towards bankruptcy
        without considering that any process they might want to play with would be costly.

        I take it the Bergius process in most of its incarnations is the same as the FT process; also very expensive?

        I’ve done a little more looking around since your response and have turned up quite a strong repetitive interest in coal conversion since the War, all with different approaches. It seems each new or different approach has very pricey product.

        One caught my eye. Shenhua, a Chinese coal mining company, built a direct liquefaction plant in 2002 in Erdos, Inner Mongolia with a production capacity of 20 thousand barrels per day of liquid products including diesel oil, LPG and naphtha (petroleum ether). Testing began at the end of 2008. A second and longer test started in October 2009. In 2011, Shenhua Group reported that their direct liquefaction plant had been in continuous operation since November 2010, and that Shenhua had made $125 million in earnings (I’m assuming US$) before taxes in the first six months of 2011 from the project.

        That sounds good, but 20,000 barrels per day is only about 6 million barrels per annum, which is small potatoes, and it was at the time when oil was up around $110.00 plus per barrel under OPEC’s generous discount pricing. Do you know anything about their method and especially the costs?

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        • #
          ianl8888

          Unhappily, my only two contacts with Shenhua, albeit extensive contacts, have been with their attempt to develop a mine in the Gunnedah Basin (they have retreated from this because the happy-clappy O’Farrell and Baird Govts kept weaseling new rules) and also their (Shenhua) mines in mainland China. So I have no real data on their Mongolian venture.

          Cannot imagine the chemical engineering has yet improved to the point where it can compete with oil and shale gas resources, let alone coal as raw fuel. Maybe technological improvements as time goes on, but evolutionary rather than revolutionary. From my viewpoint (mining geology), any of these processes requires accurate geological knowledge before any world-saving engineering can even start. Saying (eg) Southland has heaps of lignite does not make any specific deposit economic – one needs to know the geological detail first.

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      • #
        Mari

        I am curious – if we can burn coal fairly cleanly, with all the filters/scrubbers/technical-whatnots, why are we playing around with gasification and all the new “pollutants” and costs? Why not just burn the coal in plants equipped to burn it cleanly and be done with it?

        I am just amazed at how far around the circle the alternative fuel people keep going – just to end up with the same old products, slightly changed problems, and no real -new- ideas at all. Use the tech we have now and keep improving it until we do come up with something better, newer, that works and is cleaner, more efficient, and cheaper.

        I’m sorry, but I think common-sense bit me this morning and all the crazy going on is showing up more sharply out-lined than usual.

        30

        • #

          Mari,

          I agree with you completely.

          Just to show you why I agree, look at this.

          In 1985/6 Bayswater came on line. At the time, it was the State Of The Art coal fired power plant in Australia.

          It has four units, each driving a 660MW generator for a Nameplate of 2640MW. It delivered 17,500GWH of electricity to the Grid each year.

          Here we are in 2016.

          The latest State Of The Art HELE (USC) coal fired power plants will have two units each driving a 1350MW generator for a Nameplate of 2700 MW, and will deliver 21,800GWH to the grid each year.

          Here we have similar Nameplate, albeit from only two units now instead of four units. However the new plant delivers 24% more power to the grid. Over time that percentage will drop, but not by all that much.

          However, Bayswater burns just on 7.5 Million tonnes of coal each year.

          The new plant will burn 6.2 Million tonnes of coal each year. That’s almost 18% less coal, hence 18% less CO2 emissions.

          So 24% more delivered power with 18% less emissions.

          With technical advances like that why would we bother with trying to find a different way.

          Also, again note how you see huge technical advances like this from a technology that is supposedly dying.

          Beats me!

          Tony.

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    • #

      Actually, some coals have a lot of liquids to start with. Gas and coal liquids are by-products of coke making. BORAL started its life at Port Kembla next to the steel works. The letters stand for Bitumen Oil Refinery Australia Ltd. They took over the small Total Oil Refinery in Matraville Sydney. They went into LPG taking over Colonial gas and the Gas Supply Company in Victoria. They took over SA Oil and Gas to have a source of natural gas and supply gas in Adelaide. They supplied LPG under the name BORAL gas with the pumps at service stations coloured Green and Gold. Origin Energy was a subsidiary of BORAL which gathered all the oil, gas and electricity assets, and marketing. It was then divested through a float. BORAL as company still exists reduced to construction materials (cement, concrete, gypsum products and quarry products)
      Secondly, all the large oil companies including Total have had their hand in owning coal mines but for all it was an economic disaster especially Shell here in Australia. They had no idea about mining or how to handle the unions. Money does not buy competence when the top management is incompetent.

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      • #

        I should add that Ian Dunlop, a leading “Climate Change” advocate (see http://www.climatechangetaskforce.org/task-force/view.php?Id=8) was CEO of Shell Coal in Australia and was responsible for their losses and bad management. Maybe like Malcolm Fraser he wanted an excuse to redeem himself in the eyes of some of the Latte set and the socialist fellow-travellers.

        30

        • #
          ianl8888

          Yes, that was always my impression of him.

          He had a pretty good geological team based in Brisbane, but routinely ignored their advice and eventually sacked them as scapegoats.

          30

        • #
          Peter C

          Cementafriend,

          From your reference.

          IAN T DUNLOP
          Energy Expert
          A Cambridge educated engineer,….. He is a member of the Club of Rome, a member of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Climate Change Task Force and a Director of Safe Climate Australia.

          10

  • #
    ScotsmaninUtah

    A game of pretend

    “The thing that is a big puzzle is that the world entered into a treaty to limit emissions to 2 degrees, yet many of the countries in that treaty are increasing coal consumption…”

    what is odd is that they seem surprised when their counterparts make promises and then do the complete opposite.

    120

  • #
    TdeF

    The absurd idea that CO2 is pollution and that man is responsible for the steady CO2 increase in the last hundred years or that tiny CO2 is producing run away heating of the planet have an upside. Sure the windmills are a total waste of money, if only because they are placed in rich countries which do not need them. However the increasing efficiencies of engines, lighter cars, regenerative braking, petrol injection, electronic governance and a focus on efficiency from appliances to heating and cooling is good, stretching finite resources. If coal can be increased x 4 with drying, impurity removal and gasification, fantastic. Fracking is an incredible development, itself forcing a halving of oil prices and keeping oil in the ground and prices down. This is hurting a lot of developing and oil dependent countries from Russia to Nigeria but it could not last anyway.

    Along the way you have the energy vendors, all fighting for supremacy and feigning concern for the planet more than their own salaries. That is normal. Even the windmills are keeping manufacturing going in countries like Australia and they would not be the first utterly silly things and religious icon manufacture which benefits society in other ways. Very Fast Trains are the perpetually silly idea which has been dragged out by a Federal government desperate to divert attention from the vanishing steel, aluminium, oil refining, heavy engineering and motor car manufacturing businesses. Only windmills are making money in stiff competition with Chinese windmills.

    So we have a lot to be pleased about with the focus on so called ‘renewables’ while in reality our dependence on coal is greater than ever. The only thing which is really anaethema to Australia is the UN/EU carbon tax game, now presented by all sides of politics as a benign and sensible Emissions (Carbon) Trading (Taxation) Scheme (Rort). This was Malcolm Turnbulls passion. It and Tony Abbott cost him his job. If elected, it will be his first move. No one can stop him and Malcolm gets what he wants.

    Will someone in the media ask Malcolm to at least say “There will be no ETS in a government I lead”. He will choke on the words.

    212

    • #
      llew jones

      Costly, Broken Wind Turbines Give College Whopping Negative 99.14 Percent Return on Investment

      https://stream.org/costly-broken-wind-turbines-give-college-whopping-negative-99-14-return-investment/

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      • #
        TdeF

        Yes, but they provided jobs for windmill manufacturers, engine manufacturers, magnet manufacturers and they are not the first useless machines with the lifespan of a gnat which cost more to own than they did to buy. There are plenty of failed billion $ software systems out there too, employing thousands of contractors with families, mortgages and school fees. Consider Victoria’s Myki ticketing system. In fact the whole defence industry is hopefully never to be used and a total waste of money, but it generated things like ARPANET which became the free internet, ICBMs which ended up launching communication satellites and microelectronics for the useless space race. Much good comes from economic activity, trading, manufacturing and even fashion. The tobacco and alcohol industries are huge and employ millions but no one said it was good for you. These are choices.

        The part of Global Warming which is really scary is the attempt to tax the very air we breathe with an ETS (External Taxation System). There is no science behind this, no oil or gas or energy or benefit to humanity or commerce or employment. Just greed and merchant bankers and shadowy people and worthless carbon credits and some very dodgy rationale by science free economists about how pointless and massive taxation will save the planet. Did I mention our faux PM is a merchant banker?

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        • #
          OriginalSteve

          You mean “Champers-Malcolm”?….

          Yes we know…. he doesn’t give a rats and thinks the whole PM gig is a big big giggle…watch his body language…

          The problem is , they can try and tax the air, then people will riot, and the authorities have to either

          (a) build big prisons for the entire population, or ;
          (b) execute them, or;
          (c) create a war to execute them and in the process protect their precious ( mythical ) gaia

          My money is on (c)…..the war drums have been going for a while now….each side is being primed.

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        • #
          James Murphy

          Alcohol is not good for me? This may need further research.

          20

        • #

          Have a look at the AEMO site for wind energy, down as low as 100 MW (for 3669 MW) and around 10% for a day or so: Pitiful and very costly for us courtesy of the greens.

          30

      • #
        Peter C

        That is a good article Ilew Jones,

        The reporter puts the issues fair and square, eg wind turbines expensive to buy and maintain. Intermittent power often produced when not needed etc. Of interest was the incredibly poor performance of the wind turbines. They only lasted 4 years and seemed to be broken down most of the time.

        They were also supposed to be a teaching aid, which I would claim that they were. Any half bright student would soon notice something about the economics of Wind power production, even if their project was say to optimise power use over the day.

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      • #
        AndyG55

        ““While they have been an excellent teaching tool for students, ”

        But will they learn the actual reality that wind turbines are costly, and basically useless for the purpose of their design.

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    • #
      sophocles

      … another big benefit has been the research into better batteries. This page at Wattsupwiththat, if BiSolar’s claims are reasonable, would be right about it being a “game-changer.” If its performance matches the claims, it would be revolutionary for electric vehicles. And if the price/performance claims are accurate, then it would be just right for private power generation systems (house solar/wind/whatever), off grid, as cost effective backup storage, given the projected prices of less than US$100.00 per kWh. As long as it wasn’t a fire trap …

      60

      • #
        Peter C

        I had a good look at Bio Solar since I am quite interested in electric vehicles. At this stage Bio Solar has no products for sale.

        The promises are grand but I suspect they are still a long way from making anything useful.

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        • #
          sophocles

          Peter C

          I suspect they are still a long way from making anything useful.

          So is Tesla with their Power Wall. Isn’t it always the way?
          Rule One: Hang onto your wallet and bank account until there’s product.
          Rule Two: See Rule One.

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          • #
            Robk

            I’m all for technological advances but the infuriating part, especially with batteries, is that a real game changing breakthrough will vindicate all the subsidies thrown at the rent-seekers. The subsidies are forthcoming on the strength of windmills and solar panels replacing native energy.

            40

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Is this the March sooper-dooper battery or the April version?

        By the way, acetylene can be made from coal (and electricity). When the greens find out they will ban it.

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        • #
          sophocles

          Must be the April version. I checked the date and it wasn’t the first. The Tesla Power Wall was the March one, wasn’t it?

          acetylene can be made from coal (and electricity).

          It can be. Marcel Morren made it back in 1859, well after its discovery, when he struck an arc in a hydrogen atmosphere using carbon electrodes. If there had been the slightest contamination with oxygen it would have been the late Marcel Morren. :-(

          Calcium Carbide and water was an original way of making it and was the method used in portable or mobile acetylene lighting (eg early cars/motorcycles).

          The early industrial manufacture was making calcium carbide from coke (cooked coal) and limestone. The process is not quite the same as making cement but I’ve sometimes wondered in an idle moment just how easy it might be to make both in one works, and if one was a by-product of the other, but I’ve never looked into it.

          It can be made from methane, from natural gas and other petroleum products which is how it’s mostly made today.

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          • #
            ROM

            Ah, sophocles @ # 3.2.2.1

            You brought back a long forgotten memory from a near 75 years ago now with that mention “calcium carbide”.

            Long ago from my very tender years I remember an old complicated and rusting cylinder, covered in some sort of hard gunk, like apparatus with lots of gizmos sticking out of it, or it seemed like lots to this small boy, that sat rather derelict like out of the back behind my Grandfathers and Grandmothers mud brick farm house that they had built at the turn of the century when they took up a selection, cleared it of the Mallee scrub and like their neighbours around them at the time, created a farm out of what had been just Mallee scrubland.

            A farm like all those others of that pioneering era, that grew the wheat and the wool that created the wealth and laid the foundations that has underpinned Australia’s long enduring prosperity over the last century and a half.

            And I was often intrigued with the network of small pipes and odd looking bits sticking up out of those pipes which were fixed close to the ceiling in each of the few rooms of that old house and didn’t know what they had been used for as I never saw anybody doing anything with those small pipes which hung up there near the ceiling for the time those old people were alive.

            And the four foot high derelict cylinder out the back I was told was a “carbide generator” which meant precisely nothing to this small boy.
            And no other explanations were forthcoming which I could make sense of.

            Only many years later, a some three or four decades in fact, and long after those old folk were dead and gone I finally realised that it was indeed a carbide gas generator that used calcium carbide and water to generate methane [ ? ] gas which was piped into each room where the burning gas at each of those ceiling mounted lamps provided lighting for the room.

            Looking back it was probably installed in the boom years of the 1920′s and then proved either an abject and no doubt expensive failure as a lighting source or was too expensive to operate and too hard to ensure a regular access to the calcium carbide fuel, they were about 20 kilometres from the nearest town, Dimboola in Victoria’s northern Wimmera, or was to dangerous or was just didn’t measure up to what they thought they were getting when they installed that gas lighting system.

            So I never saw it working and being only a small boy, was never told why it was no longer used.

            The lighting I saw was by the old kerosene fueled pressure lamps, the Tilley lamps as they were often called after a very popular make, until the early 1950′s when one of the engine driven 32 volt lighting plants were installed and electric power at the flick of a switch just like the big towns finally became a reality in that old farm house.

            30

            • #
              Howie from Indiana

              Water reacts with carbide to produce acetylene, not methane.

              50

              • #
                ROM

                Thanks Howie for the correction;

                I’m not sure but a long time back I think from a faint memory that the gas from those carbide systems was known as “water gas” for obvious reasons to the average folk of those days.

                20

            • #
              Robk

              From Wikipedia:
              “Water gas is a synthesis gas, containing carbon monoxide and hydrogen. It is a useful product but requires careful handling due to its flammability and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas is made by passing steam over a red-hot carbon fuel such as coke: H2O + C → H2 + CO (ΔH = +131 kJ/mol)”
              The common vernacular I recall for acetylene from carbide for lighting is carbide lamps.
              The whole history of carbide and chemical engineering is fascinating. Think Union Carbide and American Cyanamid.

              10

            • #
              Howie from Indiana

              ROM In reference to your “water gas” comment below it is a mixture of hydrogen gas and carbon monoxide which is formed by passing steam over a bed of red hot coke. Before the advent of natural gas the larger cities each had a plant to produce water gas and it was used in much the same way natural gas is today.

              20

          • #
            toorightmate

            The lamps in early underground hard rock mines were carbide lamps.

            30

            • #
              ROM

              Re Carbide lamps; And still used today by cavers!

              There has been a lot of discussion about batteries both here on Jo’s blog and right across the media and how the new technology batteries are going to revolutionise the use of renewable energy and etc and etc.
              In short all the overblown hype done through highly misleading press releases which a naive, ignorant, non checking media take up and expand on without a clue as to what they are actually writing about or the true basics of what they are promoting on behalf of another lot of troughers.

              With batteries as domestic power supply;
              Been there!
              Done that!
              Got the acid eaten sweat shirt to prove it.

              The old 32 volt lighting plants, the farm luxury of the late 1940′s and right through the fifties relied on a set of large lead acid, task designed batteries to supply domestic power when the single cylinder, petrol fueled lighting engine wasn’t running which was the case for most of each 24 hours.
              So the batteries were there to supply power for the house lighting and sometimes shed lighting plus a domestic luxury of a 32 volt Iron and a mixer, a washing machine, a vacuum cleaner and a couple of other domestic appliances when the engine wasn’t running .
              A big item like the fridge was usually a kerosene burner type fridge which were surprisingly good in keeping things cold and making ice cream.

              The workshop / shed might have lights plus a 32 volt drill and grinder which made life a hell of a lot easier for machine maintenance and repairs.
              Fire any of the big stuff up and you had to have that engine running particularly if the batteries were getting more than a couple of years of life on them.
              Batteries could be made to last up to five years maximum with the addition of a few concoctions to clean the junk off the plates but then had to be replaced at vast expense.

              Our power use was tailored to the ability of the engine when running and then the batteries when it wasn’t, to supply power for lighting and the small domestic appliances and that power use was fairly minimal compared to today.
              Lights were switched off as soon as they weren’t needed and if you flattened the batteries and had forgotten to get fuel for the engine or the $%&*@# would not start, a not uncommon happening, the lights got down to a gentle glow as the battery voltages dropped.

              A long evening use of few lights and a few short uses of the mixer and run around the room with the 32 volt vacuum cleaner would about suck the life out of those batteries.

              Of course a lot of the less thoughtful and energy naive readers out there in the wilds of civilisation today will immediately claim that battery technology has come a very long way since the 1950′s.
              If so, why are we still using lead acid batteries identical in the basic design and principle as those of the 1950′s in all of our vehicles, almost identical to those we used and have been used since back in the early part of the 20th century?

              Certainly the latest large system domestic battery designs, providing they live up to the hype which I have deep reservations about in both capacity and length of economic life under actual field use and not theoretical conditions , will give a much greater output of power for domestic purposes.
              BUT and it is a very big BUT, the expectations today re the availability of power to drive all the numerous domestic appliances plus an increasing proliferation of electronic devices, most of which the owners don’t even realise they are constantly drawing power, far exceeds our then simple and basic expectations of battery performance of those 65 years ago.

              So I would suggest that in a reality the much greater actual use and the much greater expectations for battery stored power to be able to power all those innumerable domestic items, from large right down to the gizmos on the computer and lap top today is no better today than it was 65 years ago.

              And given the ignorance and complete lack of any experience in our urbanised cities with their always there power, about the power useage limitations available from even the most advanced battery systems let alone the barely affordable domestic sized advanced battery systems and all the rapidly increasing range of devices constantly drawing power in every household , I seriously doubt that the purchasers and users of these newest and latest heavily hyped domestic battery systems will get any more hours or a better performance than we did from those old lead acid batteries that half a century back in time.

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                Robk

                I still have a 400w rotary inverter(a close coupled 32v motor driving a 240v generator) from that 40-50s era. It’s still in it’s wooden box.
                I use a 120v dc storage system, inverted by 10kW inverter on my farm. The modern batteries are better than the old ones. Much of it is the refinement/purity of the stuff they are made from but the innovations of low water loss and gel cells, calcium alloying, and of course lithium transforming nicads have increased the power density and cycle life considerably. There is realistic expectation of further improvements.

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                Another Ian

                ROM

                You didn’t miss much compared to what I met on the way.

                Homework by Tilley light, refrigeration by kerosene.

                Then a 32 volt system – ours was run by a diesel that also ran the bore. And batteries were a major concern.

                A big plus of a single tub Hoover washing machine was that it didn’t need the generator going – at least while the batteries were good.

                One grandparent’s house also had a tank and plumbing system for lighting, but it was a central pressurised shellite (white spirit) system that got superceded by 32 volts.

                Another place, where, in the son’s venacular oil was “fat”, had a Moffat Virtue diesel on the lights which was referred to as the “More Fat and Torture”

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                TdeF

                I was amazed that lithium phone batteries were 1000-2000mwHr and more! 1-2 amp hours, a huge amount of power. No wonder they are dangerous. Car batteries are up to 100 amp hour but jump start batteries are only 14 amp hour. Also no hysteresis and hold their charge for years, unlike lead acid.

                So a few together and you could start a car! Now I have a car starter, a bigger lithium battery with 12Amp Hour. It can fit in your pocket, although that is a little challenging. Such a battery/jump started kit is around $100-$200. The latest Lotus sports car uses such a tiny Lithium battery instead of the traditional lead acid battery. So the battery market is changing. Slowly.

                This means about 12kg can be saved from every car in the world. Today. In Australia with 3 million cars, that means 30,000 tons which does not have to be driven to work every day. I can only assume there is the usual resistance to change and massive retail markup, but the mobile phone market has so changed the Lithium business that such technology is readily available. Your next car will have a battery the size of a Kindle, but this development is due to smart phones and lap top computers, not Green communist ideology, which would have you running a steam engine on cow pats.

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                ROM

                TdeF @ # 3.2.2.1.3.

                There’s still a heck of a lot to come in battery technology.

                My son is into model helicopters and now self launching model gliders.

                The model helis swinging a metre and half or more of rotor diameter are now more and more trending to being powered by battery powered electric motors with some mind boggling battery technology all packaged in a very small cube of a few centimetres per side providing the battery power source.
                Those model choppers can really do some incredible aerobatics under very high power for a number of minutes before those batteries start to run down to the minimum allowable charge levels.

                The very nature of the technology incorporated in the model Helis attracts some very smart technology orientated individuals.

                As the whole model flying thing is quite global in its reach and in its exchange of information my son tells me that there are a few model Heli enthusiasts who are involved in battery research with a some of the largest battery manufacturers in the world.
                So they turn up at model flying meets with the latest battery technology almost straight out of the research laboratories they work in.

                Consequently if you want the latest on battery research just get involved in model Helicopter flying.
                And thats the real radio controlled, very sophisticated Heli models, not those little toy multi rotor jobs.

                As a result of the steadily increasing power density of batteries , the Heli and electrically powered aircraft and glider modelling guys and a few gals are very careful indeed in the way they charge, discharge and handle those very high power density batteries.

                Those very high power density batteries are very quick to light up and burn if you don’t have everything close to the reccommended charging and discharging specs.
                In the worst case situation they can apparently just explode with some fairly spectacular and very dangerous effects from such a small package of very high density power of roughly a typical 100 mms by 50 mms x 50 mms sized battery or smaller.

                My son has recently moved into model gliders after flying around some 500 or so hours in the full sized gliders.

                He has an electrically launched version of a model of a well known high performance glider, the model version being around four metres span with a fold way nose propeller powered by a very small, very high powered electrical motor which gets his model glider to 500 feet or so in a couple of tens of seconds.
                From there, as he lays back in his lounging chair with the remote viewing goggles on, he can see the scenery as out of the cockpit of the model glider via a video camera and can use the controls on the ground transmitter to fly the glider and center the thermals as well as get the full glider instrumentation reading back.
                And he can do this even though the glider might almost be out of sight.

                The latest version of those goggles also shows the cockpit gauges and their readings just as you would see them in a real sized glider plus the usual gliding variometer audio that tells if you are in a thermal and going up or are in heavy sink and on the way down fast unless you do something!

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    Yonniestone

    It’s frustrating really, while CAGW sceptics defend the ‘evil carbon’ industries need to operate the industries in turn continue to pander to warmist ‘CO2 is evil’ meme for the sake of squeezing a few extra $billion out of it, I know it’s business but at what point do huge multinationals decide to support democracy over totalitarian rule?

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      Rereke Whakaaro

      … at what point do huge multinationals decide to support democracy over totalitarian rule?

      Erm … Never?

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      OriginalSteve

      America has a fascist form of commerce now anyway, where govt pretty much controls everything.

      Corporations will do what suits them, suffer the ‘peasants’….

      A movie that really brings this home is “Robocop”.

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    David S

    I thought Big Oil was the funding source for sceptics. The reality is that big oil is the funding source for big Oil.

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      Mike

      David S. My reply to this …..

      “The reality is that big oil is the funding source for big Oil.”

      Big oil and even the recently increasingly bankrupt ‘big coal’ is funded/kept alive by creditors like ‘Big Banks’

      Big oil and everything else is funded and kept alive by creditors. It is even possible to construe that these days creditors own big oil and coal etc during financial hardship and so on etc

      From http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-12/massive-new-headache-banks-has-emerged
      “A “Massive” New Headache For Banks Has Emerged”
      We have closely watched the spring borrowing-base redetermination period for US shale drillers because for many cash burning oil and gas companies it could mean the difference between survival and a quick death in bankruptcy court, as it represents the semi-annual event that determines if they have enough liquidity to sustain operations for the next few quarters or, alternatively, if they have to hand over keys to creditors.”

      And there you have it….. Shock, horror!!

      big oil and etc is not owned by itself autonomously… Like ‘i did it all by myself’ etc….

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    Another Ian

    Jo

    IIRC some of Big Oil had fingers in coal mines a while back and bailed out.

    Sour grapes?

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      toorightmate

      Big oil could not manage coal mines.
      Those companies which operated the coal mines before and after the oil company ownership period could operate coal mines successfully.
      How do I know – I managed a coal mine for one of the big oil companies.

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        ianl8888

        Absolutely agreed.

        The worst I encountered was BP. The half-way better one was Shell.

        But neither could pick a useful prospect from the exploration results. Those geologists who advised them against certain properties on economic grouns (structure, quality, thickesses etc) were sacked but rehired later when Big Oil exited.

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    toorightmate

    The arguments relating to oil, gas are highly technical, so most of you will not be able to understand them.
    The technicality is that the carbon in coal is “bad carbon” whereas the carbon in oil and gas is “good carbon”.

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      Graeme No.3

      Ah! That explains it. Carbon dioxide is split into 2 parts. There is the NATURAL part which is benign and has little effect on the climate, and then there is the MAN-MADE part which causes runaway warming when it is released by humans behaving like humans.
      So all we have to do is locate all those evil CO2 particles and store them underground for a few million years.
      How to tell them apart? (Cue: enter actor in white coat): “Only a Climate Scientist can tell. Send money urgently to Save the World and cute cuddly polar bears too”.

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      sophocles

      Is that because coal is “old” as in formed 300MYA or so and petroleum is “new” from about 150MYA? That is oil carbon is only half as old as coal carbon?

      Are we supposed to be able to tell the difference between C02 formed from coal and C02 formed from petroleum? How does CO2 pick between them? ;-)

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        ianl8888

        How does CO2 pick between them?

        There’s a greenie law, of course. Many of them, actually, and if CO2 disobeys, the anthropogenic hoi-polloi are beaten into line for it. Surely you know that … Brussels has perfected the technique.

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    pat

    13 Apr: BusinessStandardIndia: Peabody Energy files for bankruptcy
    by BS Reporter & Agencies
    A sharp fall in coal prices left the company unable to service a recent debt-fuelled expansion into Australia. The company listed both assets and liabilities in the range of $10 billion to $50 billion, according to a court filing…
    According to SNL Energy, at least 49 petitions for bankruptcies have been filed by coal companies since 2012. Coal India, the world’s largest coal miner, in 2010 was looking to buy over 10 per cent in Peabody’s Australian asset… According to Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies, Australia from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), “Peabody’s bankruptcy stems directly from the company’s top-of-the-cycle, multibillion-dollar debt-funded acquisitions, its inability to properly gauge energy markets and its failure to see the coming over-supply in the seaborne coal trade.”
    Peabody’s debt troubles date back to its $5.1 billion leveraged buyout of Australia’s Macarthur in 2011. While this might send worrying signals across the coal industry, Tom Sanzillo, director of finance, IEEFA, said the coal industry is not dead, but faces a time in which it must innovate in ways that it has not done before. “That means smaller markets and fewer mines.”…
    According to Ian Dunlop, former chair, Australian Coal Association, “The demise of Peabody Energy highlights the fundamental structural change, which is rapidly reshaping world energy markets as human-induced climate change bites. That change will only accelerate given the alarming global average temperature increase just announced for February 2016, which indicates an increase of just under 2°C relative to the true pre-industrial level around 1750. An increase which our leaders assured us was not supposed to happen until end-century.”
    Dunlop said Peabody took an exceptionally irresponsible position on climate change. First, by denying its very existence, using large amounts of shareholder funds to discredit the science and doing everything possible to prevent the introduction of sensible climate policy.
    Second, by misrepresenting to shareholders the risks of climate change; in part by misleading the use of information from organisations such as the IEA in support of argument that coal is essential to the alleviation of poverty in the developing world, whereas the evidence clearly indicates it is now creating poverty.”
    http://wap.business-standard.com/article/international/peabody-energy-files-for-bankruptcy-116041301282_1.html

    following best read to the end:

    12 Apr: oilprice.com: Nick Cunningham: Cheap Natural Gas To Spark Another Wave Of Coal Plant Retirements
    “Cheap natural gas is killing coal.” While that headline has been written dozens of times over the last few years, it continues to be true. In fact, natural gas has become even cheaper over the past year, and the slow death of coal is poised to accelerate.
    In a new report from Moody’s, and reported on by SNL, the ratings agency predicts that cheap natural gas could lead to another massive wave of coal-fired power plant closures over the next year and a half…READ ALL
    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Cheap-Natural-Gas-To-Spark-Another-Wave-Of-Coal-Plant-Retirements.html

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    pat

    BBC injects the CO2 stuff, no-one mentions wind or solar:

    AUDIO 8mins28secs: 13 Apr: BBC World Service: Business Report: Wall Street Update
    Peabody Energy, the biggest coal miner in the world, has filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors.
    Alex Ritson discussed the implications of this with Stephanie Joyce, an energy reporter at Wyoming Public Radio, Taylor Kuykendall, who follows coal for SNL Energy, and Doug McIntyre from financial news website 24/7 Wall Street.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03qz7y6

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    I’d like to (try to anyway) show you just how complex this really is.

    First of all, go and look at this chart for the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    How much carbon dioxide is produced per kilowatthour when generating electricity with fossil fuels?

    Now, keep in mind that this is theoretical. (a model really)

    So, it’s not just the suppliers of the fuel here that go towards the end emissions of CO2.

    It’s the equipment manufacturers.

    With respect to coal fired power equipment manufacturers, it’s the furnace/boilers, the turbines, the generators making up the biggest three parts of a multi part total in that method’s chain for power generation.

    With respect to Natural gas, it’s the turbines and the generators.

    With large scale coal fired power, they are all big.

    With Natural Gas, you can have straight through OCGT. (turbines and generators) Or you could have CCGT, which is the turbine, the generator, then the exhaust from the turbine being used to heat water in a boiler to drive a smaller turbine and generator to add to the total power being generated.

    So, build a coal fired plant with a Babcock furnace/boiler, a Siemens turbine and a Hitachi generator, or any combination of a number ofmanufacturers of all of those major components. The generator technology has improved out of sight so now they are getting more power from smaller generators, and from that, they can have smaller turbines to drive that generator, and from that turbine, smaller furnace boilers, or better ones, or hotter ones. Whichever way you go from the myriad of combinations possible, that modelled link to CO2/KWH will change.

    The same applies for Natural Gas. OCGT, CCGT, turbines, generators, again, also forom a number of manufacturers. Is it to be used as a Peaking Plant (OCGT) or for a constant supply. (CCGT)

    The comparisons are endless, all coming up with different CO2/KWH results.

    Now go back to that chart again.

    Recent technology coal fired power, USC (UltraSuperCritical) now referred to as HELE, (High Efficiency Low Emissions) has a rate of 1.79 Pounds of CO2/KWH in comparison to what is on that modelled chart. The next stage, which is probably closer than you think, Advanced USC has a smaller rate than that, and burns coal even more efficiently, with some showing up towards 55% Efficiency.

    Look then at the overall rates for whole of Country whole of fleet. The U.S. currently sits at 3.125 pounds/KWH, and Australia would be similar to that. That is because all the technology is from the 70′s and they are also using coal fired power for peaking power, in other words, burning and turning, but not delivering until called upon.

    In China where they have virtually closed down all old tech small plants and are utilising virtually a whole of fleet USC coal fired plants, then their emissions rate is currently sitting at 1.92pounds/KWH.

    So, you can see here that there are a myriad of options which can be used, depending on the application.

    Typically though, keep in mind that large scale coal fired power is used for a constant supply, while Natural gas is typically used for peaking power applications, hence much shorter run times, and if NG is used as CCGT, then the cost increases because of the added extra generation method.

    You’ll hear a lot about how NG is a ….. considerably smaller CO2 emitter, but large scale coal is indeed lowering its emissions by large leaps and bounds, and in fact is even improving on the current USC.

    It’s a complex thing, and one liners just don’t cut it any more.

    Tony.

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      Robk

      Thanks Tony,
      What ever happened to plasma co-generation that was to be the next big thing in the late 70′s? I guess it never made it to the big times….perhaps with new technology.

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      toorightmate

      Only the Yanks could have lbs/KWH.

      They could even have hectacres in lieu of hectares and acres???

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      Tony,
      Please keep up your critical analysis of all the different fuels, and the ever changing machinery used to convert that to useful power on demand! Most interesting! …Dese guys are good!! Yous guys wana bitch on atmospheric CO2,, hokay, we do it different! Stuff that up your green whatever!
      Seems like the AlGoresta gas production “good business plan to put the competing coal mining industry out of business”, has worked much better than expected! Now gas is out of business also; and we only get dribbles of power from burning governmental fiat currency subsidy (tax dollars) in really spendy bird choppers when they catch on fire!
      All the best! -will-

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    handjive

    Graphite demand drives global search by ASX listed companies

    “Spherical graphite is what’s used in the anodes in batteries,” she said.

    “After the flake graphite is mined it’s milled and ground down into a ball, the size of something smaller than talcum powder.

    Demand is growing for the relatively abundant commodity in all forms of technological developments, particularly battery storage.”

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      I agree,
      Almost all effort is concentrated on the low density lithium electrical accumulation of power (energy). Most useful for aircraft and vertical mobility within this Earth’s gravitational field.
      For stationary surface, or ocean power accumulation (storage) mass is not an issue, but reliability, and reusability concerns are the same. If only a wee bit of the lithium effort were applied to the heavy metal battery, with identical problems, There would be no attempt at a Tesla power wall. Such would be in lead acid accumulation of power for storage until needed. What better place to keep such known Pb, Hg, Cd, and U to keep all such from babies formula?
      All the best! -will-

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    pat

    14 Apr: Bloomberg: Brian Eckhouse: SunEdison Misses Payment on Convertible Bonds, Facing Default
    SunEdison Inc., the renewable-energy company already teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, missed a bond payment this month.
    The company was supposed to pay $2.6 million April 1 on its 2 percent convertible bonds, which are due in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. SunEdison has a grace period through May 1.
    The trustee, Wilmington Trust Corp., confirmed April 11 that the payment was missed, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
    Not making the payment “means SunEdison is likely in technical default,” Greg Jones, an analyst at CreditSights, said in an e-mail Wednesday. Failure to cure by May 1 “could potentially trigger cross-default provisions in other debt obligations.”…
    Ben Harborne, a SunEdison spokesman, declined to comment Wednesday. A spokesman for Wilmington Trust didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
    SunEdison is already facing technical defaults on at least $1.4 billion in loans and credit facilities because of its failure to file its 2015 annual report. The company amassed $11.7 billion in debt by Sept. 30, and now faces inquiries into its financial status from an internal audit committee, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-13/sunedison-misses-payment-on-convertible-bonds-facing-default

    11 Apr: BusinessInsider: After SunEdison, this Canadian solar power firm is also looking to exit India
    by BI India Bureau
    SkyPower Global had bagged contracts to establish plants of 150 MW in Madhya Pradesh last July and now is looking to offload equity…
    “I was always apprehensive about this bid in MP. The attitude and actions of SkyPower never seemed to suggest it was serious. Usually, companies visit the site before bidding and do plenty of preparatory work, which seemed to be missing in this case,” a senior official associated with the ministry of new and renewable energy told ET…
    http://www.businessinsider.in/After-SunEdison-this-Canadian-solar-power-firm-is-also-looking-to-exit-India/articleshow/51775416.cms

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    pat

    13 Apr: Sonoran Weekly Review: Robin Reyes: Abengoa Mexico Assets Ordered To Be Seized In Court Ruling
    Abengoa, a Spanish renewable energy developer, said a local court in Mexico has ordered the seizure of assets in response to an action brought against the company by bondholders…

    just did a new search of ABC’s website for any news on Sunedison or Abengoa woes and got zero articles again. this time i got:

    Did you mean: suneson?
    Did you mean: dabengwa?

    on the other hand, this goes on forever!

    14 Apr: ABC: Sue Lannin: Peabody bankruptcy could threaten Australian jobs: CFMEU
    Peabody said its 10 Australian mines in Queensland and New South Wales are not affected by the move and the Federal Resources Minister, Josh Frydenberg, told AM he is confident that local workers would not lose their jobs…
    Peabody Energy said its Australian subsidiary employs 2,305 workers, evenly split between Queensland and New South Wales, but Mr Frydenberg said it is closer to 3,500 when contractors are included…
    (CFMEU President) Mr Maher added that Peabody Energy’s commitments to Mr Frydenberg that it would not cut Australian jobs were basically worthless.
    “No company can give those guarantees,” he said…
    Environmental campaign group Lock The Gate Alliance’s Rick Humphries said the move to US bankruptcy protection casts doubt on Peabody’s future ability to pay for mine site rehabilitation…
    However, the Minerals Council of Australia said there are few if any implications for the Australian coal industry from the bankruptcy filing and Peabody’s Australian mines will continue as normal.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-14/peabody-bankruptcy-could-threaten-australian-jobs-cfmeu/7325322

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    pat

    14 Apr: Bloomberg: Brian Eckhouse: Hawaii Questions Cancellation of SunEdison Solar Contracts
    Hawaii regulators are questioning the state’s biggest utility’s decision to cancel contracts for three solar farms under development by the embattled renewable-energy company SunEdison Inc.
    Staff of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission concluded that Hawaiian Electric Co. “acted too hastily and without an in-depth analysis of any perceived bankruptcy concerns” when it canceled the SunEdison contracts in February, according to a report Tuesday.
    The report determined that Hawaiian Electric didn’t take advantage of some opportunities to advance the projects, questioning the utility’s contention that terminating the deals would best serve its customers…
    SunEdison was planning to transfer the solar farms to D.E. Shaw & Co. and two other creditors, as part of a December deal to extinguish $336 million in debt. D.E. Shaw, a New York-based hedge fund managing more than $37 billion, said in March said it was still interested in acquiring the projects. A spokesman for D.E. Shaw declined to comment Tuesday…
    Hawaiian Electric responded that because D.E. Shaw is a creditor of SunEdison, transferring the projects could later be questioned during bankruptcy proceedings.
    “There is a risk that a bankruptcy court would view any exclusive deal to transfer the projects just prior to bankruptcy to D.E. Shaw as an unfair preference or fraudulent conveyance,” Pai said.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-13/hawaii-questions-cancellation-of-sunedison-solar-contracts

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    Off topic. A few days ago sea ice extent shot throught the roof

    https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

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    pat

    a timely reminder for CFMEU’s Tony Maher…and ABC:

    2007: ABC: CFMEU challenges coal industry on climate change
    The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is challenging Australia’s coal companies to take a stronger stance on climate change and ignore the political consequences.
    CFMEU president Tony Maher will today address a Minerals Council conference on the New South Wales central coast about the issue of global warming…
    ***”If the industry agrees with me that ratifying Kyoto won’t cost one single job, then why don’t they stand up and say so?” he said…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2007-08-16/cfmeu-challenges-coal-industry-on-climate-change/641164

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    el gordo

    Ted Cruz looking good.

    ‘In contrast to his huggy bromance with political soulmate Barack Obama, Trudeau would be matched up against a hard-edged ideological opposite his own age but with a history of jaw-dropping achievements. A legal scholar who was not only a repeat national debating champion representing Harvard and Princeton, but who also won an astonishing five times in cases argued before the Supreme Court of the United States.’

    Lawrence Solomon / Financial Post

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    pat

    ***lol:

    14 Apr: 9News: AAP: Uncertainty over coral bleaching severity
    The severity of Great Barrier Reef coral bleaching at tourist hotpots off Cairns has been put up for debate following new surveys.
    Despite reports the reef has this summer suffered from shocking coral bleaching, the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC) says popular diving areas near Cairns have only suffered low levels of damage.
    Recent underwater surveys, looking at 32 reefs between Cairns and Lizard Island, found less than five per cent were suffering severe bleaching or coral mortality.
    RRRC managing director Sheriden Morris told AAP the bleaching was “patchy”, meaning those areas stood a good chance of recovery…
    However, marine biologist Glen Holmes says it’s too early to determine just how badly those reefs will be damaged or whether they’ll be able to properly recover…
    ***”I think they’re cherry-picking to try and paint a better picture.”…
    http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/04/14/12/15/reef-bleaching-low-off-cairns-survey

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    Another Ian

    Not fossil fuels but


    jean replied to comment from peterj | April 14, 2016 3:31 AM | Reply

    This quote from the article sums up how the Ontario ‘wind rush’ is falling on it’s nose:
    “The Past President of the Huron-Perth Landowners’ Association is advising area farmers to do their research and get legal advice before signing wind turbine development leases for their properties. Dave Hemingway is concerned property owners may be left on the hook for millions of dollars of wind turbine construction work that hasn’t been paid for. Hemingway says turbine construction contractors have applied liens against six properties — four of them since June.
    Some people will end up losing their whole farm because they leased out a plot for a wind turbine.”

    From comments at

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/2016/04/we-dont-need-no-570.html#comments

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      Sort of makes you also wonder if the landowners will be left on the hook to dispose of the towers/turbines when they stop generating after what will be a relatively short time. I also wonder about what their contract says about the lifespan of the units on their land, say, promising an assured income for, umm, 25 years, when the units clap out after 15 years.

      Tony.

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    [...] also What fossil fuel conspiracy? Big oil hates big coal, likes big carbon Back to top Back to Energy News Print this page  TOPICSUK [...]

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    Roy Hogue

    “Something’s got to give, you just can’t keep chasing lower emissions and adding higher intensity fuels into the mix.”

    Who are they fooling? Only themselves. So if something’s got to give, why don’t all these manipulators of everything “carbon” tuck their tails between their legs, slink off into the shadows and disappear like the lost cause they are?

    After all this time (how many years?) all we’ve gotten from them is more complaints and more schemes that don’t work. Enough is enough!

    I think that would be a real good start down the right road.

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    Analitik

    Since no one cares about South Australia, let’s return to our favorite and southernmost basket case

    Tasmania is saved by solar power (and batteries)!

    RESIDENTS of Bruny Island have the chance to turn their homes into mini-power ­stations and trade on the national electricity grid to boost the island’s energy security and offset their power costs at the same time.

    The Australian Renewable Energy Agency yesterday announced $2.9 million to help a project to help fund solar panels and batteries for up to 40 households on the island.

    Residents on Bruny Island to sell solar power after $2.9m renewable energy grant

    The three-year, $8 million project, which is called CONSORT (consumer energy systems providing cost-effective grid support), will be led by the Australian National University.

    ANU project to turn households into mini solar power stations, to boost grid, reward consumers

    Thank goodness for the continuing efforts of the renewables lobby.

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      Analitik

      The local industry isn’t so happy, though

      TASMANIA’S major industrials say they will need two things in the wake of the energy crisis: a guarantee it will not happen again and certainty around the state’s long-term energy supply.

      Industry lashes energy crisis

      And even the green left are waking up to the fact that incompetent profiteering by Hydro Tasmania, especially when the Carbon Tax was in effect

      a significant part of the blame for the low dam levels is their overuse during the period of the carbon price, when Tasmania’s clean hydro-electricity was especially profitable. The managers of Hydro Tasmania, a state government-owned utility, saw the opportunity for a windfall profit and went for it.

      Greed is also behind Tasmanian power crisis

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      Analitik

      And WA are joining the circus

      Federal environment minister Greg Hunt told media at the launch the Turnbull government was driving virtual [WTF??] battery storage trial in WA

      WA Government Launches Solar Battery Trial

      10

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