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Coal power on the rise: Will China end up selling electricity to Germany?

Get a load of this.  China has been adding a new idle coal fired plant nearly every week. It is building 368 coal fired plants and planning a further 803. The Greens think the Chinese have over capitalized, made a bubble, and have built a bunch of white elephants (maybe they have). But Germany has crippled its electrical generators in order to make the weather cooler, and pays exorbitant prices per kilowatt hour that are driving businesses overseas. Merkel is still trying to get solar power to work in a land where the only thing that will make the current panels economic is if the Earth changes its orbital tilt.

Well say hello to the savvy Chinese investors who may be able to solve both problems. It seems hard to believe but all that surplus energy might just find its way to Germany. With new ultra hot coal power there is talk they can produce electricity so incredibly cheap they can send it on ultra high voltage lines all the way to Berlin. Barking? They’ll probably earn carbon credits for doing it too.

Coal’s future burns bright — Graham Lloyd

Greenpeace likes to think that China’s future coal plant projections are the result of “dysfunctional planning systems and cheap credit’’.

But there is another possibility highlighted by Britain’s Financial Times: that is, that China’s proposed investment in long-­distance, ultra-high voltage power transmission lines will pave the way for power exports from China to as far away as Germany.

Liu Zhenya, chairman of State Grid, told reporters that wind and thermal power produced in Xinjiang could reach Germany at half the present cost of electricity there.

… the World Coal Association maintains new high-­efficiency coal technology will deliver power at half the cost of gas and one-fifth the price of wind in Asian countries in the future.

China looks to export surplus energy to Germany — Financial Times

Talk of exporting power is a reversal for China, which as recently as 2004 suffered rolling blackouts across its manufacturing heartland. But huge investments in power in the decade since, and the construction of a number of dams, nuclear reactors and coal-fired plants due to begin operating in the next 10 years, mean the country faces a growing surplus.

The distance from the edge of China to Berlin is apparently only 600km further than across China to Shanghai. And China has nuclear power, many hydroelectric dams, and also other markets along the way — like Pakistan and India. They have 32 nuclear power plants in operation, 22 under construction, more about to start, and even more in the planning stage.

China is happy to pay lip-service to the Paris Climate Deal — it doesn’t have to do anything different for 15 years when population growth meant it was going to slow emissions then anyway. Meanwhile the Paris deal hobbles competition, and tosses money at China to shift from older, higher emissions power to newer cleaner styles.

H/t David

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185 comments to Coal power on the rise: Will China end up selling electricity to Germany?

  • #
    AndyG55

    Its going to have to be one heck of a link.

    And if China is going to supply places like Pakistan and India as well as the EU, its going to need a lot of OUR coal :-) !

    251

    • #
      AndyG55

      ps. Its about time Australia got off its butt and started updating its coal fired power stations to the new modern HELE types.

      441

      • #
        Peter Miller

        Europe depending on coal generated electricity from China?

        Nightmare, or just the inevitable result of an unholy mix of Green Blob logic, canny Chinese capitalists and gullible western politicians.

        As for me, I think I shall make a small, but strategic, investment in the shares of European white flag factories shares, just in case it turns out to be true.

        310

        • #
          Robk

          China does flags cheap too.

          140

          • #
            Peter Miller

            But nobody makes a white flag like the French – allegedly, of course.

            220

            • #
              Robk

              The French would be in the box seat if they kept up with nuclear to feed the interconnector.

              110

            • #
              James Murphy

              according to the French, the Belgians are worse

              70

              • #
                Rereke Whakaaro

                But the Belgians make better beer.

                120

              • #
                ROM

                According to the Australian troops in the North Africa’s early western desert battles of WW2, the Italian tanks had one forward gear and three reverse gears.

                90

              • #
                Peter Miller

                The Belgians are host to Brussels, which in turn is host to an organisation, which the auditors have not been able to say the books are OK for over 20 years. The same organisation force feeds the Green Blob, thereby hobbling mant of Europe’s already struggling economies.

                So, “yes”, the Belgians make better beer, which is a +1, but their obsession with the Green Blob is at least a -1. Very sad.

                160

        • #
          PeterS

          I wouldn’t “worry” about upgrading our power stations. China will do it for us once they buy them just like they are buying out just about everything else.

          11

      • #
        Robber

        Building anything new in Australia is stymied by the conditions dictated by the CFMEU and the AWU and soon the TWU unless the road tribunal is abolished. Productivity is so low and wages so high that anything that can be produced offshore will be.

        251

        • #
          toorightmate

          This is so true and is being ignored by the majority of Australians.
          We used to be a country that did things.
          We are now a country that yaps and yaps and does NOTHING.

          80

      • #

        Unfortunately, “planet saving” has legislation discouraged investment in improved coal technologies for the past 20 years.

        Available money has been burn by putting it into technologies that produce electrical power at substantially higher costs and for a good part; lower reliability and availability.

        Government interference in markets almost always leads to malinvestment. Having an unending source of revenue, independent of what it done leads to many mistaking activity for productivity.

        140

      • #
        Mike

        AndyG55 “ps. Its about time Australia got off its butt and started updating its coal fired power stations to the new modern HELE types.”

        Australia is mostly privatised these days. You need to complain to relevant owner of the power generator.

        33

        • #
          Robk

          But they need some guidence from governments because governments have been controlling by regulation. Try planning a 50 year investment in the current political green nonsense.

          150

          • #
            Mike

            “political green nonsense.”

            I prefer to think of it as ‘political carbon green nonsense’. ‘Green’ is like Bob Brown going to jail for trying to save a forest.

            The complaints need to be forwarded to the government creditors. If the resident government debt portfolio is sold to the IMF, then the IMF needs to be asked nicely to credit the project and asked equally nicely for guidance. As an example.

            The credit ratings are controlled by ratings agencies. These days this is the bon ton method.

            10

        • #
          AndyG55

          They have to be allowed to.

          One of the Hunter power stations wanted to start an upgrade, but could not get government approval to even do the first turbine.

          92

    • #
      Robk

      And uranium.

      80

      • #
        AndyG55

        And iron ore.. for the pylons. :-)

        72

      • #
        Mike

        nah….the nukes will come from Japan as it is overflowing with nukes and radiation from Green Nuclear power, especially since the place is prone to nuclear disasters.

        No need to dig the bugger out of the ground these days after cesium hydroxide rain (my amateur opinion) that occurred when Cesium 134 and Cesium 137 vaporised from a few spent fuel storage tanks and a couple of reactor melts…..

        From EneNews : http://enenews.com/nuclear-reactor-fears-after-huge-earthquake-strikes-japan-plant-operator-further-looking-possible-damage-quake-measured-highest-possible-level-japans-intensity-scale-prime-minister-intend-utm

        ““Nuclear reactor fears after huge earthquake strikes Japan” — Plant operator “is further looking into any possible damage” — Quake measured “at highest possible level” on Japan’s intensity scale — Prime Minister: “We intend to do the utmost to grasp situation” — Official: “Extent of damage still unclear”

        Of ghost cities and Coal fired power stations…from: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-12/interactive-look-chinas-massive-coal-bubble

        “An Interactive Look At China’s Massive Coal Bubble”

        “Wasted trillions

        What looks to have triggered this phenomenon is Beijing’s decision to decentralise the authority to approve environmental impact assessments on coal projects starting in March of this year.

        But it’s been a problem years-in-the-making, driven by the Chinese economy’s addiction to debt-fuelled capital spending.

        Almost 50% of China’s GDP is taken up by capital spending on power plants, factories, real estate and infrastructure.

        It’s what fuelled the country’s enormous economic growth in recent decades, but diminishing returns have fast become massive losses.

        Recent research estimated that the equivalent of $11 trillion (more than one year’s GDP) has been spent on projects that generated no or almost no economic value.

        Since the country’s power tariffs are state controlled, energy producers still receive a good price despite the oversupply.”

        This looks interesting too…. from: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-17/mysterious-foam-covers-japanese-city-aftermath-destructive-earthquake

        “Mysterious Foam Covers Japanese City In Aftermath Of Destructive Earthquake”

        “……the most surprising aftereffect appeared yesterday on the streets of the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka which became blanketed in “mysterious foam” leaving residents baffled by the phenomenon which the authorities, busy with the disaster’s aftermath, found no time to explain….”

        119

        • #
          Robk

          A Greenpeace assessment critical of China’s energy policy…..that wouldn’t be biased.
          Foam in the street after earthquake….how does that implicate nuclear power?
          The enenews site seems to conflate various stories to make things look a lot worse than each individual story. A good bit over the top in my view.

          170

          • #
            Mike

            The article is multi-sourced Robk. It does not take much imagination to conclude the coal bubble is like any other contemporary debt bubble caused by willy nilly money printing. Bubbles can cause foam when agglomerated, in this case a tsunami of debt-foam

            From the same article…… @ http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-12/interactive-look-chinas-massive-coal-bubble

            “Recent research (Reuters) estimated that the equivalent of $11 trillion (more than one year’s GDP) has been spent on projects that generated no or almost no economic value.

            Since the country’s power tariffs are state controlled, energy producers still receive a good price despite the oversupply.”

            018

            • #

              Since the country’s power tariffs are state controlled, energy producers still receive a good price despite the oversupply.”

              Oversupply?? Really??

              U.S. Total population 320 million. Total Power Generation 4100TWH

              China Total population 1.350 million. Total Power Generation 5600TWH

              So China population U.S. X 4.22

              China power generation U.S. X 1.36

              Over supply ….. in China.

              Who are you trying to kid?

              Tony.

              240

              • #
                Mike

                Unemployment during austerity and severe economic decline effectively cuts the population without mortality.

                Follow the money.

                09

              • #
                Mike

                As if all those numbers you report are actual people driving cars with disposable income.

                For your purposes, you need to count people who are not living in poverty with no means to heat the house and so on. The GDP of all countries is in decline..

                With poverty comes the much anticipated decline in CO2 emissions.

                011

              • #

                So then Mike, let me see if I’ve got this right.

                8 years ago, probably as many as half China’s population had either zero or the most minimal access to any electricity at all.

                China industrialised, and still, even now, most of its generated power goes to Industry, with barely 13% of all generated power going to the residential sector. (see Comment 19 below)

                As China industrialised, the jobs to do that were provided, and people, now with a good source of income, for China anyway, have moved into the middle class, with all that comes with that, like access to regaular electricity (something which you have already, and have had all your life) so that now, 800 million people in China are in that middle class.

                What you seem to be alluding to is that there is an oversupply ….. NOW, so China needs to stop right there, is that right, leaving those perhaps still hundreds of millions with no chance of the jobs that industry provides, hence they remain in poverty, as you say, with the added result that they will never get better access to electrical power. And as to not having enough to just heat their house, they have no bl00dy electricity at all.

                So, did I get that right then?

                Tony.

                191

              • #
                Mike

                “(see Comment 19 below)”

                “The “developing world” are those who cannot afford the electricity, and they are everywhere. For example, the displaced peoples from Syria going to Germany have no access to being able to pay for the electricity in the walls comprising the geographical location on this planet called ‘Germany’.

                To have power, you need a renewable resource called ‘fiat currency’ and that renewable resource is printed electronically using only a few watts Tony.”

                05

        • #
          Geoff Sherrington

          Mike,

          This summary is from the International Atomic Energy Agency report some 5 years after Fukushima, pp 130:

          “No early radiation induced health effects were observed among workers or members of the public
          that could be attributed to the accident.
          “The latency time for late radiation health effects can be decades, and therefore it is not possible to
          discount the potential occurrence of such effects among an exposed population by observations a
          few years after exposure. However, given the low levels of doses reported among members of the
          public, the conclusions of this report are in agreement with those of UNSCEAR to the United
          Nations General Assembly. UNSCEAR found that “no discernible increased incidence of
          radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members of the public and their
          descendants” (which was reported within the context of the health implications related to “levels
          and effects of radiation exposure due to the nuclear accident after the 2011 great east-Japan
          earthquake and tsunami”).”

          That was about people. Here is their summary for other life forms -

          “No observations of direct radiation induced effects in plants and animals have been reported,
          although limited observational studies were conducted in the period immediately after the accident.
          There are limitations in the available methodologies for assessing radiological consequences, but,
          based on previous experience and the levels of radionuclides present in the environment, it is
          unlikely that there would be any major radiological consequences for biota populations or
          ecosystems as a consequence of the accident.”

          There are hundreds of pages of official analysis from hundreds of named researchers.
          If you choose to believe in “Mysterious Foam Clouds” which seem to cloud your mysterious mental acuity, then so be it.
          If you disbelieve these report summaries, you are a fool.
          Geoff.

          181

          • #
            Mike

            Howdy Geoff Sherrington.

            ” There are limitations in the available methodologies for assessing radiological consequences”.

            The one particular limitation that comes to mind is that nuclear medicine does not look at ‘point sources’ of radiation, like small particles of inhaled Depleted Uranium Oxide for example.

            If you are familiar with Newtons inverse square law, you can ponder that as an organism comes closer to the source, the radiation dose is increased. Radionuclides that are in close proximity to a localised group of cells getting hammered with alpha particles are invisible to the nuclear medic, and the research reflects this limitation n my amateur opinion.

            You are right that almost 100% of all papers are an analysis of radiation that is measured as a ‘whole body count’ and does not look at particles/point sources of radiation.

            Tough luck for the veteran with DU (depleted uranium) or population with radionuclide particles lodged in the lungs i used as an example among others.

            It is fortunate that Cesium 137/134 is soluble and behaves like Potassium and is eventually excreted, however, there is still a lot of cesium which formed stable compounds that can comprise particles and be ingested so that they remain in an organism far longer via the lungs.

            I guess that in your case, you need to look at Newtons inverse square law and find some paper or some other way of dealing with this law with respect to nukes. Good luck with that.

            The incredibly toxic refining process for nukes and the truly vast amount of pollution via the emission of heavy metals via foaming sludge etc is another aspect of this hideously dirty power source.

            From Wiukipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law
            “In physics, an inverse-square law is any physical law stating that a specified physical quantity or intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity. The fundamental cause for this can be understood as geometric dilution corresponding to point-source radiation into three-dimensional space”

            213

            • #

              You can’t be too careful?

              You mean like these precautionary casualties?

              But about 1,600 people died from the stress of the evacuation — one that some scientists believe was not justified by the relatively moderate radiation levels at the Japanese nuclear plant.

              120

            • #
              toorightmate

              Mike,
              A water reservoir, not far from Fukushima, had it’s wall collapse in the earthquake.
              8,500 people perished as a result of the wall failure (flooding).
              Nothing has been said.
              We continue to prattle on about the power station.
              NO radiation poisoning.
              NO serious injuries.
              NO fatalities.
              All this despite the earthquake and the tsunami exceeding design levels AND HAPPENING SIMULTANEOUSLY.
              Give me a break.

              131

              • #
                Mike

                A dam “break” lasts a few seconds and its over. No poisoning of the environment downstream and so forth. Life goes on.

                I am more interested in the emissions that nukes produce in general.For example amongst many others with respect to how toxic nukes are from the non radiation perspective. The tailings dams for nukes are a death pool for water birds that die there testing the water for people like yourself and myself.

                As i said, i am more interested in the toxic processing and the chemical emissions the processes cause. It is not just about radiation. Processing Uranium is one of the most toxic processes know to man.

                17

              • #
                tom0mason

                Well said, so often I’ve said the same – sometimes more…

                TM

                00

            • #
              Geoff Sherrington

              Mike,
              The relevant radiation health physics was worked out adequately many decades ago by people whose understanding of trivia like inverse square likely exceeded your kindergarten grade musings.
              That is why, for example, my employer company mined one of the earliest of the very large open cut uranium deposits without a single case of ill health or mortality even these several decades later.
              Depleted uranium is of little worry for workers in these pits who face daily exposures, not rare excursion with small quantities of DU. Nobody worries about DU because the main isotope has a half life so long – billions of years – that its production of decay particles is really slow.
              You are displaying a pathetic level of real knowledge, combined with uncritical parroting of the usual drivel.
              Consequently, your enthusiastic contribution is without positive value, a waste of your time and mine.
              Geoff.

              101

          • #
            Peter C

            Reference please Geoff Sherrington

            12

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      It is indeed, one heck of a link.

      The mean distance is 8427km as the knackered crow flies. This distance does not include avoidance of damp areas, such as the Caspian Sea, and the Black Sea, nor the prohibitive charges imposed by the Russians, for crossing Russian territory.

      The electrical losses alone, on such a long transmission line would be a challenge, not to mention the explosive damage caused by any passing rebel group, with more semtex than brains.

      210

      • #
        Mike

        These tall stories are caused by the ‘money printing effect’.

        Just follow the digitally printed money.

        111

      • #
        toorightmate

        Folk, I kid you not.
        Back in the 1970′s the Ruskies did a major study on railing coal from Siberia to the Moscow/St Petersburg areas.
        The project almost gained approval.
        However, some intelligent being “discovered” that the energy required to move the coal that distance by rail exceeded the energy contained in each trainload of coal.

        80

        • #
          Peter C

          Strangely we can supply Coal by Ship to far away places at even less cost than the Russian railways transport from Siberia to Russia! What does that say about capitalism?

          30

          • #
            toorightmate

            Peter C,
            I don’t think I have enough years left to attempt to educate you in the operating cost differential of bulk sea freight versus rail transport.

            20

      • #
        jaymam

        Much of New Zealand’s power is generated in the south of the country and much of the power is used in the north.
        “The ‘National Grid’ is the 12,175km network of power pylons, poles, cables and 170 electricity sub-stations throughout NZ.”
        http://www.nzgeothermal.org.nz/education/national-grid.html

        20

        • #
          toorightmate

          Despite Dilma, the Brazilians lead the world in power transmission.
          The Amazon hydro is enormous and the power is used in southern Brazil.

          10

    • #
      Eddy Aruda

      China may buy a lot more Australian coal as the US coal market just suffered a dramatic setback with the bankruptcy filing by Peabody. What do you know? It looks like Obama finally kept a campaign promise!

      170

  • #
    Robk

    Sovereign risk and line losses would be something Germany would have to put up with…and it’s not April 1.

    50

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Will China end up selling electricity to Germany?

    If so, that will be one very long transmission line to build and keep running. But maybe Germany will end up hoping someone will sell them electricity.

    Can no one keep an even keel about climate, energy and air pollution anymore? Somewhere there must be a compromise that will work. :-(

    80

    • #
      Greebo

      But maybe Germany will end up hoping someone will sell them electricity.

      Right about now I reckon Germany is looking for Anyone Who will sell them some juice.

      80

    • #
      Mike

      “But maybe Germany will end up hoping someone will sell them electricity.”

      Now that many Greeks cannot afford to plug appliances into the wall, maybe they could Greece to sell the excess capacity and it closer than China.

      21

  • #
    Robk

    Putting the co2 aside, and if the technical issues stack up, a large interconnector between the world’s bigger populations could make sense. It would have the extra benefit of perhaps having Germany wake up to it’s self.

    70

    • #
      Robk

      It could well be a stabilised super network in energy, economics and politics. I can’t see a downside other than due diligence/economics. It would mean the EU would be in direct competition in the electricity generation market. A good thing.

      80

      • #
        Robk

        The concept is great if left unfettered. I do fear the UN may apply silly agreements that redistribute wealth. I shouldn’t be so negative. The interconnector may help to show that silliness for what it is.

        70

        • #
          Yonniestone

          Where rational people see silliness for what it is silly people will vote for it, these are people that met invaders at their borders armed with water bottles, teddy bears and a life of welfare support, concerning business I’m sure China aren’t too concerned with battling these mental giants.

          190

  • #
    nc

    Just imagine the charging current for that line. There are issues energizing just 5oo miles of AC line.

    110

    • #
      Rereke Whakaaro

      It would need to be a DC line to minimise the losses over that distance.

      The Cook Strait Cable that connects the North and South Islands of New Zealand is converted from AC to DC to reduce the losses, and then converted back at the other end, for onwards transmission.

      181

      • #
        Robk

        Yes, the engineering required for such a line would be of historic proportions and I would be amazed….but China does have a record of major mega construction. The three gorges, the greatwall and the big via duct to carry water from the south to name a few. It seems they are not afraid to think big. I’m not saying that might not lead to some big mistakes.

        50

      • #
        Peter C

        Does that mean that Thomas Edison was right in his argument with Nicholas Tesla? Just 100 years too soon.

        21

  • #
    KinkyKeith

    Just think of the reduction in CO2 output that Australia would achieve if we modernised our coal fired generators.
    As Andy says above, we need to reduce CO2 output per kWh of electricity if we are to save the planet.

    141

    • #
      AndyG55

      No KK, we need to INCREASE the CO2 output, worldwide, to save the planet.

      But efficiency, using less coal to produce more energy, is good.

      Just use much more energy.:-)

      171

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        I do agree that we need more CO2 but it is strange that the Cagw tragics don’t want to use the most obvious form of
        ” Carbon Reduction” ; more efficient combustion.

        A tried and true technology that could reduce CO2 output significantly.

        100

        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          But CO2 is good for plants, and most plants are green. Somebody is confused, and I don’t think it is me, on this occasion.

          110

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            RW

            Neither of us is confused. I was just putting the Warmer case and trying to highlight their lack of consistency.

            50

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Andy if you ever do get the need for more CO2 just do the old paper bag trick and re-breathe it for a few minutes.

        That will calm you down.

        :)

        31

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      KK:
      As TonyfromOz has pointed out many times, there would be a big drop in CO2 emissions from up-graded coal fired stations. Roughly 27% for black coal and 48% for brown. That would bring the average emissions down to about 735kg per MWh, interestingly rather close to the actual emissions by SA. (including all that brown coal electricity they import from Vic. but like to claim the emissions belong to Victoria) approx. 650.
      SA will be relying on brown coal (via the interconnectors), gas fired, wind and OCGTs. The latter are expensive, short term generation with emissions about 600-700 (depends on fuel, age of GT, state of maintenance). SO South Australians may get the choice between reliable electricity or the State Government approved scheme (unreliable, much more expensive but with marginally lower CO2 emissions). Voting to take place shortly after the second blackout under the approved scheme.

      110

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        I just love blackouts, they make people think.

        A good summary of the situation.

        70

        • #
          AndyG55

          If the latest ENSO projections are correct, those power blackouts could hit Europe really hard next winter as their decimated energy production networks struggle to cope with a steep drop in temperature.

          http://notrickszone.com/2016/04/17/powerfully-cold-la-nina-coming-at-us-like-an-express-train-could-set-a-new-record/

          130

        • #
          Greebo

          I just love blackouts, they make people think.

          Where I live, they just make people think ‘Bl00by possums!’, as the cuddly little devils have a habit of barbecuing themselves around dinner time.

          60

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            We live in a possum area and have had close contact with them at times but thankfully have not had the short circuited variety.

            They are truly wild animals.

            20

        • #
          Another Ian

          KK

          Where does that saying “As sure as babies following blackouts” fit WRT that pronouncement?

          20

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            A Ian

            The wild animals thing was not about blackouts.

            I suspect they just do it whenever.

            The wild bit relates to their temperament, they are definitely NOT domesticated animals.

            We had one that occasionally camped under the house in the garage during the day.

            If woken he would just stare lazily and go back to sleep. Instinct says there is no threat during the day IF they keep still.

            At dusk and when wake they can be extremely jumpy up close and not to be tangled with. They move very fast.

            They are still much more predictable than most humans.

            20

    • #
      Geoff Sherrington

      And save our industry, bringing back activity like alumina refining and aluminium smelting.

      100

  • #
    el gordo

    This from China Daily In January:

    ‘China will shut down more than 1,000 coal mines in Guizhou, Yunnan, Heilongjiang and Jiangxi provinces as parts of efforts to trim production capacity, a top work safety watchdog said on Friday.

    ‘Huang Yuzhi, deputy director of State Administration of Work Safety, the country’s top safety regulator, said that China reached its target by controlling the total number of coal mines within 10,000m and will continue its efforts to reduce outdated capacity this year.

    “More than 1,300 coal mines were closed last year, and small coal mines with a scale of annual production of less than 300,000 tons that had major accidents will be gradually closed this year, as well as those mines that are operating illegally,” Huang said.

    ‘The total number of coal mines in China stands at 9,624.

    ‘China, the world’s largest energy consumer, plans to stop approving new coal mines for the next three years.’

    80

    • #
      Robk

      It would seem there is scope for reform in the Chinese coal business. It looks like they’re on to it.

      50

      • #
        toorightmate

        You really don’t have a handle on how large the coal business is in Russia, China and the USA. Their coal extraction exceeds Australia’s by a factor of about 3.
        Indonesia’s coal business also exceeds Australia’s. And wouldn’t you just know it, they are a little bit closer to the Chinese market.

        50

  • #
    Peter Crawford

    Germany already buys lots of energy from the evil (non-EU) Norwegians. Hydro generated. So I think they would be far too ethical to do business with the Chinese. I may be wrong of course.

    60

  • #
    Neville

    Hundreds of new Coal power stations will be built in China, India and other parts of Asia in the coming years. These ultra efficient CFSs could one day be sending power to Germany. China certainly wants to do so. WHATTTT????
    Fair dinkum you couldn’t make this stuff up. Germany and Europe stuff up their grids with fairy land S&W and forces a number of their industries to leave, but in the future they may be getting a top up from CF power from China. Only loony leftie pollies and their followers would find any sense in this, but gawwwrd help the rest of us. Imbeciles voting for imbeciles and zero change to the temp or climate or co2 levels, but much more expensive electricity here in OZ.
    Just vote for the Labor and Green coalition at the next election.

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    • #
      el gordo

      This is how China intends taking over the Third World.

      ‘Bangladesh on Tuesday signed an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with a consortium of two Chinese firms for the installation of some $1.56 billion coal-fired power plant in the country.’

      China Daily last month.

      150

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Australia meanwhile will have its electricity supply designed by those well known electrical engineers M.Turnbull, W. Shorten, C. Hunt, and what’s_his_name of the Greens.

      151

  • #

    With the price of coal the way it is, it seems China continues to show the world how to run a successful economy, especially given the other transitional challenges they have faced.

    50

  • #

    Perhaps Aust. started to think about using our coal here with some new stations? The reality of wind energy, apart from requiring subsidisation, is that one needs back-up generation about 3/4 of the time when the windmills are mainly idle which happens quite often.

    Surely the money frittered away on green energy would build 2 or 3 if the CMFEU, TWA, or AWU would allow the employment of local workers.

    The reality of 50% renewable by 2030 is the stuff of fairyland and myth. As for our electrical savants, all lawyers aren’t they?

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    • #
      David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

      G’day,
      “The Land”, a NSW agriculture weekly, last Thursday published the following artice:

      “”Solar farm to power UNE”

      Up to half of the University of New England’s energy will soon come from renewable solar, following the announcement of a new $6.6-million solar farm project at Armidale.
      More than 10,000 solar voltaic modules will be installed on university grounds adjacent to the campus.
      Vice-Chancellor Annabelle Duncan said the farm would displace more than 5,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.
      “That is the equivalent of taking 1000 cars off the road,” Professor Duncan said.
      Electricity will be produced when it is needed the most – during the day.
      “These measures will reduce energy costs and our carbon footprint.”"

      Re-keyed from:
      The Land, Thursday April 14, 2016, page 19; by me. Sunday April 17, 2016

      I’ve checked my keying, but not had it peer reviewed. (The Land has a paywall, hence the full text.) I’ve already replied to The Land, but won’t publish my full reply before it has its chance to publish it next Thursday. But my gist is consistent with yours, saying that in my view the expected saving in CO2 is effectively zero.
      Cheers,
      Dave B

      70

      • #
        Geoff Sherrington

        David,
        “5,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year”.
        There are too many numbers in this business to get the head around, but the total Australia production of atmospheric CO2 at home here, not counting exports of coal etc., is some 600 million tonnes p.a. Reference, http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/f4bdfc0e-9a05-4c0b-bb04-e628ba4b12fd/files/australias-emissions-projections-2014-15.pdf

        That is, the solar power is 8.3 parts per million of the total. Or, another way, 0.00083% of the total. It is so tiny and inconsequential that you would not even see it in the noise of daily figures. And it deserves a news item? Heaven help us.

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        • #
          David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

          Agree Geoff,
          I read it as a propaganda item, in part and disapppointedly from the UNE, and aslo from the Land, which seems to have changed its editorial policy to match the pro warmist SMH parent.
          Cheers,
          Dave B

          70

          • #
            beowulf

            David

            You are behind the times. The LAND became pro-AGW years ago when Fairfax acquired Rural Press Ltd. It has been red-hot warmist ever since. I can tell you from personal experience that your chances of having your letter published there intact are about zero.

            My strike rate for anti-AGW letters published was about 1 in 4 of those submitted, and then with major additions and tampering by the sub-editor that changed them into something opposite to what the original thrust of my argument had been.

            You are better off ignoring the LAND. I gave up reading it after 40 years of loyal readership because of its editorial stance and its pro-AGW weather forecaster spouting his continuous global warming drivel.

            61

            • #
              David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

              Thanks for that B, but I had a couple of letters published last year, and they certainly weren’t pro warmist. However I have noticed a marked change from a couple of months back, so, like you, have little confidence that my letter will be published. But I thought it was worth a try.
              Cheers,
              Dave B

              20

        • #
          toorightmate

          Geoff,
          Every journey starts with one small step.
          Who said that? That’s right, it was the bloke in China who cut down all the trees – to make steel!!!!!
          And our lefties still love him.

          21

      • #
        ROM

        David of Cooyal -in-Oz @ # 11.1

        Be of Good Cheer.

        The more these university academics of no known practicality in energy affairs stuff up their energy supplies by following the latest “consensus” fashionability concepts of energy supply, the less they will be around to annoy the hell out and completely stuff up the lives of the good hard working citizens in the Real World outside of those university walled gardens with their barbed wired topped walls that are supposed to keep the low class proletariat outside but thankfully work equally well at keeping the university’s academic zoo firmly fixed in place.

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        • #
          Robk

          Empirically the university has smoked up 6.6 million, unfortunately with rebates and subsidies it is a scheme that transfers money their way and probably has an artificial payback of around 4-5 years or so. I dare say the statement saying their peak load is during daylight would be right. Solar schemes tend to disappoint except perhaps in summer. As you say, there is no benefit, over all it is a cost to society.

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    handjive

    Energy is essential… like food and water. It’s the key to a better life.

    Today’s efficient coal-fueled electric generating plants also reduce carbon dioxide emission by up to 25 percent compared to older coal plants.

    Replacing a single, large coal plant with advanced 21st Century coal technology can reduce carbon dioxide emissions rates by the equivalent of taking a million cars off the road.

    In fact, coal is the world’s fastest-growing fuel, projected to pass oil as the world’s largest energy source in coming years.

    – See more at: https://www.advancedenergyforlife.com/article/energy-access-key-better-life#sthash.yyVjSc8Q.dpuf
    . . .
    > Not that I ‘believe’ reducing carbon (sic) will change the climate by one cyclone.

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    ianl8888

    The Times article linked under the photo is dated Dec 2, 2015. Becominh a little stale.

    Please, Jo, when yo publish this stuff, make sure the date of the article is easily seen. Leaving it out is so common, I think it’s a ploy.

    41

    • #
      Robk

      I wouldn’t have thought a 4 months old article is out of date for a proposed power plant graphic, especially if it’s taking a week or so to knock one out by the slickest of the operators.

      40

  • #
    ROM

    I came across this Chinese power to Europe electrical supply initiative that Jo has posted above, a few days ago.
    So it was good excuse to spend a couple of hours on Google Earth just roaming over China.

    Having close to 3000 hours in gliders and another 600 or so hours in power flying since I first started flying in late 1959 , albeit mostly over western Vic, eastern SA and into southern NSW I have a reasonable, view from the air, idea of the densities of settlement in those regions.
    It was truly staggering to see the density of human settlement from the Google Earth perspective even in China’s so called remote western regions.

    It was the equivalent of flying over the blockies , the fruit and vegie grower’s blocks of Mildura and along the Murray but just going on and on for a couple of thousand kilometres.

    China’s proposed and already being partially initiated “One Belt, One Road” , the old “Silk Road ” to the Persian Empire of past history, stretching from western China across central Asia and into Europe with another branch going down south into Pakistan and it’s Indian ocean ports and harbours access and then going north into the Middle East and onto Europe is a truly ambitious project to extend and project China’s power and influence across the Eurasian land mass.

    BUT, there are one hell of a lot of “Buts” in this concept let alone in its actual implementation.

    For Europe and particularly eastern Europe plus the home of the Russ in what is now western Russia and Ukraine and going further back in history to the Roman and then eastern Roman empire and then the empire of the Franks, the great threats and the most terrifying invaders and the ultimate destroyers of those western empires always came out of the central Asian regions to the east.

    And that latent fear is still there buried deep in the psyche of the western Europeans as we are again seeing in the increasing and negative reaction of the Europeans to the refugee hordes from the middle eastern troubles.

    The Russians, the Russ that were conquered by the Mongols and lived under the Mongol suzerainty for some hundreds of years also have a potentially serious problem brewing in their far eastern provinces that abut China and Mongolia.
    Russia’s Far Eastern population is falling quite quickly and with immense amounts of territory plus huge unexploited resources still untouched in the whole of the East Baikal provinces China is likely to one day fill that void to exploit those resources, particularly as tries to part the Central Asian republics from their Russian sphere of influence and brings them into its own sphere of influence, a very likely outcome of the One Road, One Belt proposal.

    And thus putting a geopolitical barrier between itself and its present major power competitor and potential challenger in Central Asia, Russia.

    China has come a very long way, very fast over the last two decades.
    My second daughter now nurse in Darwin, but then still single and free, in the mid 1990′s said to me one day.” Dad I want to go to Europe!”

    My reply to that was “Everybody wants to go to bloody Europe.
    Do something different!
    Go to the Argentine or go on the Trans Siberian”.

    The idea of a train journey on the Trans Siberian across Russia soon after it had discarded the yolk of communism appealed to her.

    She subsequently met another girl in Adelaide who had rellies in Finland who wanted to do the same.
    So they made the arrangements, flew to Hong Kong and got on the train to Beijing and from there to Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia.

    As being obviously of European descent and unescorted young western women they were an item of great interest to the Chinese and Mongolians who followed them in small crowds where ever they went and tried to practice their english on them few Chinese in the mid 1990′s had ever set eyes on a westerner.

    But the real interesting item here is that on the train from Ulan Bator to Russia’s trans Baikal city of Ulan Ude [ Ulan Ude was a formerly closed military city of the Russian soviets ] on the Trans Siberian train route, the train was packed with Chinese traders heading up into Russia to trade with the locals in the Russian Baikal regions.
    And this was now back some two decades ago.

    A site I read regularly but am unfortunately limited to four articles a month unless one has a subscription is The Diplomat has a number of very well connected contributors providing in-depth opinion and analysis of international events and their possible or real consequences.
    And the “One Belt, One Road” proposal is likely very far indeed from being a smooth sailing exercise for any and all who might get involved, most of all the Chinese themselves.

    One article to give the geopolitical view on China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ To Where?

    A second analysis is from China Dialogue; China’s new silk roads tie together three continents

    And of course, don’t ever forget India, messy, somewhat disorganised, lots of arguing and freedom of speech and opinion but a true democracy, english speaking which is the worlds prime language and its diplomatic language and a couple of decades behind China perhaps in its development but soon to pass China’s 1.35 billions in population numbers.

    And beginning to hits its straps development wise as China is possibly part way through trying to get the thoroughly Chinese dominated “One belt, One road” concept established.

    The Indian elephant as a major up and coming major power competitor to the Chinese dragon could throw a very large spanner indeed into the Chinese diplomatic machine as it tries to exert its domination, as it has always done down through history as the “Centre of the Celestial Sphere”, over all the nations and territories it has managed to gain a serious foothold in through the “One Belt, One Road” central and southern Eurasian domination concept.

    We live in “interesting times” as that old curse of dubious origins has put it.

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    • #
      Robk

      I recall a speech by the UN representative Ms Christina Figueines(?) where she said something like, China was the best model to be following (the same speech she said about changing 150 years of industrialization). I am generally not conspiritorial but she gives an indication that China has the preferred centralist control model as approved by the climate crowd.
      I can’t help but feel we are being corralled and herded in that direction.

      60

      • #
        Robk

        This powerline project might be put up as an example of what one world can achieve…in which case expect a lot of hype.

        10

  • #
    dp

    Add political instability to weather, earthquakes, HT line tolls, and sabotage to reasons for unreliable energy creation in this brave new world. There might even be some of Putin’s Soviet-style threats to withhold energy if they don’t like what their customer nations are doing. Or as we in the nay sayer world say, “Fish on!”. Or as P.T. Barnum put it, “There’s a sucker born every minute”. I hope Germany has a backup strategy. Dumping their load onto neighboring states is not a strategy.

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    AndyG55

    hmmm.. latest ENSO projections. A 0.8C drop in four month !!

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    Analitik

    Liu Zhenya is the man behind the US$50 TRILLION global grid proposal…

    China Wants to Power the World

    Renewables enthusiast talked about removing dependence on centralised generation as it leaves control in the hands of remote management. Well how much more remote and centrally managed can you get than a global grid?

    60

    • #
      AndyG55

      At least down here we are probably out of the way of that idea, for a quite a long time into the future. ! :-)

      21

      • #
        Robk

        China has invested in our grid.

        20

        • #
          AndyG55

          “China has invested in our grid.”

          Which is good, someone needs to !!!

          What I meant was that they are hardly likely to run wires from China to here to send us electricity.

          Far cheaper just to use OUR coal here than to ship it to China and feed electricity back.

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          • #
            Ross

            What an exciting future we can look forward to. Dig it up, ship it out. Then buy the actual ‘stuff’ they make back again. The klever kuntry.

            22

            • #
              AndyG55

              Perhaps if the unions hadn’t destroyed all our industries through excessive wages and rules, and the Greens hadn’t made actually making anything here a green-tape nightmare, we wouldn’t need to bring so much actual “stuff” back in.

              We used to manufacture “stuff”, but its now much cheaper to get it done overseas in places like China.

              We used to be a “clever country”.

              50

    • #
      John West

      Global Grid!

      Skynet here we come.

      /snark

      10

  • #
    Ross

    The possible selling to Germany message maybe a bit of a tease from the Chinese but it does indicate where their ideas on technological development lie. I’m sure over time they will achieve it.
    In the meantime there are huge growth opportunities right on their door step in South East Asia and the so called sub continent.
    The talk of over spending on electricity generation is rubbish — give the Asian entrepreneurs a clear sign there is cheap electricity supplies for the foreseeable future and they will find ways to exploit the situation.

    90

  • #

    Just last week, there was a story on China about their growing middle class, and how it will soon be around 800 Million people.

    What will they require? Well for starters, homes with electrical power supplied to them.

    Here in the already Developed World, that access to electrical power in our homes is taken for granted, and in fact, when it comes to electrical power generation, a large percentage of that generated power is supplied to the Residential sector.

    Hare in Australia, around 25% of all generated power goes to the residential sector, similar across all of Europe, and in the U.S. it’s as high as 38%.

    However, when it comes to China, only 13% of all generated power goes to that residential sector.

    Eight years ago when I started what I’m doing, that percentage of residential power in China was down at around 7%.

    So, while China forges ahead with construction of all forms of power generation, and while most of it goes to the Industrial sector, one of the benefits of that is that power is now being made available to the homes where Chinese people can use it, a little like we already do.

    Just for that emerging middle class in China to have the same access that we in Australia have to electrical power means that they alone (just that 800 million people) will require around 1900TWH of power. The current total residential power for the whole of China comes in at only 650TWH. And that still leaves around 550 million people (not in that middle class) with either no power or very very little power at all.

    So, all this talk of China’s supposed over capitalisation in coal fired power is just spin from people who have not even considered what they already have, compared to what those people, not just in China, but in all of the Developing World just do not have, access to reliable constant electricity supply.

    Tony.

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    • #
      Mike

      The “developing world” are those who cannot afford the electricity, and they are everywhere. For example, the displaced peoples from Syria going to Germany have no access to being able to pay for the electricity in the walls comprising the geographical location on this planet called ‘Germany’.

      To have power, you need a renewable resource called ‘fiat currency’ and that renewable resource is printed electronically using only a few watts Tony.

      05

  • #
    Ross

    Absolutely right Tony.

    One thing I forgot to add in my post above —if the Greens want a big uptake of electric cars, then the electricity has to come from some where.
    There are too many people out there desperate to see China “fall over” for some reason. They are Green with envy ( pun intended)

    70

    • #
      ianl8888

      desperate to see China “fall over” for some reason

      Because while China continues its’ growth, mining and its’ products are always in high demand.

      And mining is hated by the very people who are totally dependent on its’ products and money. People get what they deserve.

      30

      • #

        ianl8888,

        I’m not sure if you will be back here to check this, but if you remember from last week’s Unthreaded, you lamented that a 1995 document prepared by the U.S. State Department in response to the IPCC report might have gone astray. I didn’t have the link which you requested.

        However, the author of that article has now posted the link to that pdf document. It was originally an error in transcribing the original article and the link, while appearing to have been included, the link wasn’t.

        I now have the link to that pdf document if you wish to read it. It’s a 33 page pdf document at this link.

        Tony.

        20

        • #
          Analitik

          So who was this Robert Watson who “proposed” all the changes to the IPCC Summary?
          It looks like he settled a lot of science

          00

    • #
      Mike

      You must mean the ‘Carbon Greens’.

      01

      • #
        Mike

        For example. I am a ‘green’ …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………But not a ‘Carbon green’.

        02

  • #
    pat

    17 Apr: Forbes: Michael Lynch: Fossil Fuels’ Value Not Imperiled By Climate Change
    Amusingly, one pundit described the bankruptcy filing of the coal giant Peabody Energy as educational for the petroleum industry as to the effect of climate change on their business, saying, “it acts as a warning to oil and gas companies – and their investors – about how quickly things can change.” Luke Sussams, of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, said, “The Chapter 11 filing highlighted the risks of fossil fuel assets becoming stranded because of tightening environmental regulations and the availability of cost-competitive renewable energy alternatives.”
    At the same time, climate change activists Nicholas Stern and John Gummer assure us that “the difficulties facing the steel industry arise overwhelmingly because of overcapacity in world markets.” …
    Of course, little comment is made about the bankruptcy of SunEdison or the financial troubles of the solar industry in Spain, the U.K., and other places, except to suggest a conspiracy against renewable energy…
    The reality is that high-cost projects are most at risk from low-cost projects, followed by slow demand (economic weakness), and climate change policies a distant third, at best. Indeed, from 2010 to 2014, global coal consumption increased by twice as much as wind and solar combined, and the rise of cheap natural gas in the U.S., along with the recent economic slowdown in China, are the main sources of the woes of the coal industry.
    ***GRAPH: Change in Global Energy Consumption 2010-2014 (mtoe)
    Understandably, the opportunity to demonize the oil industry and ExxonMobil in particular is extremely attractive to climate change activists (and much easier politically than going after consumers, i.e., the public), but if the math doesn’t support the argument, then it shouldn’t be made.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaellynch/2016/04/17/fossil-fuels-value-not-imperiled-by-climate-change/#71cd83915190

    About the writer Michael Lynch: I spent nearly 30 years at MIT as a student and then researcher at the Energy Laboratory and Center for International Studies. I then spent several years at what is now IHS Global Insight and was chief energy economist. Currently, I am president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research, Inc., and I lecture MBA students at Vienna University. I’ve been president of the US Association for Energy Economics, I serve on the editorial boards of three publications, and I’ve had my writing translated into six languages.

    17 Apr: oilprice.com: Robert Berke: Will China’s Slowing Economy Stall The Silk Road Project?
    Note: Robert Berke has written 3 articles on the Silk Road project in the past, you can find them here…(LINKS)
    Will China’s Slowing Economy Stall the Silk Road Project?…
    There’s little indication that China is stopping or even slowing its Silk Road plans. Instead, the project continues to move forward at an astonishing pace, not only as a part of China’s major growth plan, but also a major component of its defense…
    It’s not only increased trade that we’re talking about here, but also bringing modern technology to large parts of the developing world. The alluring high-tech product that China is selling is the promise of economic development, and its proving irresistible to many developing nations in the region.
    Lighting the Earth
    One of the most intriguing part of the Silk Road project is China as ‘power source builder,’ across the Silk Road. As reported here, China is already a surplus power producer, having invested heavily since 2004 in hydro, coal fired plants, nuclear, and renewables. China has also mastered ultra-high voltage technology, enabling it to transmit power across large distances from its eastern plants to its far west.
    Power, in every sense, is key to the Chinese plan, with a focus on nuclear plants that it hopes to develop for export to clients along the Silk Road. China, currently the largest growth market for nuclear power plants, has aspirations to build some 300 of the projected 400 nuclear plants that are expected to be contracted over the next decade…
    China also has also been busy acquiring foreign power companies in a growing portfolio of power assets, as a base to build upon. These include companies in Brazil, Italy, Australia, and the Philippines…READ ALL
    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Will-Chinas-Slowing-Economy-Stall-The-Silk-Road-Project.html

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    pat

    Analitik -

    your Bloomberg “China Wants to Power the World” link contains some of the same info as Berke’s oilprice article, but is still worth reading for extra details.

    11 Apr: ESI-Africa: Ghana includes coal in its energy mix
    In West Africa, Ghana is set to construct a 2,000MW coal power plant, spearheaded by the Volta River Authority (VRA) and China’s Shenzhen Energy Corporation (SEC)…
    http://www.esi-africa.com/news/ghana-considers-coal-power-plan-a-viable-option/

    17 Apr: UK Telegraph: Emily Gosden: Costs of blackout emergency plan soar as coal plants paid to keep warm
    The cost of ensuring Britain could turn its lights back on after a catastrophic nationwide blackout has soared by at least £12m this year, as National Grid is forced to pay struggling old coal plants to “keep warm” in case of an emergency…
    But rising green taxes, cheap gas prices and the growth of renewables are together rendering the coal plants increasingly uneconomic, with some closing down for good and most others now only running for parts of the day.
    This poses a threat to Britain’s emergency plans because if the plants are not generating when a catastrophic power failure hits, they will take far longer to start up…
    The cost is expected to increase further because National Grid has since awarded new black start contracts to more coal plants: Drax; and SSE’s Fiddler’s Ferry, which had been at risk of closure…
    A spokesman for National Grid said: “If we forecast that black start contracted power stations may not be available during any point in the year, we can request that they are ‘warmed’ to ensure their black start readiness.
    “Current market conditions mean that power stations primarily contracted for black start may not be ‘warm’ and ready to provide the service.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/17/costs-of-blackout-emergency-plan-soar-as-coal-plants-paid-to-kee/

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  • #

    Germany does make good cameras, but its empires, like the present EU, are kind of weird and clunky.

    Imagine waiting to find out if a) solar panels at 50+ degrees N will be a goer, or b) if a Gulf/Turkey/Sunni axis will be the best energy supply if Syria can be dismantled, or c) if you will be depending on more gas from nice Mr Putin’s North Stream in the event of (b) not working out (because of that same nice Mr Putin).

    Germans may be the most intelligent people on earth…but they’re kind of dumb at the same time. Which would explain the 20th century.

    80

    • #
      ROM

      Those of us of teutonic descent ain’t called “square heads” for no reasons!

      60

    • #

      Germans may be the most intelligent people on earth…

      Quite unlikely; as a rule.

      They tend to be meticulous, industrious, fastidious and followers. Work and private lives tend to more separated than with Australians. Germans are politically timid in public; fertile soil for political correctness. But there are many types of “Germans”. The country is not socially homogenous.

      There are too few true individuals. Too few who strive for excellence. Too few whose horizons stretch beyond their comfortable, mediocre neighbourhood.

      70

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        Bernd,

        Sounds like a good description of most races and groups of people.

        50

        • #
          toorightmate

          There are only two races on this planet.
          The Scots and those who would like to be Scots.

          40

          • #
            KinkyKeith

            And there are two things I really dislike;

            Racism and the Dutch.

            (Apologies to any Netherlanders, my ancestry being a mix of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh I have heard jokes at the expense of each group).

            30

            • #
              Annie

              I like the Dutch I have met! However, I am a mixture of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and a little NW Indian. My favourite Flanders and Swann song is still ‘A Song of Patriotic Prejudice’ (that is: ‘The English are best’)!

              30

          • #
            ROM

            Well when the Scots came through and started to settle this area particularly to the north of Horsham , they walked straight through the almost tree less plains that extend for 30 kilometres north of Horsham and are composed of heavy grey cracking clays which if we get sufficient rainfall can produce some very high yielding crops.
            The Scots made for and settled the heavy gum timber country a bit further north of the plains with its poorer sand lighter soils and no water which had to be cleared of its heavy timber before any crops could be planted, a laborious job if ever there was one with the axe and fire and not much else in those days near the end of the 19th century.
            Which was still the subject of considerable ribbing between the scots and those german square heads who later settled on the plains in our part of the world even to when I was a kid.

            Sigh! My mob came over from SA in the late 19th century and headed for the light Mallee covered sandy soil along the Wimmera River.
            They had access to water at least in the river.
            And as far as they were concerned, their parents had came from the sandy soil areas of North Germany which is all they knew as a soil type to grow crops in and the SA soil types didn’t alter that belief one little bit.
            So sandy soils it was to grow crops in as far as they were concerned.

            The Scots did and still do make damn good engineers though and they were allied with and fought against those English pommies on the side of the Germans on more than a few occassions in the distant past.

            20

          • #
            AndyG55

            “The Scots and those who would like to be Scots”

            I am a Scot, but darned if I want to go back to a freezing climate and a country riddled with wind turbines. !!

            I will remain an Aussie, thank you very much. !!!

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            • #
              Annie

              You are right about the Scottish landscape being wrecked by the appalling bird mincers. I was astonished by the number blighting the landscape when we were there last August. The number in the Solway Firth alone wrecks that beautiful Solway coast on the Scottish side and is all too visible from the Cumbrian. A relative informed me that ‘they’ plan to double the number.

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        Ross

        Describe ‘Australians’. Just curious.

        02

  • #
    pat

    3 pages: 17 Apr: Washington Times: Valerie Richardson: Democratic AGs, climate change groups colluded on prosecuting dissenters, emails show
    In the hours before they took the stage for their March 29 press conference, Democratic attorneys general received a secret briefing from two top environmentalists on pursuing climate change dissenters.
    Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Climate Accountability Institute’s Matt Pawa spent 45 minutes each providing talking points behind the scenes on “the imperative of taking action now” and “climate change litigation,” according to a cache of emails released over the weekend by the free market Energy & Environmental Legal Institute…
    David Schnare, legal counsel for E&E, called on the coalition, operating under the name AGs United for Clean Power, to reveal its relationship with the climate change movement.
    “We call on these AGs to immediately halt their investigation and lay out for the public the full extent of this collusion, producing all records or information provided them in briefings or other work with the outside activists, including those they are trying to keep secret through a Common Interest Agreement,” Mr. Schnare said in a Friday statement.
    He highlighted a March 30 email from Mr. Pawa telling two members of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s staff about a call from a Wall Street Journal reporter about his attendance at the press conference.
    Mr. Pawa asked, “What should I say if she asks if I attended? No comment?”
    Lemuel Srolovic, environmental protection bureau chief for the New York attorney general, advised Mr. Pawa to say nothing about his participation…
    The collection of emails sheds new light on the close working relationship between the climate change movement and Democratic lawmakers.
    The emails were obtained under the Vermont Public Records Law. Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell’s office helped Mr. Schneiderman’s staff organize the event…
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/17/democratic-ags-climate-change-groups-colluded-on-p/

    Jamaica recently got a new centre-right Govt:

    17 Apr: Jamaica Gleaner: Think twice PM – JA needs a Ministry of Environment and Climate Change
    by Senator Sophia Frazer Binns
    (Senator Sophia Frazer Binns is an attorney-at-law and the opposition spokesperson on land and the environment)
    It was perhaps a gesture by the prime minister to appear “fiscally responsible efficient and frugal” when he announced a Cabinet smaller than that of the previous administration.
    One of the casualties of such a move, however, was the relegation of the environment and climate change portfolio into an arm of the Office of the Prime Minister…
    The absence must also be measured in the context where, sadly, a majority of Jamaicans pay very scant regard for the environment and many still view the concept of climate change a distant phenomenon.
    The announcement of his Cabinet without any mention of the environment and climate change ministry is a perpetuation of that sad reality…
    The establishing of a separate ministry of Environment and Climate Change in 2012 by the Portia Simpson Miller administration was lauded by the international community as a positive step in keeping environmental issues at the core of development.
    I urge the prime minister to let us restore the high degree of confidence the world has in us as leaders on the front line of climate change by restoring a ministry…ETC
    http://jamaicagleaner.com/article/news/20160417/think-twice-pm-ja-needs-ministry-environment-and-climate-change

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    ROM

    The concept of supplying almost unlimited electrical power from its generating source to the end consumer, in this case fromChina’s nuclear, hydro and coal and gas fired generators into the Middle east and then onto Europe , across the Eurasian continent say from Shanghai on China’s east coast to say Paris in France, a distance of close to 9300 kms by the shortest distance, the Great Circle distance, is technologically getting much closer.

    The real distance that such a power transmission line would have to cover would probably be closer to 12,000 kms.
    And it could flow power both ways.

    The technology that would allow an almost power loss free transmission of electrical power over these vast distances is the very intensively research of High Temperature Super Conductivity using so the highest temperature super conducting materials so far identified, Copper Cuprate cooled to only minus 100 Kelvin as the power conducting medium.

    Nitrogen, an inert gas and liquid can be liquified at standard atmospheric pressures and temperatures of below 77 K or minus 195.8 C.
    With the Copper Cuprate based super conductors it has become possible to use liquid Nitrogen as the cooling medium instead of the far more difficult and expensive liquid Helium with its near 0 K or minus 273 C , almost Absolute Zero temperature, to induce super conductivity.

    In fact when you have a doctor using one of those little heavily insulated spray flasks to knock out a potential skin cancer sores on our oldster’s skins, he / she uses liquid nitrogen.

    There have been a number of proposed super conducting power transmission projects proposed and a few actual short distance experimental Super Conducting power transmission projects over short distances to get real world observed data on the possibilities of eventually developing long distance Super Conductivity transmission line projects which would be installed underground over their length.

    The very long distance oil and gas and coal and mineral slurry pipe lines already have the technology to quickly bury any such Super Conducting power transmission lines if and when super conducting power transmission lines become an economic reality

    The only hold up to the implementation of this technology is the major one, trying to understand how Super Conductivity actually works and thats after over two decades of research so far.
    And to find combinations of metals and / or materials that will allow high temperature super conductivity to be maintained at or close to room temperatures.

    Other combinations of metals are being heavily researched to try and raise the temperatures of super conductivity to room temperature levels at which point the transmission of power over very long distances without other than very minor power losses becomes a completely feasible concept.

    The Chinese no doubt are doing some very heavy research into super conducting power transmission lines and may in fact be looking at a possibility of a major break through to room temperature Super Conductivity as the medium to be able to push power across the Eurasian continent and then into Africa with almost no power loss from their generators in China or anywhere else they decide to set up Chinese owned and operated generators.

    As Tony keeps pointing out, the end market for electrical power across the globe is truly immense.

    And why wouldn’t China try to dominate the global power generation and supply if they could develop and implement a low loss Super Conducting power transmission supply systems across the Eurasian and African continents.
    If they could they would have the world or most of it by the short and curlies for a very long time indeed as they would effectively control most of mankind’s first energy based civilisation.

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      ROM

      As usual a stuff up in my post above;

      “Copper Cuprate cooled to only minus 100 Kelvin as the power conducting medium.

      100 Kelvin [ -173.15C ] is 100 K above absolute zero, Absolute Zero [ 0.K ]being the equivalent of minus 273.15 C .

      They have got to within a few millionths of a degree of absolute Zero but it will never to be reached as the quantum jitter of the nuclear components such as quarks, the smallest nuclear particles yet identified prevents ever reaching Absolute Zero.

      Absolute zero is the point where no more heat can be removed from a system, according to the absolute or thermodynamic temperature scale.

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    pat

    2 columns, incl a link to Paul Homewood:

    16 Apr: UK Telegraph: Christopher Booker: Why global governance is making the EU irrelevant
    PLUS SCROLL DOWN:
    Why is the BBC advertising the Tesla?…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/2016/04/16/global-governance-is-making-the-eu-irrelevant/

    17 Apr: TheNational UAE: Robin Mills: Why India is about to pass Japan as Asia’s No 2 oil consumer
    (Robin Mills is chief executive of Qamar Energy and author of The Myth of the Oil Crisis)
    Growth in global oil consumption is set to slow down this year: from a gain of 1.8 million barrels per day last year, to 1.2 million bpd this year, according to the International Energy Agency. This is driven by lower industrial use and mild winters in China, the US and Europe…
    But now a number of factors are driving a surge in Indian oil use. Its economy and population are growing faster than China’s, and it is pushing for more manufacturing under the “Make in India” initiative, and greater coal production (requiring diesel for haulage).
    In welcome news to those who have bumped along stretches of gravel masquerading as highways in Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Modi’s government is building 30 kilometres of road per day.
    ***Only 20 Indians in a thousand have a four-wheeled vehicle, compared to 90 Chinese and 800 Americans. But now lower oil prices and rising incomes are making motoring more affordable: Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai had their best ever sales in India in the fiscal year to March. Air travel is booming, with passengers up 23 per cent on this time last year…
    India is likely soon to overtake Japan as Asia’s second-largest oil consumer, and the world’s third largest (after the US and China). Demand growth of 0.3 million barrels per day this year would be a quarter of the global total, and about the same as the gain in China…
    http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/why-india-is-about-to-pass-japan-as-asias-no-2-oil-consumer

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    • #

      As pat mentions here, India is looking distinctly like the new China.

      While roaring ahead with oil consumption, the Greens are probably chuffed to see so much solar and wind going ahead in India, but at scale, it is virtually nothing, just lip service if you will.

      Look at the map at this link. It’s of North East India. Look at the small black squares. Each one of those is a hydro proposal, and while this map is dated 2001, most of these are either finished or still in construction.

      There are 170 or more dams with hydro power in that area alone, the huge Brahmaputra Basin with all the Rivers flowing into it. That comes in at 60,000MW plus in Nameplate.

      This is all good news for the Greenies on a Worldwide scale as all of this adds considerably to their percentage total for Renewables. If it wasn’t for China Hydro and soon, Indian Hydro, the percentage for Renewables would be a pitiful total just under 2%.

      If you seriously think that China and India will ease back on doing what they are doing, then you’re just wishin’ and hopin’.

      Tony.

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      • #
        Mike

        China owns its own central bank from what i hear on the grape vine, but India does not. It largely depends on the creditors as is usual.

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      • #
        Mike

        They might have to use superconducting currency printed out of a renewable digitally printed currency machine (privately owned of course).

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  • #
    Stephen Richards

    600kms is rubbish. Nearer 6000 kms and that will leave you short. 400miles won’t get you across china’s nearest country.

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  • #
    el gordo

    German renewable energy spills over into Poland and Czech Republic.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-18/germany-struggles-too-much-renewable-energy

    Too much of a good thing.

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  • #

    Previous studies comparing the cost of transmitting power from the West Coast of the US to the East Coast, as opposed to railing the coal from the West to power stations in the East suggested that the two alternatives were effectively on par from a cost perspective.
    I suppose that with artificially inflated cost of power from ‘renewables’, anything could be financially viable.
    However, 12,000 kilometres (or 6000 km)of liquid nitrogen cooled copper cuprate conductor with a capacity of XXXXXX Amperes at a voltage of YYYYYY V, across vast tracts of politically challenged real estate makes Turnbull’s high-speed rail link on the East Coast of Australia seem even more pitiful.
    Are there any capital estimates out there? Quoting in trillions may still result a number of zeros ahead of the decimal point in the estimate.

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    • #
      Mike

      ………They might have to use superconducting currency printed out of a renewable digitally printed currency machine (privately owned of course).

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    • #
      ROM

      Establish a conventional Ultra High Voltage transmission line corridor first by negotiating with all the nations, principalities and powers that think they might gain something out of such a UHV transmission line crossing their patch and possibly negotiating to bleed off some very useful electrical power to buttress their own political power base.
      This then allows the Chinese UHV maintenance techs to become firmly established in Chinese limited access bases [ to the locals ] right along the transmission line corridors.
      Locals become reliant on the constancy of Chinese generated power.
      Chinese then have the locals on any specific stretch of line over the barrel economically and therefore politically ; ie Russian gas into western Europe.
      Chinese demand their troops be stationed in regions where the locals get stroppy and cut the lines. And that sort of gets permanent; ie South China Seas islands.

      Sub surface super conducting transmission lines become a push over to install as the corridors are already negotiated, the local politicals are firmly in Chinese payola, the transmission lines are protected by Chinese troops, the locals are already psychologically prepared and subjugated to Chinese business and political interests.
      Just bury the bloody super conducting thing in those corridors and nobody will bother to try and get at it.

      Evolutionary, not revolutionary.

      Evolutionary is how the transmission lines will be built in any case if they are built.
      And there will be no doubt be a very considerable mileage of UHV line into Pakistan and possibly Afghanistan as well as the central Asian republics built in any case so as to bring as many of those Chinese periphery nations firmly into the Chinese business and political and security orbit.
      ————–
      And if anybody is wondering if the Chinese can pull off the UHV transmission line build technology;

      The world’s longest power transmission lines

      1 /The Rio Madeira transmission link in Brazil, with an overhead length of 2,385km, is the world’s longest power transmission line. The 600kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) bipolar line was brought into commercial operation in November 2013 and is capable of transmitting 7.1GW of power.

      2 / China’s 2,090km-long Jinping-Sunan transmission link, an 800kV ultra high-voltage direct current (UHVDC) transmission line, is the world’s second longest power transmission line. The 7.2GW transmission link is owned by State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) and was put into operation in December 2012.

      3 / The Xiangjiaba-Shanghai transmission line, with an overhead length of 1,980km, is the world’s third longest transmission line. The 800kV, 7.2GW line, owned by SGCC, is the world’s first ever UHVDC transmission line and started commercial operation in July 2010.

      4 / India’s 1,450km-long Talcher-Kolar transmission link is the world’s fifth longest transmission line. The 500kV HVDC transmission line, also known as the East-South transmission link, has a rated capacity of 2,500MW and is owned by Power Grid Corporation of India. It was the world’s second longest transmission link at the time of commissioning in February 2003.

      China in fact has seven UHV transmission lines already in operation and In December 2014, the world’s largest power grid operator, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), declared that 13 UHV transmission lines are planned to built by 2017 and 27 UHV transmission lines are intended to construct by 2020 .
      UHV projects in China are summarized in terms of in operation, under construction and waiting final approval

      ref; The Application of Ultra High Voltage in the World

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  • #
    Analitik

    Closer to home

    Utility to take part of Melbourne suburb off-grid with solar + storage

    I will give Ausnet for putting their money where it matters into a proper trial and will watch with interest but I expect this to be an epic fail at the end of the 12 month trial

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    • #
      Mike

      Maybe people with solar panels will one day be able to sell electricity to their neighbours using extension cords on sunny days for some tobacco ? Without batteries during the day?

      What if the spanish creditors are anything to go by.

      from: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/articles/2015/10/spain-approves-sun-tax-discriminates-against-solar-pv.html

      “Spain’s government has recently approved a new national law on self-consumption of energy that taxes solar installations disproportionately. Most notably, the majority of self-consumers will be also taxed for the electricity they generate and consume in their premises, via their own PV systems.”

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      ianl8888

      1) I doubt it will be “proper” trial. We will not be told the actual details, including whether or not conventional grid storage was needed. In short, we will be LIED to without compunction.

      2) And what hapens to those people who refuse, do not want, this experiment ? A much more pointed question than first sight may offer.

      These people are truly monstrous in their impenetrable vanity.

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      Graeme No.3

      Analitik:

      I can’t work out those figures. 140kV storage is a bit small if those PV panels start generating together (as they will). That is less than 3 hours of good sunshine (OK the houses will be using some, but the peak consumption will be early morning and around sunset when the panels are useless), and with commuting the demand in the middle of the day could be quite small). I can only assume that the hot water systems will be used to absorb excess generation, and cut the demand when on batteries.
      Will the whole 10kV be available? What is the average consumption of these houses? 12 to 18 kVh per day? In the last case the battery will be too small if there is a couple of cloudy days – could that happen in Melbourne? end sarc.

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      • #
        Mike

        Just do the washing on a sunny day. Maybe with a light activated switch like with clorophyl

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      • #
        Analitik

        I agree that the 140kWh total storage appears very small along with the 49-63kW of panels when split amongst 14 houses worth of consumption but the figures were supposedly arrived at from the results of a 3 year internal trial amongst AusNet staff homes.
        http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/network-trial-shows-consumers-and-networks-benefit-from-battery-storage-19806

        I cannot see that there will be enough energy collected in the winter period, either.
        They do say

        The network operator will first monitor the production and consumption patterns of the 14 homes, before then inviting them to individually quit the grid, and see how long that lasts, and then to quit the grid altogether but share their solar and storage in an islanded network.

        This trial will probably disappear into obscurity on MSM as homes opt out after experiencing the joys of living by sunlight but I am hoping that there will be continuing discussion by the greentards on the Whirlpool greentech forum – they love this sort of fairytale thinking

        And I still think AusNet deserve some level of credit for conducting what should be a realistic trial, assuming ianl8888′s concerns about outright lying doesn’t result in fabricated results.

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    pat

    the undemocratic CAGW love the idea they can trick the world into enforcing the Paris Agreement early.
    ***check the graph:

    18 Apr: Guardian: Suzanne Goldenberg: US and China lead push to bring Paris climate deal into force early
    Early start date would add momentum for deeper emissions cuts and lock a future US president into the deal for four years
    The US and China are leading a push to bring the Paris climate accord into force much faster than even the most optimistic projections – aided by a ***typographical glitch in the text of the agreement…
    The accelerated timeline would have one obvious advantage for Barack Obama. The standard withdrawal clause on any such agreement would force a future Republican president to wait four years before quitting Paris, according to legal experts…
    The 2020 date remained in the negotiating drafts almost until the very end, the diplomats said. But unaccountably the final draft prepared by France left out the entire clause. By that point, after a few late-night negotiating sessions, a number of countries did not notice the omission…
    Approval of the Paris Agreement
    ***Example of how this could work…
    The European Union will need agreement from its 28 member states before it can join the agreement – which makes it highly unlikely to be in a position to join early on…
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/18/us-and-china-lead-push-to-bring-paris-climate-deal-into-force-early

    still up at the European Commission website:

    European Commission: Paris Agreement
    The agreement is due to enter into force in 2020.
    http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/paris/index_en.htm

    more to come.

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    pat

    ***Goldenberg’s “typographical glitch” seems intentional here – READ ALL!

    18 Apr: Euronews: Megan Rowling: Does premature Paris climate deal risk a painful birth?
    BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – With around 155 countries now expected to ink the agreement this week – and a handful of them, mainly small island states, well on the way to ratification – there is optimism that the climate deal will come into force earlier than envisaged.
    ***The agreement was negotiated under the understanding it would take effect from 2020. This date was removed from the final text, apparently to create room for the deal to come into effect earlier…
    In some countries, including the United States, leaders are expected to use their executive authority to accede to the Paris deal. But in others, it will have to be discussed in parliament or congress and, in some cases, will require new legislation, Abeysinghe (who advises the chair of the LDC group at U.N. climate talks) noted…
    The question of what happens if the Paris Agreement takes effect early – with bets ranging from this year to 2018 – before the bulk of countries ratify it is troubling experts beyond the developing world.
    According to lawyers with the U.N. climate change secretariat, only countries that have formally joined the agreement could make decisions affecting it.
    But those that have not could participate as observers, which may allow them to make interventions and submit proposals on draft texts.
    Another option would be to convene the first session of the parties to the agreement, and then suspend it. That would give more countries time to ratify, while discussions on rules and guidelines for the new agreement proceeded under a working group.
    Experts with the World Resources Institute (WRI) told journalists the European Union is unlikely to be in the first wave of ratifiers because it will require all 28 member states to go through their own processes first before approving the deal as a bloc – a process that could take some time.
    “It is hard to imagine a situation in which other parties to the Paris agreement would not very much want the EU to be part of the decision-making for the critical rules under the agreement, so I think a way forward will be found to include them,” said David Waskow, WRI’s international climate director…READ ON
    http://www.euronews.com/newswires/3181887-does-premature-paris-climate-deal-risk-a-painful-birth/

    ***no glitch here either!

    19 Jan: CarbonBrief: Sophie Yeo: Paris agreement on climate change: What happens next?
    In early drafts of the Paris text published before COP21 began, there was the possibility that the agreement would only come into force in 2020, which means that the first meeting would have taken place then.
    ***But in Paris in December, this all changed. Countries instead agreed that the deal would come into force when a certain set of conditions had been satisfied — that is, 30 days after at least 55 countries accounting for an estimated 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions have ratified or accepted the agreement…
    Countries can start this process in roughly three months time, from the UN’s high-level signing ceremony on 22 April 2016.
    But there is no deadline to say when this job should be completed, which means that countries can delay as long as they want. So, in theory, the first meeting could be in November this year — dumping a heavy workload on the desks of the bodies mentioned above — or it could still be in 2020. It all depends on how keen the big emitters are to put the Paris deal into action…
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/paris-agreement-on-climate-change-what-happens-next

    ***sounds pretty underhanded to me:

    1 Apr: ClimateChangeNews: Michael Dobson: UN’s Paris climate deal could enter into force this year
    While the official mandate under which countries negotiated the Agreement stated that it was to “come into effect and be implemented from 2020” – and while numerous draft versions contained language that would have delayed entry into force until that date – the final version of the Agreement contains no such restriction.
    Instead, as adopted, states agreed simply that it will enter into force thirty days after at least 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions, ratify it…
    ***Last December countries negotiated on the implicit understanding that the Paris Agreement would be agreed in 2015, and come into effect in 2020.
    ***This understanding was so well entrenched that several news organizations, reporting on the Agreement after talks in Paris concluded, referred to it as the “post-2020 Paris Agreement” or stated that it would “come into being in 2020”.
    ***It appears, however, that it was not only journalists who were caught off-guard by the removal of any language delaying entry into force to 2020 – it was also negotiators themselves.
    This is clear from Decision 1.CP/21, which accompanied the Paris Agreement, and which sets out how countries will negotiate and agree the rules and procedures for the new institutions and mechanisms that will come into being under the Agreement.
    The details of how those institutions will operate were not agreed in Paris; instead, it seems negotiators assumed they would have another five years to work them out…
    The era of fossil fuels must be brought to an end, and quickly. Doing so will require aggressive action at all levels – but the global pact that is designed to sit above all of these efforts, imposing a legally binding obligation on all countries to act, is the Paris Agreement.
    To discover that it can be brought into force years earlier than expected is hopefully a rude shock to the fossil fuel industry.
    For everyone else, it should be a cause for considerable excitement – and action.
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/04/01/uns-paris-climate-deal-could-enter-into-force-this-year/

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    Amber

    China must be absolutely stunned that the west has sold out and allowed it’s manufacturing sectors to be so gutted .
    Politically correct and trade stupid the west is now on a course to buy power that could have been generated
    without continental transmission lines . Who does the west think is going to be dictating policy when they
    are energy dependant and they’re economies are more government and service sector jobs ?
    No wonder the USA citizens are fed up and want an outsider . Both Clinton and the Sanders want to shut down coal jobs ,
    coal companies and natural gas fracking . This is the party that likes to claim it represents the people ?

    The West needs to wake up .

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