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.
The Times UK
Coal’s future burns bright — Graham Lloyd
Greenpeace likes to think [...]
A new MIT report suggests a better way to use coal in power-stations and potentially cut CO2 emissions by 50%. The process involves gasifying coal and producing electricity in one process at the same site. The coal only has to be heated once, and the electricity comes from a fuel cell, not a fire — it’s a chemical reaction across a membrane. The output is potentially much more efficient, and makes no ash. The researchers argue we could get twice as much electricity for each ton of coal burned. Currently coal fired power pulls out 30% of the chemical energy in coal, but coupling these two processes might increase it to 55-60%.
This report is based on simulations, but the separate processes are already well developed and running. The next step would be a fully functioning pilot plant to put the two together and test the idea. If there was the political will it could be done in a few years. There probably won’t be.
The Greens of course will hate the idea because the Evil-Factor of coal is near 100%.
In the eco-collectivist-world, cutting “carbon” is important, but apparently not as important as propping up a dependent lobby group [...]
Spot the contradictions. Oxfam want us to believe we can be “coal free” in France, the UK and Italy by 2023. Then they tell us that most of these richest of rich nations are already trying and failing to do that. They are using more coal.
Then there is a nifty graph below, which seems to suggest that in these same nations solar is cheaper than coal. If solar is so cheap then, we don’t need any schemes, markets or subsidies. Right?
Welcome to reality — even the richest greenest nations need more coal:
Five of the world’s seven richest countries have increased their coal use in the last five years despite demanding that poor countries slash their carbon emissions to avoid catastrophic climate change, new research shows.
Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and France together burned 16% more coal in 2013 than 2009 and are planning to further increase construction of coal-fired power stations. Only the US and Canada of the G7 countries meeting on Monday in Berlin have reduced coal consumption since the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009.
The US has reduced its coal consumption by 8% largely because of fracking for shale [...]
Why launch a $15 billion dollar tax? Forget any scientific reason; let’s do it so people overseas don’t laugh at us. This is as good as the reasoning gets. Have you got a Nobel? You too, could waffle on about hobbling our economy in the quest for international popularity.
Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty says Australia is being seen internationally as “public enemy number one” on climate change
“Australia is being regarded as public enemy number one,” said Professor Doherty, who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine in 1996.
The evidence Australia is seen as a public enemy?
“That’s a statement that’s been made to me by a couple of people – so that’s obviously a kind of buzz that’s going around the climate change community.”
Not exactly a large poll or a mass survey, but it impressed Dan Harrison, the Sydney Morning Herald and perhaps Ben Cubby (Environment Editor) too. Who needs evidence when you have the right “buzz”? Baseless ramblings are good to go. File that rant under “Health and Indigenous Affairs” I suppose. It sure isn’t science.
The SMH could interview other Nobel Prize winners who use evidence and reason [...]
Oops. Who hates “the environment”? Green lobbyists keep revealing how little they care. Friends of the Earth want to categorically rule out one of the most cost effective ways to reduce our carbon emissions. New supercritical hot burning coal plants can reduce emissions by an amazing 15%. But Friends of the Earth and The Guardian hate coal more than they care about CO2.
The green climate fund (GCF) refused an explicit ban on fossil fuel projects at the contentious meeting in Songdo, South Korea, last week.
“It’s like a torture convention that doesn’t forbid torture,” said Karen Orenstein, a campaigner for Friends of the Earth US who was at the meeting. “Honestly it should be a no-brainer at this point.” — The Guardian
Poor old solar and wind power are so useless that the debate is about whether they achieve any reductions at all. Their intermittent power means some kind of back-up base load power source has to run on standby to pick up the pieces when they collapse. The more wind power you have, the less CO2 you save. Solar Power provides “cheaper” electricity to the rich at the expense of everyone else, and potentially [...]
People who have no cheap electricity burn wood or coal inside their homes to make dinner and stay warm. The smoke produces real pollution (as opposed to the fake kind which feeds plants). In India, some homes have pollution levels “three times higher than a typical London street”. Not surprisingly, living in smoke does not work out well for lungs and hearts. “Estimates suggest that household air pollution killed 3·5 to 4 million people in 2010. “
We can argue about the numbers and whether they are exaggerated, but there’s no doubt that millions of people would lead better lives if they had access to cheap electricity, which in practical terms means coal-fired power. In Niger, Africa, 17 million people use less electricity than Dubbo, NSW, a town of 40,000.
Where are the Greens? Children in poverty are suffering from lung damage now. The Greens priority is to spend billions to stop them dying in 2100 from seas rising at 1mm a year. How many people does expensive electricity kill? — Jo
Household air pollution puts more than one in three people worldwide at risk of ill health, early death [...]
Nothing makes sense about Renewable Energy Targets, except at a “Bumper-Sticker” level. Today the AFR front page suggests* the federal government is shifting to remove the scheme (by closing it to new entrants) rather than just scaling it back. It can’t come a day too soon. Right now, the Greens who care about CO2 emissions should be cheering too. The scheme was designed to promote an industry, not to cut CO2.
UPDATE: Mathias Cormann later says “that the government’s position was to “keep the renewable energy target in place” SMH. Mixed messages indeed.
We’ve been sold the idea that if we subsidize “renewable” energy (which produces less CO2) we’d get a world with lower CO2 emissions. But it ain’t so. The fake “free” market in renewables does not remotely achieve what it was advertised to do — the perverse incentives make the RET good for increasing “renewables” but bad for reducing CO2, and, worse, the more wind power you have, the less CO2 you save. Coal fired electricity is so cheap that doing anything other than making it more efficient is a wildly expensive and inefficient way to reduce CO2. But the Greens hate [...]
A new report shows ABC journalists are fond of renewables and overlook their dismal economic value, while putting out bad news on coal, and ignoring the benefits of vast cheap profitable energy. Who could have seen that coming: a large public funded institution attracts employees who like large public funding?
The IPA arranged for a media analysis firm to compare the ABC reporting on coal and renewables.
ABC gives the green light to renewables, and the red light to Australia’s largest export industry and provider of 75% of our electricity.
ABC accused of bias against coalmining
Andrew Fraser, The Australian
The analysis of 2359 reports broadcast on the ABC over six months before March 15 this year found 15.9 per cent of stories on coalmining and 12.1 per cent of those about coal-seam gas mining were favourable, while 53 per cent of those on renewable energy were favourable.
It also found 31.6 per cent of stories on coal mining and 43.6 per cent of stories on coal-seam gas were unfavourable, while only 10.8 per cent of stories on renewable energy were unfavourable.
The ABC has become its own best case for privatizing the ABC. How much could we get? The [...]
Australia might be the largest coal exporter in the world, but only because all the larger producers of coal keep their own and use it themselves. China is the silent giant coal monster — in 2009 Australia exported 260Mt of coal (our largest export industry). That same year China produced (and used) 3 billion tons. In this era, to predict anything globally, we need to understand China. David Archibald is author of the Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short. He slices the energy data. (Energy, of course, drives everything). China is eating through its coal — it may be able to sustain this peak rate for a decade or so. Chinese oil appears close to reaching its peak. Growth in Chinese steel production has been slowing since 2006. The implications are provocative. — Jo
Guest Post by David Archibald
China has become wealthier in the last couple of decades but unfortunately is using some of that new wealth for military adventures against its neighbours. The neighbours aren’t happy. Over 60 percent of the people in countries bordering the South China Sea fear Chinese aggression and expect imminent war. If [...]
Oh the dilemma. German Greens have been so “successful” that coal use is rising fast. They helped get rid of the nukes in 2011, punished coal, and subsidized “renewables”. But woe…. energy has to come from somewhere, so the paradoxical crunch comes. Green policies mean that everyone is poorer, but the cheapest energy comes from coal …
The coal industry must be praying for more Green activism:
“IT’S been a black Christmas for green thinkers as Germany, the world leader in rooftop solar and pride of the renewable energy revolution has confirmed its rapid return to coal.
After scrapping nuclear power, Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions are back on the rise as the country clamours to reopen some of the dirtiest brown coalmines that have been closed since the reunification of east and west. The Australian
Though some say the problem is “carbon credits” are too cheap. (We need to be poorer?)
“…new figures show that coal power output in 2013 reached its highest level in more than 20 years. Researchers blame cheap CO2 emissions permits, and demand urgent reforms.
The stats: Germany is using almost as much coal as it did in 1990:
In 1990, Germany’s brown coal-fired [...]
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