by Dennis Ambler
Here are a few interesting tidbits on coal.
“Coal will rival oil as the world?s top source of energy in five years, as the mineral benefits from booming demand for electricity generation and steel and cement production in China, India and other emerging nations of Asia.
The International Energy Agency on Tuesday said that by 2017 coal ?will come close? to surpassing crude oil as the world?s top energy source even if demand growth for coal slows down somewhat from the torrid pace of the past decade.
The new IEA medium-term projections, covering the 2012-17 period, bode well for the world?s top coal producers, including Shenhua Group of China, Coal of India, Anglo America, the combination of Glencore and Xstrata, and Peabody Energy.
India will drive consumption, with demand increasing at 6.3 per cent a year over the next five years. ?This surge in coal consumption is not matched by production growth from domestic mines, causing strong growth in imports?, the IEA said.”
“?Thanks to abundant supplies and insatiable demand for power from emerging markets, coal met nearly half of the rise in global energy demand during the first decade of the 21st Century,? said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. ?This report sees that trend continuing. In fact, the world will burn around 1.2 billion more tonnes of coal per year by 2017 compared to today ? equivalent to the current coal consumption of Russia and the United States combined. Coal?s share of the global energy mix continues to grow each year, and if no changes are made to current policies, coal will catch oil within a decade.?
She noted that the report?s forecasts are based on a troubling assumption, namely, that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) will not be available during the outlook period. ?CCS technologies are not taking off as once expected, which means CO2 emissions will keep growing substantially. Without progress in CCS, and if other countries cannot replicate the US experience and reduce coal demand, coal faces the risk of a potential climate policy backlash,? she said.”
More than 1,000 new coal plants planned worldwide, figures show Guardian 20 November 2012
“More than 1,000 coal-fired power plants are being planned worldwide, new research has revealed.
The huge planned expansion comes despite warnings from politicians, scientists and campaigners that the planet’s fast-rising carbon emissions must peak within a few years if runaway climate change is to be avoided and that fossil fuel assets risk becoming worthless if international action on global warming moves forward.
Coal plants are the most polluting of all power stations and the World Resources Institute (WRI) identified 1,200 coal plants in planning across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India. The capacity of the new plants add up to 1,400GW to global greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of adding another China ? the world’s biggest emitter. India is planning 455 new plants compared to 363 in China, which is seeing a slowdown in its coal investments after a vast building programme in the past decade.”
“In a deteriorating economic situation, Germany?s new environment minister, Peter Altmaier, who is as politically close to Chancellor Angela Merkel as it gets, has underlined time and again the importance of not further harming Europe?s ? and Germany?s ? economy by increasing the cost of electricity.
He is also worried that his country could become dependent on foreign imports of electricity, the mainstay of its industrial sector. To avoid that risk, Altmaier has given the green light to build twenty-three new coal-fired plants, which are currently under construction.
Yes, you read that correctly, twenty three-new coal-fired power plants are under construction in Germany, because Germany is worried about the increasing cost of electricity, and because they can?t afford to be in the strategic position of importing too much electricity.”