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A few days after my post on The Chinese Coal Monster was published I received an email from Jean Laherrere with the following charts and some comments: One of the puzzles addressed in the original post was the fact that BP data showed Chinese production and consumption to be broadly in balance making it difficult to explain reports of surging coal imports. Jean's main point is that EIA data provides a different picture to that provided by BP and that the BP data are likely wrong. It is very important to know that China is importing much more than in the past.
There are many unfortunate outcomes to Peak Oil . One of the more serious is the world’s transition back to coal. Expensive BTU from crude oil has influenced the energy adoption pathway of the Developing World for ten years now, pushing the five billion people in the Non-OECD towards coal. My work has documented this shift for some time.
Commodity Online Year 2012 is shaping up to be another year when the developments in the Pacific Basin will be the key determinants of coal demand. With US demand muted by low gas prices and EU demand kept in check by expansion in renewable generation and poor macroeconomic prospects, Asia will be the sole source of market impetus, says Barcalys in a report. Asia is something of a mixed bag for the market, with 2012 possibly heralding the beginning of a period which sees Chinese import demand starts to fall. The issue is not really a lack of incremental demand as the robust build out of coal-fired generation continues apace with another 300 GW being scheduled to be commissioned in the period between 2011 and 2015 – adding around 570 mt of demand by 2015. “We would expect overall lower prices in 2012 for all of the major coal benchmarks with API2 forecast to average 115 $/t, API4 111 $/t and Newcastle 120 $/t” the report notes.
1. While coal prices become more volatile, natural gas prices appear more stable (and the cost of renewable energy is dropping fast). 2. The delivered price of coal increased three times faster than inflation over the past five years . 3. States dependent on coal had the highest electricity price increase in the past five years. 4. U.S.
China is pushing forward with a new strategy for expanding access to coal energy that could also reduce its environmental impact: turning coal into clean-burning gases in the ground. At a U.K.-Chinese summit in Beijing late last month that included British prime minister David Cameron and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao, a $1.5-billion commercial partnership was launched to gasify six million tons of buried coal per year and generate 1,000 megawatts of power. The project in Inner Mongolia’s Yi He coal field is being advanced by the state-owned China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group , and U.K.
SHANGHAI (Commodity Online): China, the largest consumer of energy, is scrambling for energy to keep its mammoth economic engine from slowing down in the face of falling coal supplies, which remains to be the corner stone of power generation in the country. Early advent of summer in China has turned the situation seemingly direr in combination with the inflation in the region. The hostile winter that preceded the prevalent weather is known to have caused the shortage of coal in China. Chinese power shortages are not uncommon during the summers, but what distinguishes it this time is that it has commenced earlier than usual and at a time when inflation seems to be weighing the economy down. China had imposed power cuts during last year to cull inefficient energy intensive production units and to achieve the pollution reduction targets set for the year.
The Beginning of the End for Coal? I saw in Tuesday's Washington Post that the EPA was ready to issue its proposed rules for CO2 emissions from new power plants. When finalized, these rules would apply to facilities larger than 25 MW that begin construction more than a year hence. As the Post notes, the chosen CO2 emissions limit of 1,000 lb. per gross Megawatt-hour (MWh) generated would make it virtually impossible for a new conventional coal-fired generating plant to comply with this requirement. That looks like another positive for natural gas, which is coal's nearest competitor today.
The most extreme of the positions on the imminent coal peak is that of Tad Patzek and Greg Croft. (Energy, Volume 35, Issue 8, August 2010, Pages 3109-3122) In that paper the authors had inserted a predictive graph on coal energy production rate, as follows: From Patzek and Croft As you may note, this suggests that we are right at that cusp of peak production and it is all downhill from here. With the major sources of energy for the planet currently coming from coal and oil, and with the recent comments both from the IEA and the Joint Services Command about the peaking of oil, that would transfer a lot of the load to natural gas, which is the third major source, according to the IEA. (And it should be noted that P&C did include the following from the IEA in their presentation.
Like many others, Bernstein Research analyst Hugh Wynne thinks the election of Scott Brown to a Massachusetts Senate seat last week is a death knell for cap-and-trade legislation, at least under this administration (we don’t necessarily agree with this assessment, but more about that later). And like others, he points to new EPA regulations as being an alternative source of curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Only instead of the EPA’s CO2 endangerment finding, it’s the proposed tightening of sulphur dioxide emissions rules that Wynne says could affect US coal-fired power plants so much that US demand for coal goes into ‘secular decline’. The existing standards, set in 1971, specify a 24-hour “primary standard” for SO2 emissions at 140 parts per billion, and an annual average standard at 30 ppb, and a “secondary standard” for three-hour periods at 500ppb.
Published: Feb. 4, 2010 at 1:10 PM JAKARTA, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Indonesia, the world's third-largest coal exporter, plans to gradually cease its coal exports to save for its future needs, says a government official. The National Energy Board, or DEN, is now putting together such a recommendation to be submitted to the government this month, state-owned news agency ANTARA reports.
This site offers free asthma inhalers but still claims that coal is the safest form of energy. Image: coalcares.org. "Why free inhalers? Because COAL CARES.
Jan 25 2010, 02:40 by: Gregor Macdonald | includes: CSX , KOL , SHY , TBT , TLT , UNG , USO About this article Emailed to: 28,400 people who get Macro View daily .
The price of energy has a very strong influence on the energy choices governments and individuals make. I sometimes hear people ask "Why are we still building coal-fired power plants?" or "Why don't we replace more petroleum with biomass?" One reason is that biomass is generally more difficult to use from a logistical point of view.
OECD demand growth for oil faltered years ago, as far back as 2004 when oil went above the “unthinkable” price of 40 dollars a barrel. In the developing world, the escalating price of oil did not as much delay, as divert, energy demand to the powergrid. To an extent that’s hard to measure, but certainly evidenced by power generation buildout and growth in electrified transport, the rising price of oil sent a confirmatory signal to the Non-OECD: stay on your coal trajectory. Of course, overall demand for all types of energy in the developing world took off ten years ago. Indeed, in 2008 for the first time ever , energy demand in the Non-OECD eclipsed by a hair all energy demand in the OECD.
Despite the largely disappointing outcome of Copenhagen and the fact that worldwide emissions are growing apace, there are still optimists in the clean energy sector. These individuals would have us believe there is a kind of unassailable momentum made up of political sentiment, fear of regulation, and consumer and shareholder insistence. There’s some evidence for this argument, though it’s mostly limited to developed countries, where demand for some types of energy are peaking anyway. For example: a couple of weeks ago we looked at a report about the death of US coal .