Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Global Coal Industry Booms: India and China Alone Adding 200 New Coal Plants

In the US, natural gas is replacing coal in new electricity generating power plants. As a result, CO2 emissions in the US have declined. In Europe, on the other hand, six times more coal units than natural gas units will be installed by 2015. You can imagine what that will do to Europe's carbon emissions.

But the true champions of coal are China and India, where 200 large new coal power plants will be built over the next few years. All of this while green faux environmentalists in western governments are working to institute ruinous carbon regulations on Europe, North America, and Oceania -- in the name of reducing global carbon emissions!

But another problem stood out. India relies on coal for 55 percent of its electric power and struggles to keep enough on hand.

Coal remains a critical component of the world’s energy supply despite its bad image. In China, demand for coal in 2010 resulted in a traffic jam 75 miles long caused by more than 10,000 trucks carrying supplies from Inner Mongolia. India is increasing coal imports.

So is Europe, as it takes advantage of lower coal prices in the United States. Higher-priced natural gas on the Continent is creating demand for more coal imports from the United States, where coal is taking a drubbing from less expensive natural gas.

...Coal is not subject to the vagaries of windless or sunless days, and can easily meet base-load demands of electricity consumers without interruption. So can nuclear power, but the nuclear industry is still reeling from the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. Countries like Germany have turned away from nuclear reactors.

Global demand for coal is expected to grow to 8.9 billion tons by 2016 from 7.9 billion tons this year, with the bulk of new demand — about 700 million tons — coming from China, according to a Peabody Energy study. China is expected to add 240 gigawatts, the equivalent of adding about 160 new coal-fired plants to the 620 operating now, within four years. During that period, India will add an additional 70 gigawatts through more than 46 plants.

“If you poke your head outside of the U.S., coal-fired plants are being built left and right,” said William L. Burns, an energy analyst with Johnson Rice in New Orleans. “Coal is still the cheapest fuel source.” _NYT_via_GWPF
While the leadership of Europe, North America, and Oceania are suffering from carbon insanity, the leaders of China and India are not so deluded. They understand the critical importance of electrical power that does not turn off when the sun goes down or when the wind stops blowing. Modern industrial nations cannot run on the intermittent unreliable energy sources which Obama, Merkel, Gillard, and the others of similar mental turpitude tend to favour.

And please take note of the hypocrisy of the European governments that are willing to mortgage their economic and industrial futures on the backs of big wind and big solar for the sake of carbon reductions -- while at the same time building huge new coal power plants.

Modern societies cannot afford such stupid leaders as these, if they are to survive to reach the next level of abundance. But it seems that we may have reached a point of diminishing returns as far as democracy is concerned. When democracy becomes a rule of the mob which simply votes itself favours and sinecures, it is time for the more productive and competent to consider how to trim the fat and the dead weight.

As governments commit energy and industrial suicide via intermittent unreliables, and fall victim to carbon hysteria, their productive base tends to diminish. This increases instability in the overall system, and leads to chaotic shifts in foci of power and control.

Keep a close watch as things develop.

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