Can coal keep up?

Can coal keep up?

PostBy: Gary in Pennsylvania On: Fri Dec 15, 2006 1:25 pm


http://news.monstersandcritics.com/energywatch/features/article_1233506.php/Can_coal_keep_up
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


Here is the text:

From Monsters and Critics.com

Energy Features
Can coal keep up?
By Kristyn Ecochard
Dec 15, 2006, 14:16 GMT



WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- To meet projected coal demands, major investments are needed in transportation lines and clean-burning technologies, the results of a new study by Global Energy Decisions show.

The results show that while demand and projected capacity are increasing, steady decline in actual production along with increasing production costs have put the coal supply chain in a potentially weak position.

Energy Information Administration projections expect the U.S. coal supply to increase by 121 million tons over the next five years but, since 1999, production has been sluggish and the only increases in supply have come from imports.

Based on mine-level reports GED used in its study, coal production capacity in the United States only increased 2 million tons per year from 2000 to 2004. Imports have been increasing at close to 20 percent a year while domestic production has been increasing by 1 percent. U.S. productivity at basins like Appalachia and Powder River is expected to decline over the next five years. Rising operational costs reflect the slow down.

Gary Hunt, president of Global Energy Advisors, pegged underinvestment as the biggest source of the coal industry`s problems.

'With gas fired combined cycle generation, natural gas became the fuel of choice during the last building boom,' he said. 'It was cheaper and more easily available and regulatory policy was favoring it.'

Now, Hunt said, there`s too much of it and in an effort to build a more diverse mix of fuels, coal, nuclear and renewable are all competing. With increasing concerns about greenhouse gases and carbon emission regulations, the coal industry needs to clean up and do it in a way that allows it to compete economically.

Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle technology will allow for clean burning but it`s still a new technology, Hunt said. It might be used in the 46 new plants planned by 2011 and retrofits would be put in older plants, but until the technology is more widely used, the capital for a plant that uses IGCC technology can be twice the amount of a traditional plant.

GED`s prediction for demand is that by 2011 the U.S. will need 1163.2 million tons of coal, 124 million more than current demand, mostly because high gas prices and stronger load growth lend themselves to higher coal demand.

To meet those demands, the National Coal Council is backing a program that would pre-emptively raise 2025 demand to 2.43 billion tons. NCC expectations could be met only if coal production increases 4 percent per year for the next 20 years. That number is much different from the EIA estimates.

'If you look at the EIA`s Annual Energy Outlook from 2006, the tables say that the annual average percent change from 2004 to 2030 is 1.6 percent,' said Fred Freme, coal industry economist for the EIA. 'We don`t see that as a problem.'

Possible legislation and how it will affect the industry would be the biggest factor in the coal industry`s success or failure of meeting demand, Freme said, but that can`t be predicted. Using current regulations and world oil prices, among other given assumptions, the EIA model allows predictions but they do not include predictions about future legislation.

'I think everyone anticipates we will see stricter carbon emission regulations in the future. The question is how strict and how soon,' Hunt said. 'Many countries in the EU failed to meet requirements because of lack of time to develop and deploy technology that would significantly lower emissions.'

The study concludes that specific infrastructure changes and investments will be needed in order for the coal industry to catch up. Some of the changes include railroad maintenance and expansion, rolling stock, port and waterway expansion, barges and others. Those changes will depend on the basin or market and its unique problems, Hunt said.

'In western coal, specifically the Powder River Basin, the key is maintaining an adequate level of transport capability. In the eastern coals, it`s older underground mines and there it`s a question of investing in new technology in mining the coal and bringing it to the market. Overall, IGCC technology and clean-burning plants will be biggest infrastructure investment.'

Slow development of alternative fuel and power choices will keep coal in a high demand position for at least the next 20 years.

'Coal still provides about 50 percent of fuel for power generation, but it`s going to take substantial investment and new global players with deeper pockets and some ability to adapt to uncertain conditions,' Hunt said.

(Comments to energy@upi.com)

Copyright 2006 by United Press International





Interesting
Gary in Pennsylvania
 

PostBy: JerseyCoal On: Fri Dec 15, 2006 3:52 pm

Enlightening article Gary. Thank you for posting it. I understand that the large power generating facilities typically use bituminous coal because it is cheaper than anthracite. If the demand for the softer coal is great enough, it stands to reason that the price of bituminous will rise accordingly. If it gets expensive enough, the price may begin to approach that of anthracite and push that price up too. But that begs the question: can the large power generating facilities burn anthracite if they are currently set up for bituminous coal? If not, then we homeowners should be protected in the price department. However, if the supply of anthracite is gobbled in order to generate power, the question won't be how much will it cost but, rather, can we even get any at any price.

I have read that China has huge coal reserves and that they are working on infrastructure improvements so that it can be trasported to their ports and shipped overseas. With their vast supply of slave/prison labor, they may be able to mine and ship coal to the US cheaper than we can dig it out here. If so, the supply may be augmented and the prices stabilized. Let's hope so.
JerseyCoal
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Franco Belge model 10.1475

PostBy: Yanche On: Fri Dec 15, 2006 11:31 pm

The bigger concern for anthracite demand would come from the steel industry as a replacement for coke. Coke, or more correctly carbon, is necessary to make steel from iron ore. Strict pollution regulations in the US has closed most if not all coke ovens. Coke for steel making is now imported from China where pollution regulations are non-existent. As the demand for steel in China increases they will reduce their exports of coke. For a very complete and scientific energy analysis read the book, "The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy" by Peter W. Huber. When all is considered it turns out nuclear energy is the safest and most environmentally friendly. If ... politics are left out of it. Because of long lead times only coal can meet the US demand for energy in the next 20 years. A new coal mine and breaker is a lot cheaper than a ocean oil well and refinery and is way cheaper than nuclear. Global warming is real but that's another story.

Yanche
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea


PostBy: Berlin On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:16 am

"Global warming is real"

ha! :lol:
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:58 am

Berlin wrote:"Global warming is real"

ha! :lol:


I can't say I disagree with global warming, there's no doubt in my mind it's real. What I do disagree about is what the cause is... If you look back though history the earth's temperature fluctuated just as it's doing now but from the charts I've seen this is an above normal spike, whether we are the cause or it's just nature taking it's natural course is debatable, at least IMO.

I'm practical and a realist and until there is a viable economical alternative I'll continue to burn coal and have no doubt others will continue to burn fossil fuels for many years into the future. One thing that is not being addressed is even if ultra-modern (for lack of better term) like the US begin to use alternative sources what about other third world countries and countries like China who's economies are just now beginning to ramp up... they certainly are not going to be able to afford the technologies or in China's case even care to implement them if it's going to affect the bottom line or slow there economies down.

I'm all for protecting the environment but simply doing away the use of fossil fuels in the US is not going to help if in fact that is the root cause of global warming.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:05 am

Anyone who knows anything about this planet knows there was a mile of ice over us 16,000-18,000 years ago. It didn't melt from coal fired plants or SUVs, that's for sure. Temperatures were fluctuating long before man showed up.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

PostBy: mjwood0 On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:17 am

Berlin wrote:"Global warming is real"

ha! :lol:


:shock:

I'm confused. Right now, we're technically in an ice age. Granted we are on the warming end of an ice age (hence the lack of a mile or so of ice over everything), but research has shown that this planet has fluctuated from very hot to very cold many times in its history. Ironically, plant and animal life has a hard time surviving at any time other than during a specific period along the swing from ice age to non-ice age.

There is no doubt that "Global warming is real". It's just like Coal Man said. We can't be certain that we, the people on earth, are causing things to warm up faster than they should.
mjwood0
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Econo

PostBy: jimbo970 On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:57 am

If it were not for the changes the planet has undergone for millions of years we wouldnt have anthracite coal today.
jimbo970
 

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:12 am

I have to support Yanche's statement that 'Global Warming is Real' I think a lot of us are reading too much into that statement. Yanche didn't actually say that it was mankind's fault, or that it was an abnormal spike in global temperatures.

From a pilot's perspective, I am seeing higher temperatures at higher altitudes than twenty years ago. There is a standard temperature for each altitude called ISA* Twenty years ago it was rare to see ISA+10*, now I often see ISA+15* and ISA+20*.

BUT!! And this is very important. ALL of these 'standards' have been established in the last century. To get some historical data, climatologists are reading ancient texts from the middle ages. This is not really 'science' more like grasping for information.

I remember 40 years ago having weeks of 90*+ and seeing the ashphalt oozing tar at the edges as I bicycled around on my paper route. I can't remember three 90* days in a row in the last several years, at least in SE Michigan.

Temperature control on a global scale is a very finicky and delicate thing. Another eruption like Mt St. Helens, or larger will have us complaining about a new pending ice age for a few years !!

I do wish we would go nuclear, and use this precious coal and oil for medicines and plastics.

Greg L

.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:25 am

LsFarm wrote:I do wish we would go nuclear, and use this precious coal and oil for medicines and plastics.


The world will never run out of either for things such as that, at least for many centuries to come. There is a finite amount of oil and as I mentioned last year in another similar thread the recoverable reserves of oil are estimated to run out in 60 years as medium time. That's not to say there won't be any oil, it just won't be feasible to extract it for energy purposes. It will be very expensive and used for purposes such as plastics...

Coal reserves off the top of my head are listed somewhere above the century mark.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: bugize On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:31 am

:shock: yes,i remember reading some place coal,at present usage is around 200 yrs left,i believe in this country alone. china and canada have alot of coal in the ground also.the oil reserves,well...i remember in the 70's they said i think 50 yrs left back then....and when they said that, we started seeing the price jump.I personally feel it is a definate move in major oil companys to cause mayhem and worry to keep the price up,plus all the state and federal taxes dont help either.remember in the 80's all the offshore oil rigs was being mothballed? why?,because it was cheaper to buy oil overseas and ship it here.now they are saying thats one of the main reasons the cost is high and they are looking into tapping the ocean floor again! if memory serves,the price of gas at the pump in iraq is...a whopping...35 cents per gallon....thats what we had in the early 70's. ya i know the cost of living and the price of doing business has gone up...why...cause the price of oil has pushed it up.coal hasnt jumped that much in recent years...the coal mines are being run by blood and sweat rather than greed.dont cry poverty to me then report 10 million dollor profits per quarter.we need more people like the coal man who run this site free of charge to us,and with the help of ls farms,moderate it in their free time to benifit us...thanks guys.I am sorry for venting and i do appoligize if i offended anyone...i know this is a coal forum not a place to bitch and complain...once i got going i couldnt stop :lol: ...if i wasnt heating with coal....man....things would be tough!...coal man....sorry once again...i will not use this forum for editorial veiws again! :shock:
bugize
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark3

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 12:13 pm

bugize wrote:sorry once again...i will not use this forum for editorial veiws again! :shock:


Feel free, I would never consider censoring anyones views whatever they may be. If someone came on here and said we were all killing the planet I wouldn't censor it, where I would draw the line is if it got personal, posted in topics where it doesn't belong, or just to be a PITA.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

PostBy: mjwood0 On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:02 pm

bugize wrote:sorry once again...i will not use this forum for editorial veiws again! :shock:


I'd have to say, your editorial views are quite in line with a good majority of people who are sick of watching oil companies get rich while the consumers are going broke trying to get to work.

On a more positive note, there are alternatives. New technology is emerging every day to lessen dependence on oil. Switching to something like coal now could potentially save you much more than in 10 years when everyone is trying to switch due to even higher oil prices. Coal stoves will go up in price as well since there will be such a demand. Supply and Demand are tricky and frankly a pain :x
mjwood0
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Econo

PostBy: Yanche On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:43 pm

Wow, I never would have expected such a response to my global warming comment. While we all have our own biases and political views objective science doesn't, it just has uncertainty in the data. As Greg points the reasons for global warming are difficult to say for certain. My entire engineering career was spent designing electronics for spacecraft. Most had some scientific objective to better understand the earth we all live on. Goddard Space Flight Center here in Maryland is the center for analysis of all NASA scientific data. While I'm now retired I still maintain my contacts in the global science community. The problem is real and any real solution will require a global response. That said there is no excuse for any country not to reduce their contribution to the problem. In fact North America is a "carbon sink", a good thing. Prevailing winds blow from West to East. By measuring the CO2 in the atmosphere on the west coast vs. the east coast it is almost certain that even though North America emits emits huge amounts of CO2 from power plants, the photosynthesis process converts a net gain of CO2 into carbon. While the public hears the term "global warming", the real concern is we might be changing the global weather environment by warming it which then allows more water vapor in the atmosphere. This warms the air which allows more water vapor to be held in the atmosphere and soon you have a run away greenhouse on a global scale. This is what Greg sees as rising historical air temperature measured from an aircraft. The scientific debate is when do we reach the tipping point? A few experts say 10 years, others don't know.

As I've suggested previously read the book "The Bottomless Well" by Peter W. Huber. If you don't have an interest give it to someone who does as a Holiday gift. It's not all gloom and doom, the book suggests many ways developed and developing countries can make a difference. We need to have a much more educated public on the issues. So just keep burning coal in the most efficient stove you can afford to buy. And plant a tree or two or more to compensate the CO2 you generate.

Yanche
Yanche
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

PostBy: bugize On: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:45 pm

:shock: ok,good....thx coal man..i have heard the term PITA before...at the risk of sounding ignorant :? i dont know what it stands for..probably something i dont like.. :lol: ,global warming is an issue but one thing i have noticed..burning wood puts alot of pollutents in the atmosphere,i used to heat with wood...man has used wood since they could start a fire...think of all the wood heat fires....plus forest fires ,way before even oil furnaces were invented. we are talking alot of smoke...i go outside while my coal stove is humping...i dont see any smoke!....gotta love it :shock:
bugize
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: Mark3


cron