Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Some Inconvenient Truths: China To Build 363 Coal-Fired Power Plants; The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant (In The US) To Close


September 21, 2015: natural gas processing plant in the works to replace the nuclear power plant? Don't hold your breath.  

Original Post
Do you all remember this post?
According to an analysis by the World Resources Institute [these are the activist environmentalists who are worried about global warming] in Washington, 1,200 coal-fired plants are proposed globally, with more than three-quarters of those planned for India and China alone. If all are built, which WRI says is unlikely, that would add more than 80 percent to existing capacity.
1,200 coal-fired plants on the drawing board world-wide. Wow.

Now, today, this article from the same WRI folks:
To maintain its economic growth and provide for its massive population, China must reconcile two powerful, converging trends: energy demand and resource scarcity. One prime example of this tension is the country’s coal use and water supply.
According to a new WRI analysis, more than half of China’s proposed coal-fired power plants are slated to be built in areas of high or extremely high water stress. If these plants are built, they could further strain already-scarce resources, threatening water security for China’s farms, other industries, and communities.
As of July 2012, China’s government planned 363 coal-fired power plants for construction across China, with a combined generating capacity exceeding 557 gigawatts (for reference, installed capacity at the end of 2012 was 758 GW. This amounts to an almost 75 percent increase in coal-fired generating capacity. China already ranks as world’s largest coal consumer, accounting for almost 50 percent of global coal use.
That pretty much tells me coal is going to be around for a long, long time and that the Obama war on coal will probably last about as long as his administration.

As XOM pointed out a long, long time ago, there isn't enough money to capitalize all the wind and solar farms the world would need to replace all those coal-fired power plants, and even if there was enough month, there would not be enough surface on the earth for all those renewable farms. The math simply doesn't work. But this is the Second Age of Romanticism, and not another Age of Science. At least in Washington, DC.

By the way, for the folks who think nuclear would fill the gap, not likely. Japan and Germany have said "no" to nuclear, and the latter is going back to coal. Japan, I believe, is going back to natural gas. And once nuclear plants are shut down, they will never be brought back on-line. The Vermont Yankee nuclear station is closing. Reuters is reporting:
Entergy Corp said it will shut its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, becoming the latest casualty of low power prices and utilities preferring cheap natural gas to generate electricity.
The 620-megawatt power station is not expected to produce power after its current fuel cycle and will be decommissioned in the fourth quarter of next year, the company said.
"This was an agonizing decision and an extremely tough call for us," said Leo Denault, Entergy's chief executive officer. Power prices have followed the natural gas market to lows, as the market grapples with the shale gas boom and flagging demand due to the struggling economy.
And so it goes. More engineers without a job. Fortunately there is ObamaCare being brought up to speed next year. 

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