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Can Technology Keep Coal Plants Alive and Well?

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Coal and nuclear are the only globally available and scalable base load electricity source.

Nuclear is too difficult and/or expensive at the moment ( moment=next 30 years perspective).

There is general consensus in the industry that coal will be the largest source of electricity in the next 60-80 years.

Lets get back to the question in 2080-2100 maybe the perspectives of coal would change at THAT moment.

Locally in rich or rich in hydrocarbons countries ( like US) natural gas is the solution.

But this is only locally ( the same as locally is the case with hydro and nuclear )

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On 8/29/2020 at 4:43 AM, Marcin2 said:

Coal and nuclear are the only globally available and scalable base load electricity source.

Nuclear is too difficult and/or expensive at the moment ( moment=next 30 years perspective).

There is general consensus in the industry that coal will be the largest source of electricity in the next 60-80 years.

Lets get back to the question in 2080-2100 maybe the perspectives of coal would change at THAT moment.

Locally in rich or rich in hydrocarbons countries ( like US) natural gas is the solution.

But this is only locally ( the same as locally is the case with hydro and nuclear )

In general I would agree with this, although I'd say natural gas has base load potential in the US because it's so cheap.

New nuclear is expensive *at the moment*, but the reasons for that are more regulatory (Outdated designs = massive safety costs), financial (huge plant + long build time = massive interest costs), and political (on-site union labor is expensive). These issues would all be solved with modern, small, modular designs. Many such designs are in the works. Do you have any thoughts on these?

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If any carbon capture tech becomes available, that doesn't require utilizing 20-30 percent of plant nameplate without it, that could be a savior for coal fired generation.

I don't see much promise of this in the foreseeable future. 

The Boundary Dam plant in Saskatchewan tried it.  It was a real technical and maintenance struggle, which I would expect. AND, they had a customer nearby for the gas.  I guess there's a handful of demo plants out there that I am unaware of.

Economically, it will require some sort of firm guarantee (and perhaps subsidies) from "someone" to move this along.

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On 3/2/2021 at 3:20 PM, turbguy said:

If any carbon capture tech becomes available, that doesn't require utilizing 20-30 percent of plant nameplate without it, that could be a savior for coal fired generation.

I don't see much promise of this in the foreseeable future. 

The Boundary Dam plant in Saskatchewan tried it.  It was a real technical and maintenance struggle, which I would expect. AND, they had a customer nearby for the gas.  I guess there's a handful of demo plants out there that I am unaware of.

Economically, it will require some sort of firm guarantee (and perhaps subsidies) from "someone" to move this along.

Realistically, ANY technology that aids a coal plant in operating more efficiently, or with fewer emissions will work better with a natural gas plant.  Worried about carbon emissions?  You have 1/2 as much to capture and dispose of with natural gas.  Worried about sulfur and volatiles emissions? Burn natural gas and your problem disappears.  Worried about ash and particulates? Burn natural gas and the problem disappears.  Have a better boiler, turbine, heat exchanger, superheater or condenser?  It will work with natural gas too.  The only benefit coal has is that it's cheap in places where it's close at hand.  That advantage has already been eliminated in places where natural gas is abundant, and the growth in LNG trade is steadily reducing the coal price advantage elsewhere.  

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(edited)

1 hour ago, Eric Gagen said:

Realistically, ANY technology that aids a coal plant in operating more efficiently, or with fewer emissions will work better with a natural gas plant.  Worried about carbon emissions?  You have 1/2 as much to capture and dispose of with natural gas.  Worried about sulfur and volatiles emissions? Burn natural gas and your problem disappears.  Worried about ash and particulates? Burn natural gas and the problem disappears.  Have a better boiler, turbine, heat exchanger, superheater or condenser?  It will work with natural gas too.  The only benefit coal has is that it's cheap in places where it's close at hand.  That advantage has already been eliminated in places where natural gas is abundant, and the growth in LNG trade is steadily reducing the coal price advantage elsewhere.  

So true.

And no pulverizers, bunkers, conveyors, or coal pile employees (and heavy equipment)  required.

And no ash erosion to deal with in the boiler.

Or ash disposal.

Edited by turbguy
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If the United States can put a River on Mars, Deploy a miniature helicopter and fly it several times, The brain racks of the science in U.S. can figure out how to get coal emissions down, THEY CHOOSE NOT TO, What a waste of decades of cheap energy….

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1 hour ago, RichieRich216 said:

If the United States can put a River on Mars, Deploy a miniature helicopter and fly it several times, The brain racks of the science in U.S. can figure out how to get coal emissions down, THEY CHOOSE NOT TO, What a waste of decades of cheap energy….

LOL, let's compare an extraordinarily expensive scientific research venture with burning coal.

Get NASA involved and tell me about how cheap and effective this process will be. 

The science is already there... the cost effectiveness is not; and never will be with so much natural gas around.

 

Edited by -trance

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At this point WHO GIVES A SHIT, They are pissing away Federal Money on more stupid groups, agencies and agendas! So if going to piss trillions away GO FOR IT…

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Obama did throw 4~5 billion at trying to clean up coal. It didn’t happen. A much larger number that didn’t work with Solyndra. That was 500 million. Notice the difference in the failures? Nobody remember Obama trying to save coal. 😂😳

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13 hours ago, RichieRich216 said:

If the United States can put a River on Mars, Deploy a miniature helicopter and fly it several times, The brain racks of the science in U.S. can figure out how to get coal emissions down, THEY CHOOSE NOT TO, What a waste of decades of cheap energy….

It's not worth trying, because there is not any good reason to continue using coal at all - see my comment above about natural gas.  

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There is always a good reason to use basically an unlimited supply of energy within your own borders! China doesn’t have any and continue to open at least one new coal fire plant per month! It’s called Self Preservation! Why import energy when we have decades of fossil fuel within our borders! If China had such reserves they would be opening 100 coal fire plants per month! 
 

I am tired of the U.S. have to take the “Moral Highground” argument used in propaganda against our own people, Just like the falsehood in the 19 hundreds that people came to America for freedom, That’s 100% bullshit, They came because they were starving before, during and after WW1! Some French propagandist gives us the Statue of Liberty and all of a sudden the narrative was changed! 
 

when immigrants wrote home and told them of 1000% better living conditions, That’s why the great migration to the United States.

We would have been better if we stayed out of WW1 and WW2 and let the rest of the World go fuck themselfs! A DEMOCRAT drew use into WW2 because he cut off oil sales to Japan which left them no other options but to hit use, and the propaganda machine cranked up and push a patriotic duty to go save the world!

What did it get us other then Husbands and Son’s never coming home and we then rebuilt all our enemies and became the World’s policeman! 
 

This Country was blessed with everything it needed within its our borders to sustain itself yet we constantly get drawn by political parties and politicians to spend Trillions on every other Country! Case in point, Brain Dead Joe giving South American Countries 36 Billion to incentivize keeping their population in South America! WW2, Roosevelt gave away Billions in the Lend/Lease to Russia and Countries fighting Germany, Fast forward, We have and are biggest contributor to NATO, Yet Assclown Joe closes our pipeline and allows Nordstream to continue from Russia to Germany fucking over the NATO COUNTRIES! Ohhhh but they are all going green! Such propaganda bullshit! The only Country that’s going to get fuck with this is the U.S.! 
 

when you have the biggest Corporation’s in the United States making astronomical profits it’s because the have off shored everything but the name! 
 

And in the end who are the real losers, The American people having to spill blood and pay for all this! It’s really a shame that True History is no longer taught in schools through college, They are just programming the next generation.

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On 5/22/2021 at 7:37 AM, RichieRich216 said:

There is always a good reason to use basically an unlimited supply of energy within your own borders! China doesn’t have any and continue to open at least one new coal fire plant per month! It’s called Self Preservation! Why import energy when we have decades of fossil fuel within our borders! If China had such reserves they would be opening 100 coal fire plants per month! 
 

I am tired of the U.S. have to take the “Moral Highground” argument used in propaganda against our own people, Just like the falsehood in the 19 hundreds that people came to America for freedom, That’s 100% bullshit, They came because they were starving before, during and after WW1! Some French propagandist gives us the Statue of Liberty and all of a sudden the narrative was changed! 
 

when immigrants wrote home and told them of 1000% better living conditions, That’s why the great migration to the United States.

We would have been better if we stayed out of WW1 and WW2 and let the rest of the World go fuck themselfs! A DEMOCRAT drew use into WW2 because he cut off oil sales to Japan which left them no other options but to hit use, and the propaganda machine cranked up and push a patriotic duty to go save the world!

What did it get us other then Husbands and Son’s never coming home and we then rebuilt all our enemies and became the World’s policeman! 
 

This Country was blessed with everything it needed within its our borders to sustain itself yet we constantly get drawn by political parties and politicians to spend Trillions on every other Country! Case in point, Brain Dead Joe giving South American Countries 36 Billion to incentivize keeping their population in South America! WW2, Roosevelt gave away Billions in the Lend/Lease to Russia and Countries fighting Germany, Fast forward, We have and are biggest contributor to NATO, Yet Assclown Joe closes our pipeline and allows Nordstream to continue from Russia to Germany fucking over the NATO COUNTRIES! Ohhhh but they are all going green! Such propaganda bullshit! The only Country that’s going to get fuck with this is the U.S.! 
 

when you have the biggest Corporation’s in the United States making astronomical profits it’s because the have off shored everything but the name! 
 

And in the end who are the real losers, The American people having to spill blood and pay for all this! It’s really a shame that True History is no longer taught in schools through college, They are just programming the next generation.

There is always a good reason to use basically an unlimited supply of energy within your own borders! China doesn’t have any and continue to open at least one new coal fire plant per month! It’s called Self Preservation! Why import energy when we have decades of fossil fuel within our borders! If China had such reserves they would be opening 100 coal fire plants per month! ?????? Dude you are babbling bs

2020 China produced 3.84 billion tons of coal......

China's 2020 coal output rises to highest since 2015, undermining climate pledges

BEIJING, Jan 18 (Reuters) - China's coal output rose last year to its highest since 2015, despite Beijing's climate change pledge to reduce consumption of the dirty fossil fuel and months of disruption at major coal mining hubs.

The world's biggest coal miner and consumer produced 3.84 billion tonnes of coal in 2020, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.

China's coal output dropped after reaching a peak of 3.97 billion tonnes in 2013, as Beijing axed excessive mining capacity and promoted clean energy consumption. But production is rising amid surging industrial demand and an unofficial restriction on coal imports aimed at shoring up the domestic mining industry.

 

For December alone, coal output was 351.89 million tonnes, up 3.2% from the same month last year, and up from 347.27 million tonnes in November.

 

 

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And China is going Green as part of the Paris Accords, Such bullshit! 

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