Coal remains a major source of power in Europe.

Europe is not meeting its objectives to greatly reduce coal use. Germany especially is not able to do so. This is a clear indication that major emphasis must be placed on increased natural gas use. Natural gas should be developed in Europe with complete infrastructure for import and mined domestically. 

https://climatechangedispatch.com/germany-struggles-to-end-coal-power/

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The shift won't be to a source that makes them dependant to other nations, but to solar, wind and storage. Sure for now coal still plays a big role in Germany, but it won't be for long, because in ten years approximately 100% of their electricity will come from solar and wind.

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ZF We will see but my bet is on natural gas. IMHO it will increase market share. Ethanol and all renewables will also increase. .Europe has been fooled by Russian anti-fracking propaganda as Russia produces more. Europe can produce much of their own natural gas and enjoy the economic benefits. It is just a matter of time. 

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The real problem with coal is psychological.  Quality coal, the extra-hard Anthracite stuff that you get from the US East Coast, sitting inside the Appalachian Mountains, in New York State, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky, burns just great, and it over 50% carbon. I gather the Germans are not burning that type of coal.  What that have is "soft coal," a bituminous-coal grade that has much lower heat content and produces both smoke and particles.  Can those outputs be corralled?  Sure, if you install scrubbers and baghouse filters. But you need water sprays - lots of water - to scrub coal dust, and you then need to separate the coagulated material from the water, and Germany has a political climate that prevents such use on any large scale. 

What is a German to do?  The logical answer,considering that Germany is a technologically advanced society, is to construct a large number of new nuclear power plants.  Will they do the logical thing?  Probably not. Why not?  Because the government has surrendered to the behavior of their crazies.  Right now, in highly technical Germany, the decisions are being made by the illiterati.  Go figure. 

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(edited)

On 9/29/2018 at 6:11 PM, JunoTen said:

The shift won't be to a source that makes them dependant to other nations, but to solar, wind and storage. Sure for now coal still plays a big role in Germany, but it won't be for long, because in ten years approximately 100% of their electricity will come from solar and wind.

Hi JunoTen.  You are being sarcastic, right?  

"The shift won't be to a source that makes them dependant to other nations".  Like the 60+% coming in from Russia right now?

"but to solar, wind and storage".  Who's solar, wind and storage?  Living in Germany for 5 years, I never felt the need to apply sunscreen or put on a windbreaker, but I suppose storage can be purchased.

Germany is very, very, concerned about the image they project to the rest of the world, and even to their neighbors with regards to what a good citizen they are, but industrialists are still expected to and relied upon to carry on quietly supplying what the German economy and people need and want.  Just my opinion of course, I could be wrong.

I'd better add that there are propeller farms all over Germany already, so I'm guessing they know the numbers there.  Those propeller farms are hideous to look at and there has historically been resistance to increasing the amount of acreage committed to them.  Can they continue to do so, or will the population put an eventual stop to it and say "it's OK to put up more of them in other countries, and we can buy electricity from them"?

Edited by Dan Warnick
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(edited)

If Germany goes through with its nuclear shut down by 2020 it will need a lot more coal, gas from Russia or LNG (Liquid Natural Gas).   Solar and wind energy cannot replace nuclear because it only works when the wind blows and the sun shines.

Even without the politically motivated shutdown of nuclear plants they will eventually be shut down because of their age.  Not enough new nuclear plants will be built to replace the old ones because they are too expensive.  Nuclear cannot be replaced by solar and wind because these renewable sources only work when it is sunny or windy. 

Countries with access to cheap natural gas from fracking like the US and Canada will replace nuclear with gas.  Countries that don't have access to cheap gas will have to use coal or expensive LNG.  These realities will make the climate alarmists upset but it will happen because their really is no other realistic option than to use coal and gas to replace electricity from old nuclear plants.

Edited by PeterfromCalgary
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On 10/1/2018 at 9:24 AM, Jan van Eck said:

The real problem with coal is psychological.  Quality coal, the extra-hard Anthracite stuff that you get from the US East Coast, sitting inside the Appalachian Mountains, in New York State, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky, burns just great, and it over 50% carbon. I gather the Germans are not burning that type of coal.  What that have is "soft coal," a bituminous-coal grade that has much lower heat content and produces both smoke and particles.  Can those outputs be corralled?  Sure, if you install scrubbers and baghouse filters. But you need water sprays - lots of water - to scrub coal dust, and you then need to separate the coagulated material from the water, and Germany has a political climate that prevents such use on any large scale. 

What is a German to do?  The logical answer,considering that Germany is a technologically advanced society, is to construct a large number of new nuclear power plants.  Will they do the logical thing?  Probably not. Why not?  Because the government has surrendered to the behavior of their crazies.  Right now, in highly technical Germany, the decisions are being made by the illiterati.  Go figure. 

Have you seen the cost of high grade Anthracite? Its 2x the price of Bituminous coal. It is used as a metallurgical coal but no one uses it in large scale power plants. 

You are actually describing Bituminous Coal. Anthracite has a Carbon content of >90%

Germany predominantly uses Lignite (Brown Coal) which it has lots of and is a much lower grade coal than Bituminous coal / Sub Bit Coal.

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54 minutes ago, NickW said:

Have you seen the cost of high grade Anthracite? Its 2x the price of Bituminous coal. It is used as a metallurgical coal but no one uses it in large scale power plants. 

Interestingly, anthracite is available as a retail item in upstate New York and New England, at about $115/ton delivered.  Also, the vendor will bag it into 50-lb bags for a bagging fee, then you can carry the bags down into your cellar if you have no "chute" and in turn carry it upstairs to put into your cast-iron or pot-belly stove.  Seems to be both cheaper than wood and, of course, burns hotter, and you can bank it for the night. 

Coal had  lost popularity when oil was cheap, and many a coal furnace was changed over to oil.  Now that oil has gotten pricey, nobody is re-converting back to oil, but coal stoves are being installed, there to provide primary heat, typically in the kitchen or living room, and then if an additional oomph of heat is needed, they let the oil furnace kick on for a bit.  Cuts way down on the heating bills.  An old farmhouse in rural Vermont can cost over $6,500 a season to heat, and that is with the heat limited to only 50 degrees (F). In the old days, nobody bothered with insulation, they just shovelled more coal!

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16 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Interestingly, anthracite is available as a retail item in upstate New York and New England, at about $115/ton delivered.  Also, the vendor will bag it into 50-lb bags for a bagging fee, then you can carry the bags down into your cellar if you have no "chute" and in turn carry it upstairs to put into your cast-iron or pot-belly stove.  Seems to be both cheaper than wood and, of course, burns hotter, and you can bank it for the night. 

Coal had  lost popularity when oil was cheap, and many a coal furnace was changed over to oil.  Now that oil has gotten pricey, nobody is re-converting back to oil, but coal stoves are being installed, there to provide primary heat, typically in the kitchen or living room, and then if an additional oomph of heat is needed, they let the oil furnace kick on for a bit.  Cuts way down on the heating bills.  An old farmhouse in rural Vermont can cost over $6,500 a season to heat, and that is with the heat limited to only 50 degrees (F). In the old days, nobody bothered with insulation, they just shovelled more coal!

Anthracite was commonly used as a domestic fuel in UK Cities after the Clean Air Acts were brought in. Subsequently solid fuel was replaced by Gas but the switch to smokeless fuels brought about a rapid improve in air quality.

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Natural gas will eventually be distributed to almost all areas worldwide either as piped, CNG, or LNG. It can also be blended with hydrogen or other gases, When that happens it will be the primary fuel worldwide including, hopefully, transportation of all kinds. The reasons are cost, cleanliness, and abundance. 

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On 10/1/2018 at 3:24 AM, Jan van Eck said:

The real problem with coal is psychological.  Quality coal, the extra-hard Anthracite stuff that you get from the US East Coast, sitting inside the Appalachian Mountains, in New York State, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky, burns just great, and it over 50% carbon. I gather the Germans are not burning that type of coal.  What that have is "soft coal," a bituminous-coal grade that has much lower heat content and produces both smoke and particles.  Can those outputs be corralled?  Sure, if you install scrubbers and baghouse filters. But you need water sprays - lots of water - to scrub coal dust, and you then need to separate the coagulated material from the water, and Germany has a political climate that prevents such use on any large scale. 

What is a German to do?  The logical answer,considering that Germany is a technologically advanced society, is to construct a large number of new nuclear power plants.  Will they do the logical thing?  Probably not. Why not?  Because the government has surrendered to the behavior of their crazies.  Right now, in highly technical Germany, the decisions are being made by the illiterati.  Go figure.  

Supposing Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plants became available, would they solve the lignite emissions problem?

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59 minutes ago, mthebold said:

Supposing Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plants became available, would they solve the lignite emissions problem?

Probably.  But I suspect the plant owner would still have to install either a washer ["scrubber"] or a baghouse filter on the flue.  Washing a gas stream with a spray nozzle or a fog nozzle will remove vast quantities of particulate matter,but you do need the source of water and some means to remove the particles, typically a settling pond.  Baghouse filters tend to be very expensive, you have these tall bags of filter cloth  (could be eighty feet), and you need a mechanical shaker on the bags to periodically shake them and dislodge the trapped particles.  Then you have to remove the captured particles and dispose of them  (one solution is to incorporate the particles into paving asphalt). 

While coal gets scorned by the cognoscenti,  it is a great heating/boiler fuel when handled properly.  Don't underestimate King Coal. 

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9 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

While coal gets scorned by the cognoscenti,  it is a great heating/boiler fuel when handled properly.  Don't underestimate King Coal. 

As a rule, I don't pay attention to the predictions of bureaucrats or (most) academics, neither of which spend enough time in the Real World to know how it works.

My impression is that US coal demand got hit by a temporary storm:

1)  Closure of old plants due to MATS.

2)  Closure of plants in economically declining areas.

3)  Utilities shifting to natural gas. 

#1 is completely over, we've seen the brunt of #2, and #3 could be immediately reversed by a nat gas price increase.

The price of NG is particularly interesting to me.  The economy can do a lot with methane: synthesize petrochemicals, run commercial vehicles, run ships, heat homes, etc.  NG is cheap & plentiful in the US for the moment, but introducing an enormous, affordable supply expanded economical applications.  Those applications haven't yet materialized because liquefaction trains, petrochemical plants, ships, vehicles, etc. trickle into the market over many years.  In my mind, that raises some questions:

1)  As new demand trickles into the market, where can we expect the price of NG to settle? 

2)  At what NG price will utilities run existing coal plants flat-out and put NG plants on standby?

3)  At what price will utilities build new coal (USC instead of new NG?

4)  At what prices of oil and natural gas would it make sense to build gas-to-liquids plants, as we almost did a decade ago?

5)  At what price will foreign countries increase coal imports? 

Precise answers aren't possible, but we can still gain insight.  E.g. if the break-even price for petrochemical, shipping, and road transport is significantly higher than for electricity production, there exists the possibility of a reversion to coal. 

What are your thoughts? 

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On ‎10‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 7:29 PM, mthebold said:

As a rule, I don't pay attention to the predictions of bureaucrats or (most) academics, neither of which spend enough time in the Real World to know how it works.

My impression is that US coal demand got hit by a temporary storm:

1)  Closure of old plants due to MATS.

2)  Closure of plants in economically declining areas.

3)  Utilities shifting to natural gas. 

#1 is completely over, we've seen the brunt of #2, and #3 could be immediately reversed by a nat gas price increase.

The price of NG is particularly interesting to me.  The economy can do a lot with methane: synthesize petrochemicals, run commercial vehicles, run ships, heat homes, etc.  NG is cheap & plentiful in the US for the moment, but introducing an enormous, affordable supply expanded economical applications.  Those applications haven't yet materialized because liquefaction trains, petrochemical plants, ships, vehicles, etc. trickle into the market over many years.  In my mind, that raises some questions:

1)  As new demand trickles into the market, where can we expect the price of NG to settle? 

2)  At what NG price will utilities run existing coal plants flat-out and put NG plants on standby?

3)  At what price will utilities build new coal (USC instead of new NG?

4)  At what prices of oil and natural gas would it make sense to build gas-to-liquids plants, as we almost did a decade ago?

5)  At what price will foreign countries increase coal imports? 

Precise answers aren't possible, but we can still gain insight.  E.g. if the break-even price for petrochemical, shipping, and road transport is significantly higher than for electricity production, there exists the possibility of a reversion to coal. 

What are your thoughts? 

1) IEEFA says a total of 15.4GW (44units at 22 plants in 14 states) of coal fired capacity will close this year in the USA. How many are been built?

2)That's 14 states this year, is the USA in that much decline?

3)Gas some, but now wind and solar are taking sizable market share.

1)Price forecasts for fossil fuels seem to be like looking at the tea leafs.

2)It's not going that high, well maybe if the USA allows all the zombie frackers to continue with a bailout.

3)Have to be mad to start considering to build new coal plants, the economic risk is basically suicidal.

4)Same answer as 3

5)Would have to be ridiculously low, just about giving it away or even paying them to take it. Unless local politicians can be brought off.

King Coal is dead, Long life King Renewables.

Spain saw the light, no more mining in the new year. 

 

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The World needs to adopt an all the above energy policy. Green energy, fossil fuels, etc. The coal in Germany is Brown Coal or Lignite. Innovations are happening throughout the Energy sector. Such as the following innovation from Germany. Lignite has a higher water content. A solution- coal drying (pre-combustion)

http://kraftwerkforschung.info/en/lignite-drying/

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