Tag Archives: Coal

A Big Green Mess in Germany With Coal a Stunning 31 Percent of Electricity, by Mike “Mish” Shedlock

One would think that going from natural gas and nuclear to coal is a step backwards. From Mike “Mish” Shedlock at mishtalk.com:

Coal provides a staggering 31% of German electricity production, up from 8% in 2015.

Coal Protests in Germany

Hoot of the Day

The Greens forced a shutdown of nuclear power under Angela Merkel. Now they are both for and against coal, the dirtiest of all electrical power sources.

Police Start Clearing German Village Condemned for Coal Mine

The Associated Press reports Police Start Clearing German Village Condemned for Coal Mine

Police in riot gear began evicting climate activists Wednesday from a condemned village in western Germany that is due to be demolished for the expansion of a coal mine.

Some stones and fireworks were thrown as officers entered the tiny hamlet of Luetzerath, which has become a flashpoint of debate over the country’s climate efforts, on Wednesday morning.

Police spokesman Andreas Mueller said the attacks on officers were “not nice” but noted that most of the protest so far had been peaceful.

By Wednesday afternoon dozens of activists remained camped out in Luetzerath, some in elaborate tree houses, as police slowly moved through the village clearing barricades and a communal soup kitchen.

Environmentalists say bulldozing the village to expand the nearby Garzweiler coal mine would result in huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. The government and utility company RWE argue the coal is needed to ensure Germany’s energy security.

Some activists expressed particular anger at the environmentalist Green party, which is part of both the regional and national governments that reached a deal with RWE last year allowing it to destroy the village in return for ending coal use by 2030, rather than 2038.

Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, a Green who is Germany’s economy and climate minister, defended the agreement as “a good decision for climate protection” that fulfills many of the environmentalists’ demands and saves five other villages from demolition.

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Are we finally reaching peak climate hysteria? By Brendan O’Neill

We can only hope. From Brendan O’Neill at spiked-online.com:

The eco-derangement of the elites is a threat to reason, freedom and jobs.

The madness of the greens is peaking. This week a leading eco-politician in the UK, Caroline Lucas of the Green Party, referred to the building of a new coalmine as a ‘crime against humanity’. Take that in. Once upon a time it was mass murder, extermination, enslavement and the forced deportation of a people that were considered crimes against humanity. Now the building of a mine in Cumbria in north-west England that will create 500 new jobs and produce 2.8million tonnes of coal a year is referred to in such terms. Perhaps the coalmine bosses should be packed off to The Hague. Maybe the men who’ll dig the coal should be forced alongside the likes of ISIS to account for their genocidal behaviour.

We cannot let Ms Lucas’s crazed comments just slide by. We need to reflect on how we arrived at a situation where a mainstream politician, one feted by the media establishment, can liken digging for coal to crimes of extermination. It was in the Guardian – where else? – that Ms Lucas made her feverish claims. On Wednesday, when the government gave the go-ahead to the Cumbria mine, the first new coalmine in Britain for 30 years, Lucas wrote that the whole thing is ‘truly terrible’. This ‘climate-busting, backward-looking coalmine’ is nothing short of a ‘climate crime against humanity’, she said.

It isn’t though, is it? Sorry to be pedantic but it is not a crime to extract coal from the earth. If it were, the leaders of China – where they produce 13million tonnes of coal a day , rather putting into perspective the Cumbria mine’s 2.8million tonnes a year – would be languishing in the clink. I look forward to Ms Lucas performing a citizen’s arrest on Xi Jinping. It certainly is not a crime against humanity. That term entered popular usage during the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. It refers to an act of evil of such enormity that it can be seen as an assault on all of humankind. Earth to Ms Lucas: extracting coal to make steel – what the Cumbria coal will mostly be used for – is not an affront to humankind. I’ll tell you what is an affront, though: speaking about the burning of coal in the same language that is used to refer to the burning of human beings. That, Caroline, is despicable.

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Across The World Coal Power Is Back, by Chadwick Hagan

It’s one of those seeming paradoxes that has only one answer. A world that is ostensibly transitioning to green energy is using more coal, the dirtiest of fuels. If you guessed government as the answer, give yourself a gold star. From Chadwick Hagan at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

A bucket-wheel dumping soil and sand removed from another area of the mine in Newcastle, Australia, the world’s largest coal exporting port, on Nov. 5, 2021. (Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images)

In the United States, coal consumption hit an all-time high in 2013, and soon after most every Wall Street bank and liberal activist declared coal as dead.

Still, coal energy was the dominant form of energy in the United States until 2016, and this year global coal consumption is set to reach 2013’s record levels.

In February of this year, Central Appalachian coal production hit a two-year high. Now the price of coal is rising to record levels in the United States and across the world.

Sounds like a tremendous amount of activity for an industry that has been declared dead.

What gives?

First off, let’s be honest, fossil fuels still account for much of America’s energy. According to the EIA’s Monthly Energy Review: “Fossil fuels—petroleum, natural gas, and coal—accounted for 79 percent of the 97 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of primary energy consumption in the United States during 2021. About 21 percent of U.S. primary energy consumption in 2021 came from fuel sources other than fossil fuels, such as renewables and nuclear.”

In other words, fossil fuels made up nearly 80 percent of all energy produced in America in 2021.

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India and China Coal Production Surging By 700M Tons Per Year: That’s Greater Than All U.S. Coal Output, by Robert Bryce

So much for the renewable energy pipe dream. From Robert Bryce at realclearenergy.com:

If you think the world is moving beyond coal, think again. The post-Covid economic rebound and surging electricity demand have resulted in big increases in coal prices and coal demand. Since January, the Newcastle benchmark price for coal has doubled. And over the past few weeks, China and India have announced plans to increase their domestic coal production by a combined total of 700 million tons per year. For perspective, US coal production this year will total about 600 million tons.

The surge in coal demand in China and India – as well as in the U.S., where coal use jumped by 17% last year – demonstrates two things: that the Iron Law of Electricity has not been broken, Second, it shows that it is far easier to talk about cutting emissions than it is to achieve significant cuts.

In April, China announced it will increase coal output by 300 million tons this year. Last month, India said it aims to increase domestic coal production by more than 400 million tons by the end of next year.

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Germany’s Russian Gas Problem, by Jack Raines

When a situation is really screwed up, it’s a good bet that not just one but multiple bad decisions have been made. Germany’s dependence on Russian gas is certainly such an instance. From Jack Raines at youngmoney.co:

“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

…You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

– 16-year-old Greta Thunberg at the U.N.’s Climate Action Summit, 2019

*slow claps*

Climate change. The existential crisis that has filled every Gen-Zer with dread since they entered grade school. Politicians, CEOs, and other powerful figures fly their private jets to summits around the world each year to condemn the fossil fuel industry as a vile plague that must be destroyed at all costs.

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The Big Green Push to Get Rid of Coal Had the Opposite Effect, by Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Like so much of what the left does, what actually happens is the exact opposite of what they promised. From Mike “Mish” Shedlock at mishtalk.com:

An alleged big win to eliminate coal turned into a bust and then some.

Coal Consumption

Investors Pushing Mining Giants to Quit Coal is Backfiring

Bloomberg has an interesting story on how Environmentalists Pushing Mining Giants to Quit Coal has backfired.

It was supposed to be a big win for climate activists: another of the world’s most powerful mining companies had caved to investor demands that it stop digging up coal.

Instead, Anglo American Plc’s exit from coal has become a case study for unintended consequences, transforming mines that were scheduled for eventual closure into the engine room for a growth-hungry coal business.

And while it’s a particularly stark example, it’s not the only one. When rival BHP Group was struggling to sell an Australian colliery this year, the company surprised investors by applying to extend mining at the site by another two decades — an apparent attempt to sweeten its appeal to potential buyers.

Now, after years of lobbying blue-chip companies to stop mining the most-polluting fuel, there’s a growing unease among climate activists and some investors that the policy many of them championed could lead to more coal being produced for longer.

BHP may end up holding on to the Australian mine it was battling to sell, Bloomberg reported last week. Earlier this year, Glencore Plc sounded out a major climate investor group before announcing it would increase its ownership of a big Colombian coal mine, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Green Policies Return the World to Coal, by Clarice Feldman

Renewable energy is not yet ready for prime time, and mistakenly thinking that is has meant that coal, the dirtiest of energies, has had to pick up the slack. From Clarice Feldman at americanthinker.com:

There’s scarcely a place in the modern world that will not be feeling the high cost and discomfort of a shortage of energy supplies and their increasingly soaring prices. Lebanon already is. Due to a shortage of oil, the two power plants that supply 40% of that country’s electricity shut down. There is no electricity in Lebanon and will not be any for some days.

It’s an extreme case, but even the United Kingdom, the EU, the U.S., and China are running up against diminishing ability to obtain the necessary energy supplies to keep things running smoothly. Some of the shortages are due to accidents, like the cutting of an undersea cable to the UK, but most are due to green policies and stupid political choices, ironically shutting down oil and gas-fired power plants and fossil fuel exploitation and transport at the demand of the greens, who grossly overestimate both global warming and the ability of air, sun and water to take their place. Ironically, this means coal — the dirtiest possible fuel — is back in huge demand,

Despite an import ban on Australian coal, China relented and has begun unloading Australian coal because of an extreme power crunch. Coal is now in demand in Europe as gas prices soar and the EU’s energy policies are in large responsible:

The ideological split will drive a wedge between the European Union, a long-time champion of a coal phaseout, and corporate interests as market conditions favour gas-to-coal switching. The switching ratio has slid in coal’s favour in the last weeks of June 2021 and judging by the current futures structure, it will stay in place until at least Q2-2022 [snip] Given the natural limitations to further coal utilization, in Germany the main interaction in the upcoming weeks will be between coal and wind. Coal-fired electricity generation rose to multi-year highs in the first weeks of September when every single day saw wind generation only a fraction of its usual strength and speed. Now, the situation has changed somewhat as wind started blowing again, dropping hard coal generation to an average generation rate of 7.5-8 GWh, still some 30-35% higher than at this time of the year in 2020. Yet still, Germany’s travails are far from over, especially with December looming large on the horizon. According to preliminary plans, that month alone three nuclear plants will stop operating in Germany — Brokdorf, Grohnde and Gundremmingen — with a combined (non-intermittent) capacity of 4 GW, representing the penultimate wave of nuclear phase-out closures before 2022 sees the last 3 reactors decommissioned. Such substantial capacity would need to be replaced with either coal or gas, with profitability skewed overwhelmingly towards the former. [snip]

The current coal demand surge should force the European Union to reconsider its position on coal — as polluting as it might be, it could still help alleviate energy crunches across Europe when the situation demands it. As things stand today, the upcoming four years would see at least seven countries phasing out coal: Portugal (2021), France (2022), UK (2024), Hungary, Italy, Ireland and Greece (all 2025). As Europe has seen nine consecutive year-on-year increases in aggregate coal burns, perhaps more switching flexibility and less bans could still be the way forward.

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US Desperate For Coal Miners To Meet Soaring Global Demand, by Tyler Durden

There’s a shortage not just of miners, but of all kinds of workers who do the jobs that aren’t done behind a desk. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Coal supply shortages in Asia and Europe are pushing prices for the dirtiest fossil fuel to record highs and have become a challenge for US suppliers due to a shortage of miners, according to Bloomberg.

For the last three and a half decades, the number of coal mining jobs in the US has collapsed from 180,000 to 42,500 in August. The industry remains 9,500 miners short from pre-COVID times.

With coal prices worldwide screaming to all-time highs ahead of winter as China and Europe scramble for supplies, the US coal industry is failing to find new miners willing to do the dirty work as demand soars.

“That’s making it difficult for mining companies to boost production at a time when the global energy crisis is making utilities desperate for every lump of coal they can dig up. Even with coal prices surging around the world, the labor shortages are another sign that it’s going to be tough to shore up energy stockpiles,” Bloomberg said. 

Erin Higginson of Custom Staffing Services, which recruits miners in the Illinois Basin, said miners used to walk into their office for jobs, but now they have to “hold job fairs all over just to find a few miners.”

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BlackRock and Citi Get on Board the Climate Nazi Train, by Chris MacIntosh

China occasionally talks a good “green” game, but it keeps on building coal-fired power plants. From Chris MacIntosh at internationalman.com:

There are some things that bring joy to my soul. My pleasures are simple ones. Peanut butter on toast (the food of gods), witnessing Macron getting a slap, and this…

The awesome thing here is that what is taking place is that our competition on bidding for coal assets has disappeared in a cloud of woke smoke.

This will quickly become geopolitical, and the question is this: can BlackRock, Citi, Prudential, HSBC, and their other woke mates decide the fate of nations?

They are already affecting the fate of nations. Witness Canada and all of Western Europe.

I found a live shot of their respective energy policies:

But will they do the same to China? Will they do the same to Russia?

The answer to that will only be fully revealed in the due course of time, but we don’t really need any crystal balls here as we just watch actions, not words.

“China put 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity into operation in 2020, according to new international research, more than three times the amount built elsewhere around the world and potentially undermining its short-term climate goals.”

Nearly all of the 60 new coal plants planned across Eurasia, South America and Africa — 70 gigawatts of coal power in all — are financed almost exclusively by Chinese banks”

We see all of this on the ground, and while it is taking place, formerly reputable media outlets such as the FT, Reuters, and Bloomberg tell us that: “China’s belt and road initiative creates a problem for China with respect to their climate goals.”

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Forget About Peak Oil – We Haven’t Even Reached Peak Coal Yet, by David Blackman

While the US government tries to tether its people and businesses to unreliable renewable energy, most of the rest of the world’s use of coal and oil continues to grow. From David Blackman at forbes.com:

Despite all the heavy dissemination of narratives and talking points about a “climate emergency” and the “energy transition” during 2021, the ongoing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic proves that the world still heavily relies on fossil fuels to provide its constantly growing energy needs. Indeed, as the demand theory try in vain to revive their own always-wrong narrative, it now appears that the world has yet to even meet the peak of demand for the least environmentally friendly fuel of all, coal.

This is especially true in China, India and much of Asia, where thousands of coal-fired power plants have seen record usage levels in the face of a major heat wave this summer. Bloomberg week that China’s enormous demand for coal this summer has caused commodity prices to spike to the highest level seen in 2 months, briefly climbing above 900 yuan/ton (roughly $139.31 at current exchange rates) on Friday.

The global futures price for coal set a new record high in May as supplies ran low. Australian coal – China’s main international supplier – hit $150 per ton in July, the highest level seen since 2008. The demand is so high in China that it has even led to implementation of electricity rationing in some parts of the country as supplies run short.

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