Monday, December 27, 2010

The News on coal

In light of the recent news about the sell off of NexGen and the curtailing of funding for 'Carbon Capture and Sequestration' (CCS) News Limited continues to pump out coal stories. From the business section...
Coal to remain backbone of power generation
Geoff Hiscock, Dec 22nd.

Despite rapid growth in renewable power sources such as hydro, wind and solar, coal will remain the backbone of electricity generation for the next 25 years, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

A drop in coal-fired power generation in the advanced economies of the OECD between now and 2035 will be offset by big increases elsewhere, especially in China, where 600 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired capacity will be added. That figure exceeds the current capacity of the United States, Europe and Japan, the IEA says in its latest World Energy Outlook.

The IEA’s projections underpin the growing push by China and India to secure long-term coal supplies from around the world. As part of that drive, Chinese and Indian private and state-owned corporations are seeking to invest in Australian coal projects.

The world’s largest coal producer, Coal India Ltd, is also on the hunt for Australian mines, with Peabody Energy’s Wilkie Creek mine in Queensland a possible investment. CIL is held 90 per cent by the Indian government.

Late last year, China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining agreed to pay $3.5 billion for Felix Resources, which produces thermal and coking coal from four sites in New South Wales and Queensland.
Yes, that IEA... does that mean if the IEA made a lower projection then China and India wouldn't 'push'?

Given that Felix means 'happy', it might be a good strategy for smaller miners to rename themselves to something including the words 'dragon', 'lucky' or the number 8.
Meanwhile, over at the Courier Mail we have;
Anna Bligh culls coal to fund solar
Patrick Lion, Dec 25th.
ANNA Bligh has secretly stripped $100 million from her highly touted clean-coal fund to bankroll a new solar push while publicly claiming she was still committed to cleaning up the state's coal industry.

The Sunday Mail has learnt the Premier recently redirected one-third of the clean coal allocation in the Queensland Future Growth Fund towards the development of two new commercial-scale solar power projects.

The move, a significant shift in Labor's energy policy, emerged one week after revelations the Government would walk away from state-owned clean coal company ZeroGen and scrap its planned $4.3 billion power plant in central Queensland.

In a statement, Ms Bligh yesterday confirmed the re-direction from the clean coal fund to the Solar Flagships Projects, saying it would help develop two new solar plants that power over 50,000 homes.

Defending the ZeroGen decision last weekend, Ms Bligh said she was still committed to clean coal and would "keep $50 million" in the clean coal fund.
But The Australian, in an 'exclusive' no less, paints Anna Bligh as a nuclear advocate;
Anna Bligh opens door to nuclear power
EXCLUSIVE: Jamie Walker and Imre Salusinszky

ANNA Bligh has backed calls for the Labor Party to review its policy on nuclear power.

The Queensland Premier has warned that renewable sources cannot meet the surging demand for baseload electricity.

Ms Bligh and ALP national president said development of the only other viable alternative energy, hydro-electricity, had been hamstrung by resistance to new dams.

Ms Bligh said pointedly that "parts of the environment movement" had shifted on the nuclear option, and now supported it as an abatement measure for climate change.

Ms Bligh said other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, could not produce sufficient baseload power. "I think it is perfectly understandable why nuclear comes on to the agenda . . . as people are genuinely looking for what is a cleaner alternative," she told The Australian.

"And I think it is quite interesting that's now coming as much from some parts -- not all, but some parts -- of the environmental movement, as it is from other parts of the energy sector..

However, Ms Bligh cautioned that any discussion about nuclear power for Australia remained theoretical, and not just because the cost was "prohibitive".

"I think there are still very genuinely held concerns about safety, and in an environment . . . where we have other alternatives then I think the prospect of one (a nuclear power plant) in an Australian context in the near future is very slim."

"It's not something on my agenda for the next election . . . it's the sort of thing, frankly, I don't have any intention of revisiting."
Jamie and Imre must use a different dictionary to me, they (or their editor) seem to have interpreted Ms Blighs peek through the door in a very exclusive manner. However, notice that peoples concerns are not genuine, just genuinely held.

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