Turning Away from Coal (?)

15.09.2010

My friend Arne wrote a blog-entry yesterday about the decrease in coal energy in the U.S. and linked a WSJ-article. It read (my corrections in read):"Ask your Senator to move beyonf coal" and picture of coal-plant

Black Days for Coal

An analysis of the impact over the next several years if all coal-fired power plants must install sulfur-dioxide scrubbers to meet EPA emissions standards for mercury and acid gases
1,885 million megawatt-hours
Coal-fired generation in the U.S. in 2009
47 million MWh
Loss of generation expected over next five years due to natural plant retirements
244 million MWh 0 million MWh
Loss expected because of EPA regulation of sulfur-dioxide and mercury emissions (Republicans try to stop the EPA of executing its authority and protect the American people from deadly gases!)
110 million MWh
Gain expected from new coal plants
1,704 million MWh 1,948 million MWh
Expected coal-fired generation in 2015
—9.6% +3.3%
Percentage change in coal-fired generation, 2015 versus 2009
Sources: Ventyx, Electric Power Research Institute, Energy Information Administration, Bernstein Research analysis

Hence, it will not just about protecting the EPA in its fight against FOX News the Republican Party (and Dems), but about whether there will be MORE or LESS coal be burned. As the most deadly fossil fuel due to its high amount of CO2 when burned, the amount of coal burned is directly linked to the CO2-emissions that get into the atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Arne read a report (pdf here) which shows how natural gas and renewable annexe have by far outnumbered the amount of new MWh in coal or nuclear energy. However, take a close look: coal is coming back (and who knows what “clean coal” or the incoming zombies might be able to do!).

figure showing investment in energy plants: increasingly, more natural gas and some renewable. less coal.

Figure: CERES “Benchmarking Air Emissions”


And since it is not enough figures by now, here are two more: a comparison between the U.S. and the German movement against new coal-fired power plants. In Germany, the BUND (Friends of the Earth) and in the U.S., the Sierra Club, are active.
Sierry Club Map with Coal-plants

Red. Active plant, Orange: Progressing, Yellow: Upcoming, Grey: Uncertain, Black: Defeated


Map of Germany, showing spots with planned brown coal (lignite) and balck coal (hard coal) burning power-plants. Some where already defeated!

Map of Germany, showing spots with planned brown coal (lignite) and balck coal (hard coal) burning power-plants. Some where already defeated!

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