the death of coal?

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July 17th, 2015 at 12:00:43 PM permalink
reno
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 57
Posts: 1011
Coal consumption is declining.

As recently as 2010, coal accounted for 45 percent of U.S. electricity production. In 2014, coal accounted for 38.7 percent of power production, (compared with 27.4 percent for natural gas.) Those are the annual numbers, but looking at the monthly numbers, something unprecedent in U.S. history happened in April 2015: more electricity was produced from natural gas than coal. Coal's market share in April was 30.2%, trailing natural gas' market share of 31.5%. Those April numbers were probably just a fluke, so don't take them too seriously. Nevertheless, the trend is obvious.

U.S. production of coal in the first five months of 2015 was off more than 7 percent from the first five months of 2014. In May, production was down 16.6 percent from May 2014. Between January 2015 & April 2015, no new coal capacity was added in the U.S., while natural gas (302 megawatts), solar (362 megawatts), and wind (1.17 gigawatts) have each added production capacity. Incidentally, new wind installations almost doubled in Jan-Apr 2015 compared to the same period in 2014 (633 megawatts).

U.S. exports of coal are down 20% in Q1 2015 compared to Q1 2014. In other words, this is a worldwide phenomenon. For the first time in 14 years, China's coal consumption fell-- down 2.9% in 2014. Coal production in China also declined 2.5% in 2014 compared to 2013. Chinese coal imports in 2014 fell 10.9% to 291.2 million tons. Meanwhile, China added 10.6 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2014, for a cumulative total of 28 gigawatts. China's total electricity generated by solar showed rapid growth in 2014, reaching 25 billion kW/h, an increase of more than 200% over 2013.

For around two decades, worldwide coal power plant capacity increased at a stable rate of between 20 to 25 gigawatts every year. (Between 2005 and 2012, this tripled.) At the beginning of 2010 to mid-2012, the ratio of plants halted to plants completed was nearly 2:1. From mid-2012 to mid-2014, this increased to more than 6:1.

Below is a graph of worldwide coal-fired generation net capacity additions:


Below is a chart of proposed global coal-fired generating capacity 2014 by region (in megawatts):
July 17th, 2015 at 12:13:07 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 110
Posts: 8539
Quote: reno
Coal consumption is declining.


Combination of the Obama war on coal and shale gas being cheaper and more efficient to use.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
July 17th, 2015 at 1:03:05 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 843
Posts: 10073
EIA Electricity Generation
U.S. generation of electricity fueled by natural gas exceeded coal-fired generation for the first time on record in April 2015, primarily because of sustained low natural gas prices. Normal seasonal fluctuations in the fuel mix and projected increases in the cost of natural gas for power generation should result in coal-fired generation exceeding natural gas generation for the rest of 2015. EIA forecasts coal's share of U.S. total generation will average 35.6% in 2015, down from 38.7% in 2014. In contrast, the natural gas fuel share averages 30.9% this year, up from 27.4% in 2014.


In April 2012, coal fired generation exceed generation from natural gas by only 1.54%, so this news story nearly happened three years ago.

Quote: AZDuffman
Combination of the Obama war on coal and shale gas being cheaper and more efficient to use.


In 1990 Coal was 6X as important as NG, but when President Obama was elected coal was still more than double NG. He basically jumped on the bandwagon.

Electricity produced from coal over (under) by percentage electricity produced from natural gas
491% 1990
487% 1991
497% 1992
533% 1993
462% 1994
438% 1995
295% 1996
285% 1997
253% 1998
238% 1999
227% 2000
198% 2001
180% 2002
204% 2003
179% 2004
165% 2005
144% 2006
125% 2007
125% 2008
91% 2009
87% 2010
71% 2011
24% 2012
41% 2013
41% 2014


Quote: reno
Those are the annual numbers, but looking at the monthly numbers, something unprecedent in U.S. history happened in April 2015: more electricity was produced from natural gas than coal. Coal's market share in April was 30.2%, trailing natural gas' market share of 31.5%.


Electricity produced from coal over (under) by percentage electricity produced from natural gas: 2015
31% January
40% February
10% March
-4% April

Quote: reno
Those April numbers were probably just a fluke, so don't take them too seriously. Nevertheless, the trend is obvious.


April is a very low consumption month for electricity as you are between seasons. It is natural that you would only use the newer plants. Note that 2012 was the lowest annual ratio because it was a mild winter.

And as always the national trend means very little, because fuel choice is very dependent on the region. In WNC region coal is 11X-12X as popular as natural gas, while it is almost nonexistent in Alaska, Hawaii, and in New England.

1068% West North Central
266% East North Central
106% Mountain
37% East South Central
-37% South Atlantic
-55% Middle Atlantic
-58% West South Central
-60% Pacific Noncontiguous
-99% New England
-100% Pacific Contiguous
-4% U.S. Total
July 17th, 2015 at 4:49:23 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 843
Posts: 10073



Looking on the state level.

Energy generated by Coal relative to energy generated by natural gas

73.6 Nebraska
63.7 Wyoming
47.5 West Virginia
33.6 South Carolina
19.7 Iowa
18.8 Kansas
14.6 Missouri
14.0 Kentucky
6.6 Illinois
4.2 Indiana
3.8 Utah
3.5 Michigan
3.4 New Mexico
3.2 Tennessee
2.9 Colorado
2.8 Wisconsin
2.7 Ohio
2.4 Minnesota
2.4 Maryland
1.4 Arizona
1.0 Pennsylvania
1.0 Arkansas


2/3 OF THE ELECTRICITY GENERATED BY COAL WAS IN THE FOLLOWING 14 STATES
Texas
Indiana
Ohio - Democrat 2012
Illinois - Democrat 2012
Kentucky
Pennsylvania - Democrat 2012
Missouri
Michigan - Democrat 2012
West Virginia
Wyoming
Florida - Democrat 2012
Georgia
Alabama
Arizona

Note that TEXAS leads the above list, but is not even on the top list. This state has huge energy requirements, and even though it generates more electricity from coal than any other state, it still generated over twice as much by natural gas.

1% OF THE ELECTRICITY GENERATED BY COAL WAS IN THE FOLLOWING 12 STATES
Mississippi
Nevada
Hawaii
New York
New Jersey
Alaska
California
Massachusetts
Maine
New Hampshire
Washington
Connecticut

NONE OF THE ELECTRICITY GENERATED BY COAL IN THE FOLLOWING 6 STATES + DC
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Delaware
Idaho
Oregon
Vermont (none generated by natural gas either)
District of Columbia (none generated by natural gas either)


This kind of issue should not be regulated on national level. It may be nice to eliminate coal fired electric plants, but obviously they are very important to some states.
July 18th, 2015 at 8:20:58 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 843
Posts: 10073
This thread is generating little interest. Mitt Romney thought it might be the issue that would give him Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida and thus the election.

  1. Texas
  2. Indiana
  3. Ohio - Democrat 2012
  4. Illinois - Democrat 2012
  5. Kentucky
  6. Pennsylvania - Democrat 2012
  7. Missouri
  8. Michigan - Democrat 2012
  9. West Virginia
  10. Wyoming
  11. Florida - Democrat 2012
July 18th, 2015 at 8:49:51 AM permalink
reno
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 57
Posts: 1011
Quote: AZDuffman
the Obama war on coal...


Yeah, Obama deserves some credit, but this really isn't about him. This is an international phenomenon, occuring all over the world; it's much bigger than Hussein Obama.

Consider that on July 9, 2015, Denmark produced 116% of the electricity they use. The surplus 16% was exported to Germany, Norway, and Sweden. What makes this so noteworthy is that all of that excess electricity came from wind. (Denmark's population is 5.6 million). Moreover, their windmills weren't even operating at full capacity on July 9!

Obama's just trying to keep America competitive with the rest of the world, and the rest of the world has decided that the unintended consequences of digging up coal makes it more trouble than it's worth.
July 18th, 2015 at 4:38:46 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 121
Posts: 15408
Quote: Pacomartin
This thread is generating little interest.


What's amazing is, the number of small
hydro electric plants that are still on the
grid. This one I see almost every day.
It was built 90 years ago and produces
2 MW, which it sells to the local power
co. It pays $50K in rent to the TWP, which
owns the site. That's a small plant, but
it still makes a good profit.

The one a few miles down river, in Ada,
the home of Amway, produces 30 MW.
There are thousands of these around
the country, still contributing to the
national power base.

This is the one near me:

If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
July 18th, 2015 at 5:54:08 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 843
Posts: 10073
Quote: Evenbob
What's amazing is, the number of small
hydro electric plants that are still on the
grid. This one I see almost every day.
It was built 90 years ago and produces
2 MW, which it sells to the local power
co. It pays $50K in rent to the TWP, which
owns the site. That's a small plant, but
it still makes a good profit.

The one a few miles down river, in Ada,
the home of Amway, produces 30 MW.
There are thousands of these around
the country, still contributing to the
national power base.


Average Generator Nameplate Capacity in Megawatts for each of 19K generators in the USA
1044.24 Nuclear
272.12 Coal
138.47 Hydroelectric Pumped Storage
85.64 Natural Gas
62.14 Wind
25.68 Wood and Wood-Derived Fuels
24.80 Other Energy Sources
24.77 Other Gases
19.64 Hydroelectric Conventional
19.51 Geothermal
13.83 Petroleum
7.64 Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic
3.15 Other Biomass

They say that this method of generating electricity is hopelessly outdated. We need giant plants in the desert with high voltage lines to distribute it across the nation.

There are 232 hydroelectric plants in Michigan that average 1.578 Nameplate Capacity (Megawatts). But Total Electric Power Industry in Michigan is from the following fuel. Nuclear is only 3 facilities (4 generators).
36.68% Coal
36.37% Natural Gas
12.92% Nuclear
5.92% Pumped Storage
3.48% Wind
2.13% Petroleum
1.10% Hydroelectric
0.65% Other Biomass
0.76% Wood and Wood Derived Fuels


But some small boroughs are very devoted to their tiny plants. One borough near me charges much more than the current commercial rate. But the homeowners of the borough rarely complain, as they like the concept of being independent.

$10.13 per month plus
18.48 cts. per KWH for the first 200 KWH.
15.03 cts. per KWH for the next 400 KWH.
13.82 cts. per KWH for all additional KWH.
July 18th, 2015 at 6:07:44 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 121
Posts: 15408
They are outdated, but the infrastructure is
there and they do make money. I like seeing
them because when I was a kid the one near
my house was only 30 years old and an important
part of the small community. And it's still there,
producing at a profit.
If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
July 19th, 2015 at 1:57:40 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 843
Posts: 10073
china has plans for an elaborate new grid


They want to build a 400 GW grid in the USA for $60 billion that will rely on wind power.
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