Thursday, November 1, 2012

Renewables up, Coal-fired Generation Up, Emissions Up

I support the thesis that coal-fired generation is currently the better match for renewables due to better peaking depth than the cleaner combined-cycle gas turbines that people argue to be a cleaner form of traditional generation.
The economics aren't irrelevant, but investment is going up and emissions are going up for more reasons than coal is cheaper - coal may also better in supply mixes burdened with significant intermittent supply.

Gas Golden Age Darkens in Europe on U.S. Coal: Energy Markets - Bloomberg:
Burning coal has contributed to a 10 percent increase in EU carbon-dioxide output this year through September, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. First-quarter emissions from power generation in the U.S. dropped to the lowest since 1992 because of increased gas usage and a milder-than-normal winter, the EIA said in an Aug. 1 report.
EU emissions are rising even after the region received more than double the investment in clean energy sources that the U.S. got this year, at $61.7 billion versus $27.8 billion, BNEF data show. Since 2004, the difference is $511 billion versus $250.9 billion.
“If you burn gas in a power plant you burn money; if you burn coal, you make money,” Walter Boltz, vice chairman at the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators, said in an Oct. 9 interview in London. “Given our climate goals, that’s the stupidest thing we can do, but commercial realities force companies to do that.”
Read the entire article at Bloomberg:

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