Thursday, December 30, 2021

China fires up giant coal power plant in face of calls for cuts

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China, under fire for approving new coal power stations as other countries try to curb greenhouse gases, has completed the first 1,000-megawatt unit of the Shanghaimiao plant, the biggest of its kind under construction in the country.

Its operator, the Guodian Power Shanghaimiao Corporation, a subsidiary of the central government-run China Energy Investment Corporation, said on Tuesday that the plant's technology was the world's most efficient, with the lowest rates of coal and water consumption.

Located in Ordos in the coal-rich northwestern region of Inner Mongolia, the plant will eventually have four generating units, and is designed to deliver power to the eastern coastal Shandong province via a long-distance ultra-high voltage grid.

China is responsible for more than half of global coal-fired power generation and is expected to see a 9% year-on-year increase in 2021, an International Energy Agency report published this month said.

Beijing has pledged to start reducing coal consumption, but will do so only after 2025, giving developers considerable leeway to raise capacity further in the coming four years.

A report published this month by researchers at China's State Grid Corporation said energy security concerns mean the country is likely to build as much as 150 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity over the 2021-2025 period, bringing the total to 1,230 GW.


Capitalism at work: Cargo ships divert gas from China to Britain

Huge cargo ships carrying liquid gas that were destined for China have changed course and are now heading towards the UK as Europe remains trapped in a major supply crunch.

While the Continent’s energy crisis and high prices have attracted ships away from other parts of the world, the new arrivals are now bringing prices down. Benchmark Dutch front-month gas fell for a fifth day yesterday, dropping as much as 9.2pc in Amsterdam.

The UK gas price rocketed to a record 470p per therm last week, up from just 50p in April, but has since fallen to under 270p.

James Huckstepp, managing analyst at S&P Global Platts, said tankers are flocking towards British shores in a move that is “critical to ­tempering even more extreme prices and demand destruction in Europe”.

He said: “We are seeing cargoes previously destined for Asia now diverting to the UK. This is particularly the case for those cargoes originating in the US, given the journey between the US and Europe is much shorter than that to Asia.”

The number of US tankers heading for European ports jumped by one third last weekend, according to Bloomberg, with 20 vessels bearing American gas heading for Europe and another 14 heading in the general direction of Europe while awaiting final orders.

The number of cargoes travelling to the UK and elsewhere in Europe will raise hopes that new supplies can ease the energy crisis and help lower gas prices, which have declined after soaring to record highs last week. That will bring some relief to UK energy bosses, who met Downing Street officials this week for crunch crisis talks.

Ahead of the meeting, Stephen Fitzpatrick, the boss of Britain’s second-largest supplier Ovo Energy, warned that bills were “almost certain” to ­double to £2,000 per household.

It is understood that the Government could facilitate a deal that would see the industry given access to a £20bn fund, which they could repay at a rate of £2bn a year over 10 years.

Nathan Piper, head of oil and gas research at Investec, said European and UK prices have surged above Asian ­liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices, attracting volumes away from China.

The additional supplies will provide some much-needed respite ahead of looming winter shortages. However, one Singapore-based trader told S&P Global Platts earlier this month that they are not sure “how sustainable these diversions to the Atlantic will be”.

The cost of energy in Europe has been soaring this year due to low levels of gas storage, tight supplies from Russia and lower output from clean energy sources, in part because of weak wind speeds. Some 26 retail energy companies have gone bust since August.

The country gets most of its gas via pipes connected to the North Sea, ­Norway and continental Europe, but in ­normal times it also gets about 20pc via ships in the global market.

Russia has been accused of withholding extra pipeline gas supplies to mainland Europe in recent months, in an attempt to pressure Germany into starting up its new pipeline, Nord Stream 2.

It comes as new data show that shipments of gas from Russia to the UK increased this year.

As of last week, Russia had sent 29 shipments of LNG to the UK during 2021 – compared to 22 a year earlier – according to data from S&P Global Platts Analytics. It marks the second highest annual figure since the first Russian shipments to the UK in 2017.

Proponents of the North Sea industry argue that the Government could boost Britain’s energy security by granting permission for more domestic oil and gas drilling. About 10 licenced North Sea projects are expected to be up for development approval and final investment decisions in next year, but are likely to draw opposition from climate change activists.


CO2’S Role In The Great ‘Climate Change’ Deception

World history is replete with imaginary gods and demons that man has blamed for conditions and events beyond human control.

From 1300 AD to 1880, the Northern Hemisphere experienced a cooling period called the “Little Ice Age.”

During that period, many people irrationally believed that the cold temperatures were caused by witches. During the preceeding Medieval Warm Period, witches had been blamed for ‘cooking the weather’. As a result, many witches were identified, tried, and executed.

One hundred years later, people began to complain that the weather was becoming “too warm.” Man’s imagination then again created a new demon to blame for the warmer weather: anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2).

Demon adherents proclaim that if atmospheric CO2 is not immediately reduced to pre-industrial levels, the glaciers will melt, and our coastal cities will be submerged by rising seas.

Unfortunately, the irrational belief that anthropogenic CO2 will lead to future catastrophe, has become a “mass movement” with all the hallmarks of a religion. See, “The True Believer,” by Eric Hoffer (1951).

Computer “climate models” now blame CO2 for the warmer weather and issue dire predictions of impending doom if CO2 levels are not reduced.

Al Gore, the CO2 oracle, and Greta Thunberg, the child prophet, tell their “true believer” followers that burning fossil fuels is sinful and, if not stopped, will result in future catastrophe.

Those “true believers” have closed their minds to opposing views and refuse to acknowledge any information that does not fit the imaginary climate disaster scenario.

They also ignore the harsh reality that modern world economies are based upon massive infrastructures, completely dependent upon fossil fuels that can never be replaced by windmills and solar panels. (Anyone for a battery-powered aircraft?)

Finally, they treat the thousands of scientists, who inform us that the CO2 molecules now being added to the atmosphere have not had, and will not have, any adverse effect whatsoever on the climate, as though they did not exist.

As a matter of scientific fact, only natural forces beyond human control can increase the average temperature of the Earth.

Modern science teaches us that increases and decreases in global temperatures over decades, centuries, and millennia have been, and still are, solely the result of a combination of natural heating and cooling forces that are all beyond human control:

Changes in the radiation intensity of the Sun (sunspots, mass coronal ejections, etc.).

Changes in the Earth’s orbit and its tilt to the sun.

Changes in the radiation and heating of the oceans and land by the Earth’s molten core.

The aerosol effects of volcanos blocking sunlight.

The albedo effects of constantly changing clouds, ice, and snow (including the volume of cosmic rays that may affect cloudiness).

All of the many heating and cooling periods the Earth has experienced for millions of years – before the industrial revolution – were solely the result of those natural and uncontrollable heating and cooling forces.

The climate models, however, are programmed on the assumption that additional atmospheric CO2 causes global temperatures to increase.

In reality, however, ancient ice-core data demonstrates that rising global temperatures always precede increases in atmospheric CO2 by several hundred years – not vice versa, as the climate models falsely predict.

Consequently, claims that the recent minuscule increase of CO2 molecules in the atmosphere is the sole “cause” of the current warming trend are scientific fraud.

Modern-day climatologists can roughly approximate changes in average global temperatures and have concluded that since 1960, the average temperature of the Earth has increased by about 1-degree Celsius.

During that same period, they have also found that the CO2 content of the atmosphere, as measured at Mona Loa, has increased from 0.031 percent to 0.041 percent.

Or, in terms of additional molecules, the number of CO2 molecules in a cubic meter of air has risen by 100 parts per million (ppm), from 310 in 1960 to 410 ppm today. [The atmosphere is composed of 78 percent nitrogen, 20 percent oxygen, one percent argon, and 0-4 percent water vapor. The remaining one percent of the atmosphere is comprised of “trace gases:” 0.04 percent carbon dioxide, 0.00182 percent neon, and 0.000175 percent methane.]

The correlation of the tiny 0.01 percent increase in CO2 with the modest one-degree increase in temperature over the last 60 years would normally be dismissed as a mere coincidence. Indeed, the scientific method demands that all other possible causes be evaluated and dismissed before designating a simple correlation as a “cause.”

“True believers,” however, including the climate modelers themselves, simply disregard any other more likely natural causes. That total disregard for all other possibilities, probabilities, and contrary views constitutes scientific fraud.

The trace gas CO2 does NOT act as a “blanket” to increase the Earth’s temperature. Many proponents of a CO2 catastrophe liken the effect of the additional 100 ppm CO2 molecules to an insulating blanket that increases the Earth’s temperature.

Those trace CO2 molecules, however, neither form a “blanket,” “trap heat,” nor send heat back to the surface. Only water vapor can “trap latent heat” for a short time until the vapor condenses, and the heat is radiated to space. [“Heat” is defined as the kinetic movement of molecules. “Radiation” is defined as the energy force that causes kinetic movement].

All of the gases comprising the atmosphere are constantly moving the radiant energy emitted by the Earth’s warm surface, per the Second Law of Thermodynamics, up and out to the vacuum space by conduction, convection, and radiation.

In that massive continuous process, the additional 100 ppm of anthropogenic CO2 molecules are only along for the ride like a few new feathers on a bird. While those CO2 molecules do absorb “fingerprint” IR radiation at the narrow IR 15-micron band, that absorption is an integral part of the basic natural cooling process.

It raises the CO2 molecule’s kinetic motion, which is instantaneously transferred to all surrounding molecules by conduction and radiation. Accordingly, the additional 100 ppm CO2 molecules create NO additional “heat” in the atmosphere.

Nor do they “delay” the emission of radiation to space. They merely participate in the constant transfer of kinetic and radiative energy, by atmospheric molecules, from the surface through the atmosphere to outer space.

More here:


New Australian coal-mne now producing -- to the fury of Greenies

The first coal shipment from central Queensland Carmichael Mine is about to leave Australian shores after years of controversy, international media coverage and environmental campaigning against the facility.

Bravus Mining and Resources, the Australian arm of Adani, today confirmed the shipment had been assembled at the North Queensland Export Terminal in Bowen.

Bravus CEO David Boshoff celebrated the milestone, calling it a "big moment".

"From day one, the objectives of the Carmichael Project were to supply high-quality Queensland coal to nations determined to lift millions of their citizens out of energy poverty and to create local jobs and economic prosperity in Queensland communities in the process" Mr Boshoff said.

"With the support of the people of regional Queensland we have delivered on that promise."

The shipment comes amid continuing protests against the mine and follows years of fierce campaigning from environmental activists.

The Australian Conservation Foundation said the mine made "a mockery" of Australia's emissions targets.

And, locally, scuba diving guide and Whitsunday Conservation Council spokesperson Tony Fontes said he felt "despair and anger".

"Both state and federal governments supported Adani in opening the mine,and ensuring that the Great Barrier Reef is not going to survive this century" Mr Fontes said.

"[But] one would hope that in the very near future, there will not be a market for thermal coal.

"And it's unfortunate that people that are working in the industry have been misled by the government suggesting that there's a long-term future in working in thermal coal."

However, Bravus insisted Australian coal would have a role alongside renewables for decades "as part of an energy mix that delivers reliable and affordable power with reduced emissions intensity".

In 2016, the Wangan and Jagalingou people voted 294 to one in favour of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani. Subsequent challenges against the ILUA were dismissed in court.

Mine opponents now represent a small portion of traditional owners who, since signing the agreement, have been working with Bravus.

Bravus said the first shipment of coal would be loaded and dispatched, subject to the port's shipping schedule. It did not say when the shipment would leave or where it was going.

"The first export shipment is of a commercial scale and is going to a customer, with further details remaining commercial in confidence" it said.

The company plans to produce 10 million tonnes of coal a year from the mine, to be sold to customers in the Asia-Pacific region at 'index adjusted pricing'.




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