PowerSwitch from coal
Posted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:58 pm
The UK's Peak Oil Discussion Forum & Community
http://rhg.com/notes/the-hidden-cause-o ... l-collapseThe American coal industry is hurting. The four largest US miners by output, Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, Cloud Peak Energy and Alpha Natural Resources, which account for nearly half of US production were worth a combined $34 billion at their peak in 2011. Today they are worth $150 million. Arch and Alpha filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year, joining a number of other smaller miners including Patriot Coal and Walter Energy.
As the network operator builds out its clean power sources, they noted, coal-fired generators could only serve as “reserve power” to supplement renewables.
“The only hurdle to overcome is ‘mindset’,” Liu said. “There’s no technical challenge at all.”
The “base load” mindset, though, is a pretty big and powerful hurdle. Across the world it infests incumbent utilities, the coal and nuclear lobbies, conservative politicians, energy regulators, and many in mainstream media, who are clinging to the concept of “base load generation” as the last resort to try to ridicule wind, solar and other technologies. ...
“Electricity demand is variable. It is not fixed. With smart grid technologies what we need is variable sources of supply to accommodate variable sources of demand.
“Base load is an archaic term that is no longer commercially relevant. Once that capacity is built – coal-fired generation is the most expensive marginal cost of supply because of the fuel cost, because it has to burn coal to operate.
“We believe that with more renewables and storage, peak electricity prices will halve over the next 20 years. Once you build solar and you build storage, the marginal cost of production is zero.”
It doesn't mean that there are no more coal seams in Scotland though..After some 115 years, Scotland has burned its last lump of coal for electricity.
The Longannet power station, the last and largest coal-fired power plant in Scotland, ceased operations Thursday. What once was the largest coal plant in Europe shut down after 46 years before the eyes of workers and journalists, who gathered in the main control room.
There are plenty of gas plants for that...vtsnowedin wrote:I doubt that the exact moment coal went off line really matters. What matters is the day you in the UK don't need several coal plants, staffed fueled and ready,to take up the slack if the wind goes to calm and the clouds obscure the sun.
I can foresee the day when those plants begin to set idle and that is not too far off but I can't see the day when you wont need them as backup and the cost of having them sitting there idle but fully capable of coming on line in an hour or less is a cost you will have to pay one way or the other.
Well that should help out your total CO2 emissions.adam2 wrote:And we are now heading for TWO MONTHS without any coal being burnt by grid connected power plants, another new record.
Some coal burning for the winter peak looks unavoidable, but probably less than last year.