Tag Archive: Coal

Good-Bye Coal

In a surprisingly bold move, US President Obama set ambitious emission targets (1,000lbs of carbon dioxide for each megawatt hour) for new power plants, which will basically prevent the construction of new coal power plants. The only fossil energy source that will be able to comply with the new regulation is natural gas, which is booming thanks to the fracking technology.
ON-green-policy! Mr. Obama is basically heading into the right direction, acting against greenhouse gas emissions without favouring a particular energy source. Still, this approach has a few shortcomings.

Natural gas production receives a preferential treatment and it will be very …

Electricity in Rural Areas – Forget About Diesel Generators

The constant fall in solar panel prices claims a prominent victim in rural areas of developing countries. Electricity produced by solar panels is now about half the price compared electricity produced by a Diesel generator. Consider noise and pollution reduction and you can easily see a whole new and potentially huge market for solar panels. Only in India there are a quarter of a billion people without access to the grid, which delivers electricity for about half the price of a solar panel – if it delivers at all. Given the frequent power cuts, solar power may soon even …

Cost Efficiency – Lifecycle and Cost Analysis to the Rescue

Traditionally buying and building decision are taken with accounting mainly for purchasing costs. While the upfront paying for building a new house or buying a new car may seem the most relevant factor and intuitively comprehensible, it is only one – and actually quiet incomplete – part of the real costs over the lifetime of an item. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) Applying “life cycle and cost analysis” (LCCA) is an efficient way to learn about the real costs of design and buying decisions and more and more engineers and customers are using it. Some interesting insights …

China – Coal Power Stations Reduce Output

China’s generally very effective development machine faces new challenges. With inflation and particularly coal prices on the rise and heavily relying on export oriented low cost and energy intensive industries, China’s bureaucracy scrambles to keep electricity costs down. One might consider this to be an easy task. After all, utilities are state controlled and basically have to follow orders. However, this time it’s different. Confronted with dramatically rising expenses on coal, rapidly increasing demand and artificially low and inflexible prices, power utilities struggle to be profitable. Many of them actually produce at a net loss. The financial situation is …

Coal – China’s Addiction and What we Should do About it

It is now generally acknowledged that coal-fired power plants emits huge amounts of the greenhouse gas CO2 and menace the world climate more than any other sources of energy. As a consequence, developed countries are trying to switch to other more sustainable power sources. Unfortunately the saved coal is still being mined and then shipped to China where it is burnt in mostly very polluting power plants in order to satisfy China’s exploding energy demand. China – once a coal exporter – has become the biggest coal importer. It now consumes about halve of the yearly worldwide coal production …

Coal Power – Micronesia Disputes Czech Power Plant

The Czech republic, which relies on coal for more than 60 percent of its power generation, plans to build one of the biggest coal power stations in Europe. Its CO2 emissions will be 40 times bigger than the total CO2 emissions of the whole state of Micronesia. The small state, situated mostly just one meter above sea level will simply disappear from the maps if climate warms and as a consequence sea level rises as projected by all serious climate scientists. Quiet understandibly, Micronesia’s government considers the Czech power plant as an indirect threat to its very existence and disputes the construction permit, more …