JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Books

Five Asian countries will build 600 coal plants, wreck world, but who cares?

….

Australia and the UK can close one coal plant each, but Asia will build 600.

There’s a socially awkward moment coming at the G20’s next dinner, but despite the combined selfish evil of the theoretical Asian Planet Wreckers, no one will really say much, put trade embargoes on, or boycott the Olympics.

Ultimately, everyone at the table knows that Carbon Voodoo is a Western dinner party game, not a serious pollutant.

China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam plan to build more than 600 coal power units

Jillian Ambrose, The Guardian

Five Asian countries are jeopardising global climate ambitions by investing in 80% of the world’s planned new coal plants, according to a report.

They are all developing nations, apparently, so they can be forgiven, even though the list includes number 2 and 3 on the Worlds Biggest Economies list, and one of these fledglings just left the nest and landed on Mars.

Spot the craziness:

Carbon Tracker, a financial thinktank, has found that China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam plan to build more than 600 coal power units, even though renewable energy is cheaper than most new coal plants.

Why […]

Climate fears stop new gas plants in Europe, then cold hits and they go back to coal

God’s joke on governments that try to control the climate with their electricity grid:

Europe talks itself out of building gas plants in order to stop global warming, then after an extra cold winter, they also run out of gas, and now they have to go back to burning coal.

Spooked investors weren’t funding many gas plants now that the glorious renewable era was here and policy makers were all wearing their Hydrogen badges, and waving their carbon capture wands. In the last year all the geniuses of the European Investment Bank, the IEA, the European Commission were saying “gas is over” and it would be a stranded asset.

One month ago, Nina Chestney was predicting a gas supply crunch:

Gas faces existential crisis in climate wary Europe

May 14, 2021, , Reuters

Europe faces the prospect of higher electricity bills and a supply crunch, as utilities struggle to finance new gas-fired power plants unless they meet tougher emissions criteria imposed by banks pressured to stop financing fossil-fuel projects.

…Gas projects worth some 30 billion euros were cancelled, delayed or indefinitely postponed last year as they struggled to find funding.

The […]

Russia bets big on coal, gas, fossil fuels, and not on renewables

Росгвардия

The West is switching to trendy unreliable energy while Russia is ramping up coal and gas production.

Russia is building a ten billion dollar railroad to sell coal to Asia, but Australia is building a ten billion dollar hydro bandaid “battery” just to make unreliable energy slightly less useless.

Russia is being left behind on renewables, and they’re probably delighted. The more the West cripples itself in a quest to make sparkly green-electrons that stop the storms, the richer the Russians will get.

With the second largest coal reserves in the world, they’re well positioned to meet the growing demand from India and China. Indeed, if Russia could just think of a way to stop the USA and Australia from producing coal, they could corner the market.

If Russian Intel isn’t paying climate activists and child-complainers a retainer, they must have rocks for brains. But since they are apparently paying French and German bloggers to discredit the Pfizer vaccine perhaps they already are some of the great minds behind Greenpeace?

And if they were funding climate disinformation campaigns, which media outlet would tell us?

h.t GWPF

Source EIA 2021

Give me one reason Russia […]

Queensland’s Near Miss: hydrogen may have exploded at a coal plant (and renewables don’t save the day)

Tuesday was a wild day for Queensland Electricity. An explosion struck the Callide C Power Plant triggering a cascade of other plants to switch off within seconds. The massive 2.5GW fall in supply took the grid frequency in Brisbane to a hair raising 49.55Hz. How close did it come to falling over? Half a million people lost power for a couple of hours but a Statewide blackout was averted. Luckily no one was hurt.

Meanwhile the people in power were not saying “Hydrogen”, or “explosion” but the Supercritical Units at Callide are cooled with hydrogen, and there was an explosion. The owner CS Energy called it just “a fire”. But in other news reports people in the nearest town said it was “the loudest explosion they have ever heard”.

Hydrogen, it seems, is used in some coal plants as a coolant, but Holy Hindenberg, it is known to explode. (See Ohio in 2007, Pittsburg in 2017 and India, 2019) . A Union official said it appeared the hydrogen filled generator of the main turbine had suffered a catastrophic failure. And it’s all exquisitely awkward, as David Archibald points out, happening while a two day Hydrogen Conference is on — as […]

No News: G7 says it will stop doing what it’s mostly not doing: China will keep financing Belt n’ Road Coal

It’s all a charade. The news was no news. A group of countries that mostly don’t fund coal plants overseas agreed to keep not doing it. And Japan and Korea, who had already said they were phasing out their programs in 2016, said they would keep phasing it out.

This abdication of global charity leaves the path clear for the largest funder of foreign coal plants, the Chinese Communist Party. China can win even more favours and UN votes by being the only supplier of coal fired assistance to a desperate third world. That’ll suit President Xi. He thanks the G7 patsies who limit their gifts to dinky unreliable solar panels and wind towers. Ten or twenty years from now, those gifts will be so much landfill. The coal plants will power on.

This was another nothingness press release just to look like a “win”, like progress was happening, and to give irrelevant former PMs a chance to grandstand. And the ABC and SBS bored us with another advert for Green-Fantasy-Island and didn’t mention that this was largely a repeat of a 5 year old agreement. Nor did they mention that China is the largest funder of foreign coal, […]

Chinese official says solar and wind are too intermittent and unstable. They must use coal.

China seems to operate in its own bubble of rules

Image by Chris Feser

Imagine the apoplexy if our ecology minister said we’d fund coal power in the third world? Why is it only China that gets to build coal at home and abroad? What kind of developing nation can’t afford to run on “solar and wind” but is rich enough to be helping build coal plants in other nations too?

China has ‘no other choice’ but to rely on coal power for now, official says

Evelyn Cheng. CNBC

“China’s energy structure is dominated by coal power. This is an objective reality,” said Su Wei, deputy secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission. CNBC translated his Mandarin-language comments, which he made late last week following Xi’s separate remarks at a U.S.-led global leaders climate summit.

“Because renewable energy (sources such as) wind and solar power are intermittent and unstable, we must rely on a stable power source,” Su said. “We have no other choice. For a period of time, we may need to use coal power as a point of flexible adjustment.”

He added that […]

Africa to double coal fired power by 2030

In the next ten years, Australia will close a couple of coal plants, while Africa will build 1250.

Africa is going to double its energy and almost all the increase is coming from fossil fuels. This is hard to explain, given that renewables are “free” and Africa is poor. But at the end of the decade unreliable renewables will still make less than 10% of the energy in Africa.

Thanks to the GWPF:

Fossil fuels to dominate Africa’s energy mix this decade – report

Power Engineering International

A new study into Africa’s energy generation landscape uses a state-of-the-art machine-learning technique to analyse the pipeline of more than 2,500 planned power plants and their chances of successful commission.

African power generation, 2030, graph.

The study predicts that in 2030, fossil fuels will account for two-thirds of all generated electricity across Africa. While an additional 18% of generation is set to come from hydro-energy projects. These have their own challenges, such as being vulnerable to an increasing number of droughts caused by climate change.

This is only the start. Most countries in Africa are not even in the race yet:

South […]

US Climate Czar turns the thumb-screws on Australia coal

And some people wondered why I paid any attention to the US election. Apart from being the biggest political story in my life, there is that effect that US leaders have even on the other side of the world.

It’s only been five weeks since the inauguration and our largest military ally is already leaning on Australia to get out of coal fired power. To put some perspective on the size of this favour — Coal is our largest single export commodity about half the time, and most years Australia is the largest single exporter of coal in the world. We export more than 400 million tons of coal per annum. We also keep some and use coal to generate more than half our electricity. Even burning through the blackstuff like that, we still have another 300 years of supply underground. It could be very profitable stuff for another twelve generations of Australians. Or not.

So our largest trading partner is launching a trade war and acting hostile, while our largest military ally is saying they want a big favour. How much room is there for Australia to manouver?

Meanwhile last year China built three times more coal power than […]

Un-Greening: Mexico gives up on renewables, revives coal industry

Mexico, the eleventh biggest population on Earth, was all enthused about renewables a few years ago, but now they are actively winding back wind and solar and reactivating coal projects. Mines are being reopened, coal miners are being hired and the state owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) has been told to buy electricity from its own coal generators before they buy electricity from the privately owned renewables generators.

López Obrador is called a populist, he talks of energy sovereignty, and speaks badly of predecessors who opened up the energy sector to foreign and private interests. He vowed to put ” at least 80% of the budget – into fossil fuels.””

Mexico was once a climate leader – now it’s betting big on coal

David Agren in San Juan de Sabinas, The Guardian

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as Amlo, has unveiled plans to buy nearly 2m tons of thermal coal from small producers like Rivera. He also plans to reactivate a pair of coal-fired plants on the Texas border, which were being wound down as natural gas and renewables took a more prominent role in Mexico’s energy mix.

Not […]

In 2020 China built three times more coal power than the rest of the world

Coal power is surging in the second largest economy even as China tells the rest of the world to “cut carbon”

If, hypothetically, China were to fund anti-coal groups in the countries it competes with — it would be a successful strategy to hurt them and advantage China. Which journalists would tell us if that were happening?

China’s new coal power plant capacity in 2020 more than three times rest of world’s: study

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China put 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity into operation in 2020, according to new international research, more than three times the amount built elsewhere around the world and potentially undermining its short-term climate goals.

The country won praise last year after President Xi Jinping pledged to make the country “carbon neutral” by 2060. But regulators have since come under fire for failing to properly control the coal power sector, a major source of climate-warming greenhouse gas.

Including decommissions, China’s coal-fired fleet capacity rose by a net 29.8 GW in 2020, even as the rest of the world made cuts of 17.2 GW, according to research released on Wednesday by […]