Clean Coal

Coal powered electricity has been demonized by complete morons, like the President of the United States. Here are the three coal power plants I depend on.

The Rawhide Generating Station serves all of Northern Colorado. It is essentially pollution free.

The Dickerson, Maryland power plant serves much of Washington DC area. It is essentially pollution free.

2015-12-25-09-59-12

The Boulder power plant serves Boulder and much of the surrounding region. It is essentially pollution free.

2015-12-25-09-58-35

CO2 is not black. It didn’t give Malia asthma. It is not a pollutant. When are these anti-coal morons going to be silenced once and for all?

About stevengoddard

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58 Responses to Clean Coal

  1. gator69 says:

    “Clean Coal”

  2. The climate change convention in Paris was a strong rebuke to the people in the Middle East who chop the heads off of babies. They will stop doing that any day now.

  3. Lance says:

    In Alberta, our premier is going to close them down…shaking head…

  4. Robertv says:

    Let’s calculate how many bird choppers you would need to replace them.

    • Barry Fitzgerald says:

      They will not replace the coal plants, back up is required when there is no wind, all they will do is make the coal plants less economical because they are on stand by and not running at capacity.

    • Gail Combs says:

      TonyfromOZ does that.
      Here is some of the things he has posted at Jo Nova’s recently.

      ………….
      “We need to learn from Europe’s failed Green investment of 1 Trillion Euros that produce only 38GWs of energy http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/31/european-renewable-energy-performance-for-2014-fall-far-short-of-claims/

      This would have built 600 GWs of Molten Salt Reactors for 24/7 emission free energy without needing storage or backup fossil fueled power. http://www.egeneration.org
      ………………………..

      Very good on wind EROEI (Energy Returned On Energy Invested — the real measure that wind fails.)
      http://joannenova.com.au/2015/08/more-energy-means-more-people-lots-of-humans-are-alive-because-of-coal/#comment-1732341
      ………………….

      This is TonyfromOz using numbers from the USA. NO WONDER they don’t want the economist Bjørn Lomborg at a uni in Australia! Any economist who wanted to live in a civilized country would be horrified at the numbers… If they bothered to look.
      ………………………….
      “I went to the actual article about this new Obama plan, because I was intrigued that it mentions that it would only cost around $8.4 Billion.

      Let’s actually pretend for a minute that the cost of renewable power will come down, and this is totally contrary to what is actually happening as each new wind plant sees a rise in costs, but for the sake of the argument, let’s pretend they can construct these wind plants for around half of what they are currently costing.

      So then, $8.4 Billion would see, under this cheaper costing, eight new huge scale wind plants.

      That’s 8 plants of 200 towers, each topped by a 3MW generator nacelle, so, a 600MW wind plant, and eight of them in all.

      Sounds reasonable.

      So, that gives us a Nameplate of 8 X 600MW, so 4800MW Nameplate.

      Total yearly power generated is:

      4800 X 24 X 365.25 X 0.3 giving us a yearly power delivery of 12,623GWH

      Now keep in mind that this will be the ultimate cost to replace 32% of the coal fired power fleet.

      So, the current delivery from that coal fired power fleet is 1,585,697GWH.

      Then, 32% of that is 476,000GWH, and that’s the power he’s cutting, with this 32% reduction in the coal fired fleet.

      So, we are replacing 476,000GWH of existing power delivery with 12,623GWH of new power delivery.

      What the!

      That’s getting rid of a whole lot, and replacing it with what is only 2.65% of what they have gotten rid of.

      That’ll work!

      Incidentally, that cutback of 476,000GWH is 12% of the total generation for U.S. power.

      Somebody, somewhere, is Maths challenged.

      $8.4 Billion.

      Just who are they trying to kid?”
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      And to think _Jim says I am nuts when I talk of the future power blackouts in the eastern USA. He is from Texas and thinks natural gas will be the real coal replacement. However he does not count on the NIMBY factor or the hatred of all things ‘carbon’ on the east coast.
      The Institute for Energy confirms the ~ 10 to 12% coal plant closure. Most are on the east coast.

      And will black out the east coast cities if not replaced with a reliable energy alternative. (Up to 1/3 of the nuclear plants will be closed too.)

      “Federal policies alone threaten to shutter 110 gigawatts of coal and nuclear generation capacity.”The Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources
      instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/…/06/ier_lcoe_2015.pdf‎

      The worse point is because of the high property taxes on buildings even when not in use, Power companies are destroying the old coal plants and not mothballing them. Tricky Business: Taking Down Old Coal Plants

      Duke Energy implodes historic coal units at retired Cape Fear power plant. (Duke loaned $$$$ to the Obama campaign and then ‘forgave the loan’)

      What about replacement energy?
      Why Has It Taken 40 Years To Build A Tennessee Nuclear Power Plant?

      Or how about a simple mini hydro plant added to an existing town water supply?
      Logan, Utah developed a micro-hydro plant that cost almost $3 million in the U.S., but would have only cost between $225,000 and $375,000 in Canada. The reason the project was 10 times more expensive in the U.S. than in Canada was the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) regulations.

      ….For Logan, Utah it was indeed complicated, time-intensive, and costly. Despite the fact that the Dewitt pipeline is not new (it was built in 1934 and upgraded in 1949)[1], would not withdraw water from a river nor return water to a river, and the project not require a new pipeline nor new construction outside of existing buildings, FERC required the city to prepare a preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Energy Policy Act (NEPA)…..

      Sadly, Logan might have gotten off easy. Barre City, Vermont has spent seven years trying to install a 15 kilowatt micro-hydro turbine and Afton, Wyoming has spent $7.5 million ($5.6 million in regulatory compliance costs) to put in a micro-hydro facility.

      As the Mercatus paper explains, regulatory compliance costs are ridiculously high—even for the type of energy project that the Obama administration supports. If federal regulatory compliance increases the cost of project by 10 times, it is time to re-evaluate how laws like NEPA, the ESA, and others are being used to slow down, and halt energy projects….

      Planing started in 2004 and project finished in 2012. “Houser told us that because of “the cost of the permitting headache and the nightmare and the frustration of the process, there is no economic benefit to doing a project that size again” (personal communication, December 12, 2012).

    • Gail Combs says:

      TonyfromOZ does that.
      Here is some of the things he has posted at Jo Nova’s recently.

      ………….
      “We need to learn from Europe’s failed Green investment of 1 Trillion Euros that produce only 38GWs of energy http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/31/european-renewable-energy-performance-for-2014-fall-far-short-of-claims/

      This would have built 600 GWs of Molten Salt Reactors for 24/7 emission free energy without needing storage or backup fossil fueled power. http://www.egeneration.org
      ………………………..

      Very good on wind EROEI (Energy Returned On Energy Invested — the real measure that wind fails.)
      http://joannenova.com.au/2015/08/more-energy-means-more-people-lots-of-humans-are-alive-because-of-coal/#comment-1732341
      ………………….

      This is TonyfromOz using numbers from the USA. NO WONDER they don’t want the economist Bjørn Lomborg at a uni in Australia! Any economist who wanted to live in a civilized country would be horrified at the numbers… If they bothered to look.
      ………………………….
      “I went to the actual article about this new Obama plan, because I was intrigued that it mentions that it would only cost around $8.4 Billion.

      Let’s actually pretend for a minute that the cost of renewable power will come down, and this is totally contrary to what is actually happening as each new wind plant sees a rise in costs, but for the sake of the argument, let’s pretend they can construct these wind plants for around half of what they are currently costing.

      So then, $8.4 Billion would see, under this cheaper costing, eight new huge scale wind plants.

      That’s 8 plants of 200 towers, each topped by a 3MW generator nacelle, so, a 600MW wind plant, and eight of them in all.

      Sounds reasonable.

      So, that gives us a Nameplate of 8 X 600MW, so 4800MW Nameplate.

      Total yearly power generated is:

      4800 X 24 X 365.25 X 0.3 giving us a yearly power delivery of 12,623GWH

      Now keep in mind that this will be the ultimate cost to replace 32% of the coal fired power fleet.

      So, the current delivery from that coal fired power fleet is 1,585,697GWH.

      Then, 32% of that is 476,000GWH, and that’s the power he’s cutting, with this 32% reduction in the coal fired fleet.

      So, we are replacing 476,000GWH of existing power delivery with 12,623GWH of new power delivery.

      What the!

      That’s getting rid of a whole lot, and replacing it with what is only 2.65% of what they have gotten rid of.

      That’ll work!

      Incidentally, that cutback of 476,000GWH is 12% of the total generation for U.S. power.

      Somebody, somewhere, is Maths challenged.

      $8.4 Billion.

      Just who are they trying to kid?”

    • Gail Combs says:

      And to think _Jim says I am nuts when I talk of the future power blackouts in the eastern USA. He is from Texas and thinks natural gas will be the real coal replacement. However he does not count on the NIMBY factor or the hatred of all things ‘carbon’ on the east coast.
      The Institute for Energy confirms the ~ 10 to 12% coal plant closure. Most are on the east coast.

      And will black out the east coast cities if not replaced with a reliable energy alternative. (Up to 1/3 of the nuclear plants will be closed too.)

      “Federal policies alone threaten to shutter 110 gigawatts of coal and nuclear generation capacity.”The Levelized Cost of Electricity from Existing Generation Resources
      instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/…/06/ier_lcoe_2015.pdf‎

      The worse point is because of the high property taxes on buildings even when not in use, Power companies are destroying the old coal plants and not mothballing them. Tricky Business: Taking Down Old Coal Plants

      Duke Energy implodes historic coal units at retired Cape Fear power plant. (Duke loaned $$$$ to the Obama campaign and then ‘forgave the loan’)

    • Gail Combs says:

      So what about the time to build replacement energy?
      Why Has It Taken 40 Years To Build A Tennessee Nuclear Power Plant?

      Or how about a simple mini hydro plant added to an existing town water supply?
      Logan, Utah developed a micro-hydro plant that cost almost $3 million in the U.S., but would have only cost between $225,000 and $375,000 in Canada. The reason the project was 10 times more expensive in the U.S. than in Canada was the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) regulations.

      ….For Logan, Utah it was indeed complicated, time-intensive, and costly. Despite the fact that the Dewitt pipeline is not new (it was built in 1934 and upgraded in 1949)[1], would not withdraw water from a river nor return water to a river, and the project not require a new pipeline nor new construction outside of existing buildings, FERC required the city to prepare a preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) under the National Energy Policy Act (NEPA)…..

      Sadly, Logan might have gotten off easy. Barre City, Vermont has spent seven years trying to install a 15 kilowatt micro-hydro turbine and Afton, Wyoming has spent $7.5 million ($5.6 million in regulatory compliance costs) to put in a micro-hydro facility.

      As the Mercatus paper explains, regulatory compliance costs are ridiculously high—even for the type of energy project that the Obama administration supports. If federal regulatory compliance increases the cost of project by 10 times, it is time to re-evaluate how laws like NEPA, the ESA, and others are being used to slow down, and halt energy projects….

      Planing started in 2004 and project finished in 2012. “Houser told us that because of “the cost of the permitting headache and the nightmare and the frustration of the process, there is no economic benefit to doing a project that size again” (personal communication, December 12, 2012).
      (From the paper cited in last link go to the PDF to see the regulatory horror story for an ‘eco-friendly power plant.’)

    • Gail Combs says:

      I can not find a synopsis of new gas fired plant info. or the length of time it takes from idea to finished plant (I have seen ~5 years.)

      I did find this from The US government:
      …………………
      Table 4.1. Count of Electric Power Industry Power Plants, by Sector, by Predominant Energy Sources within Plant, 2003 through 2013
      Year…..Coal…….Oil ….. Gas – ∆ Gas
      2003… 629… 1,166… 1,693
      2004… 625… 1,143… 1,670 – 23 shut
      2005… 619… 1,133… 1,664 -6 shut
      2006… 616… 1,148… 1,659 – 5 shut
      2007… 606… 1,163… 1,659
      2008… 598… 1,170… 1,655 – 4 shut
      2009…593… 1,168… 1,652 – 3 shut
      2010… 580… 1,169… 1,657 – 5 opened
      2011… 589… 1,146… 1,646 – 11 shut
      2012… 557… 1,129… 1,714 – 68 opened
      2013… 518… 1,101… 1,725 – 11 opened

      …………………
      Total gas powered plants shut: 52
      Total gas powered plants opened: 84

      So for the reported change to US energy mix:
      coal plants -lost 111 plants
      oil fired plants -lost 65 plants
      gas fired plants – increased by net 32 plants.
      This of course says nothing about the generating capacity of the plants. You would think they would give that info. but instead you get this map. — I went to the US government for information and All I got was this bloody map!

      Click on the map for a closer look at your area.

      More graphs on the power added in 2013 HERE
      Most natural gas was added in 2012 and 2013 (see above)
      Natural gas. Natural gas capacity additions were less than in 2012, as 6,861 MW were added in 2013, compared to 9,210 MW in 2012. total = 16,071 MW added.

      Coal plants retired or planned 30,142 MW
      Or twice the gas added. Note that between 2003 and 2011 – 52 gas plants were shut and only 5, in 2010 were opened. so much or all of that additional natural gas capacity could just be replacing gas fired plants… or nuclear plants.

      By state:

      Top five states:

    • Gail Combs says:

      Added natural gas in California, Texas, Alaska and even Florida isn’t going to help BosNYWash.
      Especially when it is replacing nuclear.

      Nuclear power retired:
      California – 2,502 MW
      Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin – 556 MW
      Crystal River Unit 3 Florida – 860 MW
      Vermont Yankee – 604 MW

      Nuclear energy currently generates 19 percent of our nation’s electricity. If all 38 units at risk were prematurely retired, about one-third of our nuclear fleet would be shut down

      • rah says:

        Here you go Gail:

        http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Existing_U.S._Coal_Plants

        Among other things you will find a list of the states sorted from top to bottom by GWh production. Contrary to your government source the top Ten are: Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Thanks RAH, It is a real pain to find actual information.

          I finally found out why. Industrial Info Resources charges mega bucks (over $500) for the type of information I am looking for.

          “Industrial Info Resources is the leading provider of global market intelligence”

          “IIR’s Renewable Energy Database provides extensive coverage on the wind energy, geothermal, hydroelectric, landfill gas-to-energy and utility-scale solar power plants throughout North America, with expanding coverage across the world…. Get access to an active database of 21,500 future capital and maintenance projects valued at $2.97 trillion.”
          “Our Power Industry Database provides information on more than 39,600 operational and pre-commissioned plants, 33,500 active projects with a combined value of $6.30 trillion, as well as information on thousands of canceled or on-hold projects, hundreds of inactive and decommissioned facilities, and more than 122,000 individual unit profiles.”

          So yes the info is out there but you are going to pay dearly for access.
          Notice the useless renewable projects are valued at $2.97 trillion. Meaning the non-renewable projects are valued at ~$3.33 trillion. No wonder we are getting saddled with these useless piles of camel dung.

        • rah says:

          When I did work for coal fired electrical generation plants I paid for it. For the money I got the locations, types, and capacities of every generating station in the US with the addresses of their offices and plants and names and phone numbers of the important management, maintenance and purchasing personnel.

        • Gail Combs says:

          RAH
          When it is generating money it makes sense to pay for that type of information.

      • oeman50 says:

        Hi, Gail. My local utility is trying to get approval for a natural gas pipeline to get the new fracking gas to power plants and markets on the east coast. NIMBY’s are out in full force and they want all approvals to have “more time for comment.” This is their default strategy to kill off projects. So getting more gas for new plants to replace any shutdown coal or nuclear plants is problematic. So I have to agree with you.

        • Gail Combs says:

          Yeah, the project I have found have all been in the south. Also realize the ‘projects’ Industrial Info Resources includes are also maintenance projects and probably pipelines too.

          This is what I found before I stumbled on Industrial Info Resources and realized why I was not going to find every thing in one place.

          I was looking at the top five energy companies in the USA. Whose Who from http://www.power-technology.com/features/featurethe-top-10-biggest-power-companies-of-2014-4385942/

          New Natural gas plants.
          From http://www.power-eng.com/gas.html
          262-MW Puente Project in California is jumping through regulatory hoops trying to find a site.

          Calpine Mid-Atlantic Development LLC has proposed a 158 MW MFO (158 MWC) upgrade to the natural gas-fueled combined-cycle facility. . At Calpine’s request, PJM utilized capacity interconnection rights (CIRs) from the deactivated Deepwater Units 1 and 6. The planned in-service date is June 1, 2018.

          The Pio Pico Energy Center is a proposed simple-cycle power generation project that consists of three General Electric LMS100 natural gas-fired combustion turbine generators. The total net generating capacity would be 300 megawatts.

          Contra Costa Generating Station, natural gas-fired, combined-cycle electrical generating facility rated at a nominal generating capacity of 624 MW (ALL other projects in California are on hold.)
          ………….

          Bechtel has been selected by Panda Power Funds to build a new 1,124-megawatt combined-cycle, electric generating facility as part of one of the largest coal-to-natural gas power site conversion projects in the United States. Construction is due to start in November 2015 and will take approximately 30 months. http://www.bechtel.com/newsroom/releases/2015/10/bechtel-hummel-largest-coal-natural-gas-plant-us/

          Duke Energy
          Duke Energy was founded in April 2006. It is twice as big as the next largest US power company asset wise. The service area covers approximately 95,000 square miles in the Southeast and Midwest. Total generating capacity in the US reached 57.5GW ($24.6bn of sales and $1.7bn of profit)

          Site prep to operational in rural NC took 3 years for the Dan River Combined Cycle Station. Reading between the lines one coal plant shut down in 2007 and the combined cycle plant built in its place came on line in 2013 or 7 years for replacement. It is interesting that every single new combined cycle plant is built from NC south on the Atlanta coast.

          Combined-cycle natural gas plant in Citrus County, Fla. first 820 megawatts are expected to come online in spring 2018, and the second 820 megawatts are expected to come online by December 2018.

          Asheville NC Natural Gas Plant The plan’s major components include retiring the 376-megawatt Asheville coal power plant, investing approximately $750 million to build a 650-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, and installing solar generation at the site – one of the first combinations of its kind. Duke intends to file an application on or after January 15, 2016, for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to construct the two natural gas-fueled 280-MW (winter rating) combined-cycle units and a contingent 192-MW (winter rating) natural gas-fueled combustion turbine unit, each with fuel oil backup, at its existing Asheville plant site in Buncombe County.

          In 2014, the Public Service Commission of South Carolina approved plans for Duke Energy Carolinas to build and operate a 750-megawatt natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant at the existing W.S. Lee Steam Station located in Anderson County, S.C., on the Saluda River.

          Exelon, USA
          Founded in February 1999, the service area is mostly concentrated in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Texas regions of the US. About 55% of Exelon’s generating capacity is nuclear. The company’s total generating capacity is estimated to be more than 34.6GW. $24.6bn of sales and $1.7bn of profit.

          8/26/2015 — Three of its aging nuclear stations did not clear the regional power grid’s capacity auction on Friday , calling the plants’ long-term financial viability into question. Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island Unit 1 Oyster Creek Generating Station in New Jersey, which is already scheduled for retirement in 2019 and Quad Cities Generating Station, a 1,819-megawatt two-unit complex in Illinois that Exelon says may face closure unless it gets rate support from Illinois legislators.

          Wharton TX. – 1,000-megawatt expansion, adds to the existing six-unit, 498-megawatt natural gas power plant in Wharton.
          The second 1,000-megawatt expansion is for the Wolf Hollow Generating Station outside of Fort Worth TX. The turbines are bought from General Electric. The debut of General Electric’s new high-efficiency gas turbines.

          Southern Company, USA
          founded in November 1945. subsidiaries including Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power, area Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas
          sales Profit in 2013 stood at $17.1bn and $1.7bn respectively.
          They have one bio mass and a bunch of gas (older), solar and wind plants. Real GREEN “…attacking the industry’s most pressing issues. Included among these are such topics as electric battery storage, electric vehicle technology and infrastructure and finding better ways to use data to help meet customers’ needs [aka Smart Meters]….” but pro-nuclear. Plant Vogtle, the first new nuclear power generator to be built in the U.S. in 30 years.

          NextEra Energy, USA
          US and Canada. sales and profit during 2013 stood at $14.6bn and $1.7bn respectively.
          world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun. operates solar plants in California, New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey and Ontario, Canada. In all, the business operates approximately 700 MW of solar power. eight nuclear units at five plant sites located in Florida, New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin generating more than 6,600 megawatts. largest consumer of natural gas in the U.S. power generation sector. Florida Power & Light Company issued a request for proposals (RFP) to build a third major natural gas pipeline to serve Florida. Over the past decade, FPL has reduced its use of oil by 98 percent by investing in new, highly efficient power plants that use clean, U.S.-produced natural gas as a fuel to produce electricity. In 2001, FPL used more than 40 million barrels of oil to power customers; in 2012, the company will use less than one million barrels.

          FPL is currently investing to modernize three old, oil and gas-fired power plants into high-efficiency natural gas energy centers that will be approximately 33 percent more efficient and 90 percent cleaner than the facilities they replace.
          In July 2013 we demolished FPL’s aging Port Everglades Plant and have begun working toward building a new, highly efficient and much cleaner combined-cycle natural gas-fueled power plant in its place, which we expect will be generating power by mid-2016.

          Entergy
          1/2015 For the first time in nearly 30 years, Entergy Louisiana (NYSE: ETR) added a new 560-MW power plant to its fleet with the completion of the Ninemile 6 combined-cycle gas turbine unit in Westwego.

    • Gail Combs says:

      So to recap:
      16,071 MW of Natural Gas added unknown amount of MW closed.
      Coal plants retired or planned 30,142 MW
      Nuclear: 4, 522 MW closed
      In 2010 nuclear generated 20 percent of America’s electricity or 800,000 MW. If 1/3 at risk shutter, that is 266,000 MW

      While several new US nuclear plants are planned, none have been built in decades and Duke Energy NC gave up.


      ” Net U.S. Power Generation Share by Source, 1949-2012″

      Looks like I forgot the Oil- Gas conversion possibilities.
      The Anclote Plant is a two-unit oil-fired steam plant located at the mouth of the Anclote River, one mile west of Tarpon Springs, Fla. Anclote’s first unit began commercial service in 1974, and its second unit followed in 1978. The two existing units were converted to 100 percent natural gas and placed into service in 2013.

      Florida Power & Light Company now burns 99 percent less oil than in 2001. April 2013, the Cape Canaveral Next Generation Clean Energy Center, came online. Riviera Beach modernization completed in April 2014. 1,200 MW of electricity each. July 2013 demolished FPL’s aging Port Everglades Plant and now building natural gas-fueled power plant in its place, which we expect will be generating power by mid-2016. Over the past decade, FPL has reduced its use of oil by 98 percent by investing in new, highly efficient power plants that use clean, U.S.-produced natural gas as a fuel to produce electricity. In 2001, FPL used more than 40 million barrels of oil to power customers; in 2012, the company will use less than one million barrels.

      Exelon actually gives a timeline for building the Kemper County Energy Facility in Mississippi.

      Mississippi Lignite coal is used in an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) design called TRIG™ technology. link

      The Kemper design uses Carbon Capture. The captured carbon dioxide will be transported along a 61-mile pipeline to Denbury Resources and Treetop Midstream Services. The companies will use the carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery to find oil that was previously unreachable.

      Southern Company has the timeline for a nuclear plant.
      Plant Vogtle, the first new nuclear power generator to be built in the U.S. in 30 years. Interesting slide presentation from 2004 to 2020 for this Nuclear plant

      Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) — Fueled by the nation’s abundant supply of natural gas, an array of power plant projects are set to get under way early next year. Industrial Info is tracking 617 U.S. power generation projects worth $28.78 billion that are expected to kick off in first-quarter 2016. Well over half of the total investment value is located in just three regions, the Southwest, Northeast and West Coast.
      http://www.power-eng.com/marketwired/2015/12/23/u-s-southwest-leads-in-power-generation-kickoffs-for-first-quarter-2016-an-industrial-info-news-al.html

      A lot of those will be gas but also solar and wind and biomass.

      • PeterK says:

        I love your postings Gail, so please don’t stop, as I learn so much from what you post. You are a fountain of information for people like me and I would assume many others also benefit from reading your posts.
        I have a question.
        In my opinion, gas should be saved and used strictly for home heating and industrial chemical processes that gas is used in.
        We seem to be in a hurry to convert to gas fired power plants. The way I view these things is coal is cheap, abundant and should be used as our main source for power generation after nuclear and hydro (although this is not the current situation).
        Aside from what we in the west are doing, what is your take on how we should use gas? Should we be wasting it on generating electricity?

        • Gail Combs says:

          For electrical generation in the First world I would like to see all nuclear. We have the technology to take nuclear waste and reuse it. The Fukushima accident showed we have a robust technology.

          I would like to see hydrocarbons reserved for transportation, chemical precursors and possibly as you suggested home heating.

          For the third world, we should export coal so they can industrialize and join the 21st century. With luck after a few generations they will be more civilized and can be trusted with nuclear.

  5. Latitude says:

    Great idea, let’s pump it underground where nothing will happen to it…..

    December 23, 2015
    Unstoppable California Gas Leak Being Called Worst Catastrophe Since BP Spill

    (ANTIMEDIA) Porter Ranch, CA — Methane gas continues spewing, unchecked, into the air over southern California from a fractured well to an underground storage site — at such an alarming rate that low-flying planes have necessarily been diverted by the FAA, lest internal combustion engines meet highly volatile gas and, well, blow the entire area to hell.

    This is, indeed, the biggest environmental catastrophe since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010; and for now, there is no way to stop it.

    This methane disaster is worse than can be sufficiently described in words, because while it’s estimated well over 100,000 pounds of methane spew into the atmosphere every hour, the leak can’t be halted, at least until spring. Even then, that stoppage depends entirely on the efficacy of a proposed fix — which remains a dubiously open question.

    http://theantimedia.org/unstoppable-california-gas-leak-being-called-worst-catastrophe-since-bp-spill/

  6. desotojohn says:

    My grandsons just had a Thomas the Tank Engine Christmas. Coal powered ‘Steamies’ are good and friendly. Diesels are bad and can’t be trusted. ‘Steamies have beautiful clean white fluffy exhaust. Diesels have ugly black soot and are always in disrepair.

    • Gail Combs says:

      Not mine! 24 years old and still running strong. After a Jim Jessup tune-up, both my Cummins diesel run better than they did coming from the factory.

  7. Steve Case says:

    Old time steam locomotives did spew nasty stuff. The smoke from this monster,

    really a combination of steam, cinders and coal smoke was quite foul.

    When I was a kid we had tracks within a few blocks in every direction. I don’t remember the stink, but I do remember the snow with little black concentrations of soot after a thaw. Sort of like little black polka-dots

  8. Tom Harley says:

    Renewable energy is responsible for causing poverty: http://pindanpost.com/2015/12/26/renewable-energy-causes-poverty/
    Ramp up the coal.

  9. rah says:

    The layman generally doesn’t think about it much but there is a lot more than air quality issues the coal fired plants have to deal with in order to minimize environmental impact.
    These plants produce tremendous amounts of ash/cinders. And the majority of it isn’t “fly ash” produced by the the combustion. A far greater amount of “bottom ash” is produced than “fly ash”.

    “Fly ash” is that which is light enough to be carried out a smoke stack. “Bottom ash” is the cinders which fall to the bottom of the boiler. Large heavy cinders are called “Clinkers”. In a large boiler a clinker can be the size of an automobile. The stuff is crushed to make it of consistent enough fineness to be transportable in piping systems.

    At first the accepted system for transporting and stockpiling bottom ash were slurry pipe systems which emptied into settling ponds. But bottom ash can contain various heavy metals, such as mercury, and various other potential pollutants that would leach into the ground water. So they started using pneumatic systems and processing the stuff. The processed bottom ash is used for everything from the black grit on shingles, to sandblasting grit (see ‘Black Beauty’), to filler aggregate for concrete blocks. It is even used as the grit in floor paints and coatings for providing a no slip surface.

    Then there is the water. Such plants use huge amounts to produce the necessary steam. That hot water must be cooled significantly before it can be reintroduced into the environment without having a major effect on the local fresh water flora and fauna. And then there is the killing of various fish or in some cases aquatic mammals caught in the heavy suction of the inlet where the water is sucked into the plants system. These must be replaced.

    And those are just the larger concerns. It all can be managed to have a minimal impact on the environment, just as the issues of air quality have been. The Greens had to create the CO2 “pollution” devil simply because the other multiple issues resulting from burning massive amounts of coal were being effectively taken care of.

    • Latitude says:

      That hot water must be cooled significantly before it can be reintroduced into the environment
      ====
      not necessarily…..
      rah, you’ll appreciate this story about the Florida manatee…

      Florida manatees were designated endangered because of low count numbers made by people that benefited from low count numbers (polar bears)…
      Waterways were made no go zones, idle speed for the entire intercoastal, etc….money poured in
      Once other groups went out and made real counts, there was a 400% increase in the number of manatees. They were not endangered at all but the regulations were in place already, so their classification was moved to the marine mammals protection act. That way they could keep their classification.

      The EPA has decided to close coal power plants in Florida. But their cooling ponds are the winter habitat for the “endangered” manatees.

      So here’s their catch 22…

      The coal plants created an artificial environment that allowed manatee numbers to swell.
      When manatee counts go below that artificial number, they are considered endangered.
      …manatees were put on the endangered list because they went below an artificially high number and now they are protected under the MMPA….

      and now the EPA can’t shut down the coal plants because of the endangered manatees that would not have been there in the first place if it wasn’t for the coal plants

      F&W has threatened the EPA with law suits if they move to shut down more coal plants.

      http://www.globalwarming.org/2015/06/16/does-epas-clean-power-plan-endanger-manatees/

      • Gail Combs says:

        Looks like of my of my research is useful.

        EXCERPTS:
        Florida Power & Light Company issued a request for proposals (RFP) to build a third major natural gas pipeline to serve Florida. Over the past decade, FPL has reduced its use of oil by 98 percent by investing in new, highly efficient power plants that use clean, U.S.-produced natural gas as a fuel to produce electricity. In 2001, FPL used more than 40 million barrels of oil to power customers; in 2012, the company will use less than one million barrels.

        FPL is currently investing to modernize three old, oil and gas-fired power plants into high-efficiency natural gas energy centers that will be approximately 33 percent more efficient and 90 percent cleaner than the facilities they replace.

        In July 2013 we demolished FPL’s aging Port Everglades Plant and have begun working toward building a new, highly efficient and much cleaner combined-cycle natural gas-fueled power plant in its place, which we expect will be generating power by mid-2016.

    • Latitude says:

      BTW we’ve got friggin crocodiles coming out our ears down here…..because of the cooling ponds at Turkey Point…..nuclear

      • rah says:

        I’m pretty sure that water is still cooled before reintroduced though it is still considerably warmer than ambient when they do so. It is super heated and very hot when it comes out of the system.

        My company did work on units 1 and 2, both large coal fired units, at the Crystal River complex in Florida for several outages over a number of years. Unit 2 is a particularly large unit. The wet wall boilers are suspended on springs from huge beams. It will expand a total of 8′ vertically when in operation. Unlike most power plants they use sea water and use condensers to desalinate it before putting it into the wet wall boiler system to convert to steam.

        The outlet channel where the warm water is released to eventually go back into the Gulf is considerably warmer than ambient and Manatees and certain species of fish really like it. Fishing is strictly prohibited in that channel.

        That complex has it’s own fish hatchery. The have big catch cages at the inlets where the water is sucked in to go to the condensers. They pull those cages up and count the numbers of each species of sea life caught in the cages and then the hatchery replaces them.

        They work on and clean those condensers during the shut down periods and man oh man do they STINK from the dead plankton and other microscopic sea life that goes into them.

      • Gail Combs says:

        We have the D@@@@m things up here too in the Cape Fear River.

  10. rah says:

    I doesn’t really matter which is which in certain situations. If your in the water crossing a river a 5 footer will get your undivided attention and one doesn’t care if they have a pointier nose which Crocs have verses the blunt nose of a Gator even if you can tell.

    • Gail Combs says:

      There is a big difference between a gator/croc out sunning itself and a gator/croc in the water hunting….

    • Heck, a snake in the water will get your undivided attention, too. unless and until you are very certain it’s not a cottonmouth.

      • rah says:

        Those water moccasins are the worst because they seem more aggressive or at least afraid of humans than any of the several different species of rattlers I have come across. But though I have been wading in a waist deep swamp and seen them near me swimming on top of the water, they never bothered me. People say all that one needs to learn is to watch where they step and where they put their hands in snake country. The problem is in the real world that when one is tired or it’s night, and you have other things to worry about or all of the above, and your tactical being concerned about snakes gets really low on the list of priorities. That is why these days down at the Ranger training area in the back woods of the Eglin AFB complex they have people that actually try to clear the area where they know the various ranger patrols will be coming through. Jungle phase is the last of the three phases of Rangers school and a person that has been under physical duress, without adequate sleep or food for a couple months is whispering to trees thinking their another patrol member in the darkness by that time and just isn’t thinking much about snakes.

    • Latitude says:

      rah…you won’t see the croc at all
      Unless they are used to people…pet….they hide
      The two pictures I posted are ones that people have made pets out of.

  11. gator69 says:

    My Sincerest apologies to Frank Sinatra

    High Hopes

    Next time you’re found, with your chin on the ground
    There a lot to be learned, so look around

    Just what makes that little old grant
    Able to move that coal fired plant
    Anyone knows a grant, can’t
    Move a coal fired plant

    But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes
    He’s got hot CO2, in the sky hopes

    So any time you’re gettin’ low
    ‘stead of lettin’ go
    Just remember that grant
    Oops there goes another coal fired plant

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