Posts tagged ‘Coal’


A Green Group Sees Hope in ‘The End of China’s Coal Boom’ – –

A report from Greenpeace charts slowing growth in China’s coal use.

Through much of its history, Greenpeace has been big on what I call “woe is me, shame on you” messaging on the environment. As I explained at a TEDx event in Portland, Ore., over the weekend, fingerpointing (including Greenpeace’s) is appropriate in many instances, but doesn’t work well with human-driven global warming. The blame game too often ends up resembling a circular firing squad.

This is why “The End of China’s Coal Boom,” a valuable new report from Greenpeace’s East Asia office, is so refreshing and worth exploring. I was led to it by a Twitter item from the group’s outgoing director, Phil Radford, that focused on a telling graphic:

View image on Twitter

via A Green Group Sees Hope in ‘The End of China’s Coal Boom’ – –

Enhanced by Zemanta

India’s SAIL-led group hopes to buy coal assets in Poland-chairman | Reuters

A consortium led by India’s Steel Authority of India Ltd, the country’s second-biggest steelmaker, hopes to buy coal assets in Poland in the next few months, Chairman C. S. Verma said on Thursday.

Steel Authority of India Limited

Steel Authority of India Limited (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most steel producers in India, the world’s third-largest coal importer, depend on overseas coal shipments and are trying to buy mines in Africa and Europe.

SAIL-led International Coal Ventures Private Ltd (ICVL), whose five participating firms are all state-owned or state-controlled, has been scouting for mines since 2009.

Verma said they had already invested in due diligence for the Polish assets.

JSW Steel Ltd, India’s third-largest steel maker, has already bought U.S. mines that produce the coal used in steel making.

India’s coal imports rose 21 percent to 152 million tonnes last year, with most of that being thermal coal used to generate power, according to Delhi-based research firm OreTeam. (Reporting by Krishna N Das; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)

via India’s SAIL-led group hopes to buy coal assets in Poland-chairman | Reuters.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Coal India plans to set up power plant in 2015/16 | Reuters

The company has often said its output would be 300 million tonnes more than the current figure of about 475 million given enough rail tracks to carry the fuel from new and remote mines.

Insufficient connectivity is one of the reasons the company has lagged output targets for more than six straight years – leading to shortages at power producers and crippling outages.

“The country either needs coal or power,” said CB Sood, an executive director at the company. “If we are not able to evacuate coal, we should set up pit-head power plants.”

Speaking on the sidelines of a coal conference in the resort state of Goa, Sood said the company was seeking a joint venture partner to set up the plant.

via Coal India plans to set up power plant in 2015/16 | Reuters.

Enhanced by Zemanta

UPDATE 1-Coal India units see double-digit output growth in 2014/15 | Reuters

The expected production jump will help India keep a lid on imports of coal, which have surged in recent years due to regulatory, environmental and land acquisition delays in starting new mines at home.

Coal India Limited

Coal India Limited (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mahanadi Coalfields, a Coal India unit with operations in the eastern state of Odisha, expects output to rise to 135 million tonnes next fiscal year from about 114 million this year, Director Of Operations A.K. Tiwari told Reuters.

via UPDATE 1-Coal India units see double-digit output growth in 2014/15 | Reuters.

Enhanced by Zemanta

* China to Cut Dependence on Coal for Energy as Smog Chokes Cities – Bloomberg

China to Cut Dependence on Coal for Energy as Smog Chokes Cities

China plans to cut its dependence on coal as the world’s biggest carbon emitter seeks to clear smog in cities from Beijing to Shanghai.

English: Shanghai Smog

English: Shanghai Smog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The nation is aiming to get less than 65 percent of its energy from coal this year, according to a government plan released today. Energy use per unit of gross domestic product will decline 3.9 percent from last year, compared with 2013’s target for a 3.7 percent decrease.

The plan may help President Xi Jinping’s drive to reduce pollution as environmental deterioration threatens public health and the economy. More than 600 million people were affected by a “globally unprecedented” outbreak of smog in China that started last January and spread across dozens of provinces, the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs based in Beijing said Jan. 14.

“China previously targeted to cut coal consumption to below 65 percent in 2017,” Helen Lau, an analyst at UOB-Kay Hian Ltd. in Hong Kong, said by phone today. “Now they have officially pulled it earlier to 2014, which reflects that they want to speed up restructuring energy consumption and are determined to reduce air pollution.”

China’s coal use accounted for 65.7 percent of its total energy consumption in 2013, the 21st Century Herald newspaper reported Jan. 13, citing an official it didn’t name.

via China to Cut Dependence on Coal for Energy as Smog Chokes Cities – Bloomberg.

Enhanced by Zemanta

China to cut coal use, shut polluters, in bid to clear the air

China‘s fight against pollution continues unabated. Hope it is enough to save China (and the world).

Reuters: “China unveiled comprehensive new measures to tackle air pollution on Thursday, with plans to slash coal consumption and close polluting mills, factories and smelters, but experts said implementing the bold targets would be a major challenge.Vehicles past apartment blocks during rush hour in Beijing July 11, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

China has been under heavy pressure to address the causes of air pollution after thick, hazardous smog engulfed much of the industrial north, including the capital, Beijing, in January.

It has also been anxious to head off potential sources of unrest as an increasingly affluent urban population turns against a growth-at-all-costs economic model that has spoiled much of China’s air, water and soil.

China published the plan on its official website (, also promising to boost nuclear power and natural gas use. Environmentalists welcomed the plan but were skeptical about its effective implementation.

“The coal consumption reduction targets for key industrial areas are a good sign they are taking air pollution and public health more seriously, but to make those targets happen, the action plan is a bit disappointing and there are loopholes,” said Huang Wei, a campaigner with Greenpeace in Beijing.

Beijing has struggled to get wayward provinces and industries to adhere to its anti-pollution measures and there were few concrete measures in the new plan to help strengthen its ability to monitor and punish those who violate the rules.

“We don’t see any fundamental structural changes, and this could be a potential risk in China’s efforts to meet targets to reduce PM 2.5,” said Huang, referring to China’s plan to cut a key indicator of air pollution by 25 percent in Beijing and surrounding provinces by 2017.

Coal, which supplies more than three-quarters of China’s total electricity needs, has been identified as one of the main areas it needs to tackle. China would cut total consumption of the fossil fuel to below 65 percent of primary energy use by 2017 under the new plan, down from 66.8 percent last year.

Green groups were expecting the action plan to include detailed regional coal consumption cuts, but those cuts appear to have been left to the provinces to settle themselves.

Northern Hebei province, China‘s biggest steel-producing region, has announced it would slash coal use by 40 million metric tons over the 2012-2015 period.

Other targets in the plan were also generally in line with a previous plans. It said it would aim to raise the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 13 percent by 2017, up from 11.4 percent in 2012. Its previous target stood at 15 percent by 2020.

To help meet that target, it would raise installed nuclear capacity to 50 gigawatts (GW) by 2017, up from 12.5 GW now and slightly accelerating a previous 2020 target of 58 GW.

It would add 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas trunk pipeline transmission capacity by the end of 2015 to cover industrial areas like the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas in the east and southeast.”

via China to cut coal use, shut polluters, in bid to clear the air | Reuters.

See also:


Beijing aims to slash coal use

China Daily: “The Beijing municipal government has vowed to slash the capital’s consumption of coal by more than 50 percent over five years based on 2012 levels, according to a clean-air action plan issued on Monday.

Beijing aims to slash coal use

With the plan, local government is aiming to reduce the proportion of coal used within the city’s total energy mix to below 10 percent. Pollution from coal-fired emissions is a major contributor to Beijing’s smog, especially during the winter.

The plan aims to reduce the amount of fine particulate matter to 60 micrograms per cubic meter by 2017, which would be a 25 percent drop from 2012 levels. This requires the capital to slash 13 million metric tons of coal consumption over five years.

The municipal government has been cutting down on coal consumption for 14 years, according to China Environmental News, which is run by the Environmental Protection Ministry. Within that time frame, according to the publication, Beijing has slashed 7 million tons from its total coal consumption.

The plan issued on Monday lists a number of coal-cutting measures, including allocating a coal quota to districts and key users, strengthening the capital’s gas and electricity supply and revising a sulfur concentration standard in coal.

By reducing its coal consumption, the government says it will increase the demand for natural gas supply to 24 billion cubic meters by 2017, a goal the government said it will meet.

“The supply of natural gas within and outside China is promising since more natural gas reserves have recently been discovered,” said Zhou Dadi, vice-chairman of China Energy Research Society.

Four gas-based power plants will begin operations in Beijing by 2014. It has been estimated that they will cut the use of coal by about 9.2 million tons.

Another measure within the plan calls for replacing low-quality coal usually used in rural and suburban areas with high-quality coal that is low in sulfur content before the 2016 heating season begins.

“These areas use about 4 million tons of coal every year, accounting for less than 20 percent of the city’s total consumption. Yet because of the coal’s low quality, the sulfur dioxide generated amounts to more than 70 percent of the total emissions,” said Wang Jian, deputy head of the pollution prevention and control department of the Environmental Protection Ministry.

Wang said all low quality coal will be phased out in 2016.

Beijing is also trying to completely eliminate the use of coal within the Second Ring Road, the core area of the city, an aim first established in 2001. So far, about 200,000 households had switched from coal to electricity by the end of last year. The plan issued on Monday said by the end of 2015, the remaining 65,000 households within the area will begin using electricity for their winter heating.”

via Beijing aims to slash coal use |Society |

See also:


How Shale Gas Can Save China From Itself

BusinessWeek: “For years the Chinese have been told that the blinding, sooty haze choking Beijing and other cities is the price of progress. Yet China’s appetite for energy is literally killing its people. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, based on data compiled between 1980 and 2000, estimated that pollution caused by burning coal stripped five years from the life expectancy of Chinese in the northern half of the country—a collective loss of 2.5 billion years. A separate study published in December in the Lancet attributed about a million deaths a year in China to air pollution.

Cars in Beijing travel on the road in heavy smog on March 7

Although other factors have contributed to the blackening of China’s skies—including millions of cars and motorbikes clogging roads—coal remains the deadliest. In the past decade, China’s coal consumption has more than doubled. It now burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined. In the first three months of the year, levels of PM-10 (particulates with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less) in Beijing were almost 30 percent greater than during the same period a year earlier.

By contrast, in the U.S. CO2 emissions hit an 18-year low in 2012. The reason? An explosion in shale gas production raised the share of electricity produced by natural gas from 20 percent to 30 percent, while bringing down the proportion produced by coal from 50 percent to 37 percent.

China’s recoverable shale gas reserves are estimated to be 25 trillion cubic meters, 50 percent larger than those of the U.S. The government has already announced subsidies to local shale gas producers; it should also help finance new pipelines and gas-fired power plants. Officials must lower barriers to entry and increase incentives to encourage the most innovative drilling companies—the majority of which are American—to work in China.

Shale is no silver bullet. In the near term, China will have to keep building coal-fired plants to meet its voracious energy demand. Yet failure to address coal pollution will condemn millions more Chinese to premature deaths. It’s hardly a choice.”

via Bloomberg View: How Shale Gas Can Save China From Itself – Businessweek.


* Beijing to shut coal-fired boilers to clean up air

China Daily Mail: “Beijing has vowed to eliminate most coal-fired boilers in the city center by the end of 2015 to reduce pollution from fine particulate matter, especially during the heating season.

Beijing to shut coal-fired boilers to clean up air

After reducing coal use by 700,000 metric tons last year, the capital plans to cut another 1.4 million tons this year and use no more than 21.5 million tons, according to the 2013 coal consumption reduction plan released by the city’s Environmental Protection Bureau and Commission of Development and Reform.

Workers with the Beijing District Heating Group destroy two coal delivery channels with cranes on April 25, marking the beginning of the transformation of energy from coal to gas in the last coal-burning power plant in Beijing. CHENG NING / FOR CHINA DAILY

The capital used 26.35 million tons of coal in 2010, the environmental bureau said.

Beijing still has a large number of coal-fired central heating boilers that give off large amounts of coal dust, and noise during the heating season.

Richard Saint Cyr, a family medicine doctor at United Family Health in Beijing, said he has noticed an uptick in discussions about the worsening air quality with many patients since winter.

He said that air pollution in the past winter was unusually serious and he had never witnessed such collective anxiety in Beijing.

Fine particulate matter poses a serious threat to people’s hearts and lungs, he said.”

via Beijing to shut coal-fired boilers to clean up air |Society |

See also:


* China’s ‘most polluted city’ breathes cleaner air

As Western organisations know, “what you don’t measure you cannot manage” and “incentives matter”. So China’s local authorities are beginning to realise, as evidenced at Linfen. Assuming this notion is being espoused across China, then it is very good news indeed for the environment.

China Daily: “Fan Lifen clearly recalls the days when her hometown was shrouded in darkness, with the sun barely visible through a thick curtain of smog.

“The situation would worsen in the winter, when households would burn coal for heating,” recalls Fan, a native of the city of Linfen in North China’s Shanxi province.

Rapid industrialization and urbanization in the past two decades have saddled cities like Linfen with heavy environmental burdens, damaging the health of local residents and fueling complaints.

However, Linfen is making efforts to turn its situation around.

“The air in Linfen has improved tremendously,” said Liu Dashan, spokesman for the Shanxi Provincial Environmental Protection Bureau.

The dramatic turnaround started when Linfen was listed as the “most polluted” among 113 major Chinese cities for three consecutive years from 2003 to 2005.

The local government has since launched a cleanup campaign, closing 1,056 factories and imposing stricter environmental standards on those that are still operating, according to Mayor Yue Puyu.

Substandard mines have been shut down and smaller ones have been merged into competitive mining conglomerates, Yue said.

Residents have been weaned off of coal burning, with natural gas heating introduced to more than 85 percent of the city’s households, said Yang Zhaofen, director of the city’s environmental protection bureau.

The changes were made possible by changing the way the performance of local officials is evaluated, with promotions and other rewards linked to their efforts to improve the city’s environment.

Officials have not only closed down heavily polluting factories, but also taken action to add “green” features to the city. A large park was opened on the banks of the Fenhe River last year, helping to absorb pollutants and purify the air.

Over the years, China’s economic growth has been fueled by over exploitation of natural resources, resulting in environment degradation. A worsening environment has prompted the government to exert greater efforts on environmental protection, replacing the practice of achieving growth at all costs.

President Hu Jintao said in a speech delivered to the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress on Thursday that China should “give high priority to making ecological progress” and “work hard to build a beautiful country and achieve lasting and sustainable development.”

Linfen is a part of Shanxi’s efforts to repair its environment. The province, which provides over 70 percent of China’s coal, is slowly turning toward sustainable development.

More than 3,000 mines have been shut down since reforms were initiated in 2008, according to Wang Hongying, chief of the institute of macroeconomics under the provincial development and reform commission.

In addition to consolidating coal mines, the province has also made changes to the coal tax and fostered substitute industries, Wang said.

“We have set an example for other provinces. Although difficulties may emerge in the future, reforms will continue and we have high hopes for them,” Wang said.”

via China’s ‘most polluted city’ breathes cleaner air |Society |

See also:

Law of Unintended Consequences

continuously updated blog about China & India

ChiaHou's Book Reviews

continuously updated blog about China & India

What's wrong with the world; and its economy

continuously updated blog about China & India