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  •  I have to disagree (0+ / 0-)

    I can't see how an unsourced claim that China will triple its current rate of coal consumption is reality based at all.

    What I am seeing is an increase of coal burning , a doubling / tripling while the percentage stays in the 70 / 80 % range
    Again, by what sources? The ones you posted directly contradict that.
    If they burn 1 pound of coal today and do nothing else , coal is 100%
    If tomorrow they burn 2 pounds of coal  and get an equivalent amount of energy from another source , they are the burning percentage wise less coal while burning twice as much coal . Percentage goes down while pounds go up . So please don't try and play the percentage game .
    There's no game being played here, you can look at the publications I noted for yourself. They have China coal consumption increasing, sure, but nothing even close to doubling from what it is today.
    expected to triple that of the United States" does not mean a doubling/tripling of the amount of coal they burn.
    How do they triple "capacity" without doubling coal burning ?
    Show me the math .
    Sigh. I have a lot of respect for what you write here but this is a math fail. You've taken a quote about China being expected to have three times as much coal burning capacity as the United States, and misinterpreted that to mean there must be some time in the future China when will burn three times as much coal as China does now. (Which would be 1.5 times the current global consumption.) No energy outlook study predicts anything like that, and China doesn't have the coal reserves to sustain it.

    Getting beyond the basics of reserves, it is important to also consider the variation in coal quality and the logistics of transportation. In estimates of world coal reserves there's a lot that will simply never be burned a long distance from where it lies in the ground now, because it would cost more energy to mine and ship thousands of miles than the energy it would produce in a power plant.

    Coal can get a lot more expensive (in financial and energy cost delivered to the plant) when it is burned a long distance from where it is mined. That's why today only one seventh of coal is burned in a different country from its original location, and much of the international trade is higher-value coking coal and hard coal with relatively high calorific content. Lignite in particular has low enough energy content that it is often only economic to burn it in a plant that is close to a mine and has a low-energy transportation mechanism direct from mine to plant such as a conveyor belt.

    China's peak year of coal consumption is some time in the future, and will come from an increase both of its domestic production and increased imports, but that peak year is extremely unlikely to be an amount twice - and a practical certainty it won't be triple - the amount it burns in 2012. Throwing around unsourced claims of doubling and tripling is wrong and unhelpful to discussion.

    •  I ask a question , you did not answer . (0+ / 0-)

      Sigh .

      Take the numbers from now , triple them and then tell me where that energy is coming from ?
      If coal is 70ish % now and 30ish % is other .
      Now double / triple those numbers and tell me where that energy is coming from .
      Coal = ? %
      Hydro = ? %
      Solar = ? %
      Nuke = ? %
      Gas = ? %

      Make the numbers realistic ,
      make the numbers add up .

      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

      by indycam on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 06:07:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is in the question (0+ / 0-)
        If coal is 70ish % now and 30ish % is other .
        Now double / triple those numbers and tell me where that energy is coming from .

        Make the numbers realistic ,
        make the numbers add up .

        You can't expect an answer containing realistic numbers that add up when you ask a question with ridiculous assumptions.

        The publications I cited have looked at many variables: growth rates in China and world population and GDP; fossil fuel reserves; the current inefficiency of coal use in China; and many others. From this they have produced outlooks that don't involve that nation's coal use even doubling in the forseeable future.

        You are taking a very different, overly simplistic and very backwards approach: assuming that some unstated time from now China will have triple its current energy use, and that it will be able to meet this with a similar proportion of coal use that it has now. Just one of the many problems with this approach, is explaining where in the world this coal will be found and mined.

        There may come a time when China has the demand for three times its current rate of utilized energy. But your assumptions about what that energy profile will look like: (a) energy efficiency in the country then will be similar to now, so the primary energy demand will also be tripled; (b) when that time comes coal in particular will be burned just as inefficiently (in many small plants instead of the larger higher efficiency plants that are generally replacing them) as it is now; (c) it will be using a similar proportion of coal to meet this tripled primary energy demand - well, these assumptions are simply at odds with reality. They cannot burn something that does not exist.

        I cited the BP SRWE showing over the past four years China having a coal reserves to production ratio of 45, then 41, then 38, then 35 years. (Actually since I wrote that comment yesterday the 2012 edition has been released, and now it is 33 years. Triple the consumption rate and that be 11 years.) Just import it? Well, some coal has high enough energy content to be worth shipping around the world, but the stuff at the low end of the coal energy content spectrum is only economic to use close to where it was mined. It's not like oil, you can't just look at tables of global reserves and assume most of what's left could end up shipped to China.

        For your hypothetical year in which China burns three times as much coal as 2012, what year will that be? Where is the coal going to come from? Make the numbers realistic.

        •  You have become even more offensive , (0+ / 0-)

          that is a sure sign of failure .
          You have failed to once again answer the question .  
          I have no interest in speaking with you now or in the future .

          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

          by indycam on Thu Jun 14, 2012 at 07:40:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As you wish (0+ / 0-)

            I don't see where there was anything offensive, but I will call out unsupported (unsupportable as I see it) "doubling/tripling" claims when I read them.

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