Insatiable: Coal-Fired Power Continues its Dominance in Energy Hungry China

Chinese Coal Mine

The anti-energy/anti-civilisation squad keep predicting the end of coal and coal-fired power. But in China and India the demand for the black stuff – and the cheap and reliable power it delivers – is insatiable, and rising.

Notwithstanding a global economic wind down during the Covid-19 outbreak, Chinese demand for coal is about to reach unprecedented levels, with a further 4.5% increase year-on-year expected during 2021. So much for all that cheap talk about China becoming a renewable energy superpower.

Sky News’ Chris Kenny reports on how, despite the pundit’s predictions, coal continues its dominance, as China’s energy source of choice.

Coal demand is ‘bouncing back’ from pandemic, IEA report finds
Sky News
Chris Kenny
19 May 2021

Demand for coal consumption will increase by 4.5 per cent despite green-left politicians and media arguing the phasing out of fossil fuels is necessary to achieving net-zero emissions, according to Sky News host Chris Kenny.

“Most of the green left politicians and journalists are keen to tell you that the IEA says that to get to net-zero coal and gas have to be phased out,” Mr Kenny said.

A publication from the International Energy Agency said coal demand would increase by 4.5 per cent.

The report also said coal demand in China would reach its “highest levels ever” this year.

“They say coal demand will increase 4.5 per cent this year, bouncing back from the pandemic recession,” Mr Kenny said.

“It says that in China, the world’s largest consumer of coal and largest greenhouse gas-emitter by a country mile, the demand will continue to increase and go higher than 2014, therefore taking Chinese coal consumption to its highest level ever.”

Transcript

Chris Kenny: First up, this climate and energy policy and the decision announced today to build a gas-fired power station. Do we need to bolster our supplies of dispatchable power in this country? Of course we do. In the Sydney Morning Herald and other green left media, they tell you that batteries can do that job, but this is really nonsense. As I’ve shown you before, the battery plant for a similar output of electricity would cost just as much. But of course, it only lasts for an hour. One hour’s power is not much chop when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. 24-hour dispatchable power is what we need to firm up renewable energy now.

Is it an indictment, do you think, of our energy policy? State and Federal, actually Liberal and Labor, agree that government funds are needed to get these gas generation investments happening? Of course it is. Our renewables push has completely compromised our grid. All the subsidies and incentives have been poured into renewables, making the coal and gas plants unviable and thereby de-stabilising our grid, imperilling our supplies, and pushing up prices. Just look at the blackouts and the brownouts in South Australia and Victoria in recent years. But we are where we are, and government has got to ensure we’ve got enough power. They’ve got to plan years ahead and not put our supplies and our costs at risk, so they had to intervene. And they ought to err, of course, on the safe side, on the cautious side.

Anyway, just on all of this, let me show you what the global experts are saying about it all. There’s a lot of focus over the past couple of days on a new report from the International Energy Agency, detailing what would be needed to get the world to net zero by 2050 globally.

Of course, a lot of governments, people saying this is what they’ll do now. This is hailed by the green left and the media. They all neglect to mention the important details though. The report says that half of the reductions to get to net zero by 2050 would have to come from technology we don’t have yet, technology currently in demonstration or prototype phases. So you wouldn’t want to shut down your other options too soon, would you, when you’re waiting to prove up that technology?

The International Energy Agency says all this rests on advanced innovation in batteries and in hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, all stuff that’s not up to the task now. Yet. So that’s one hell of a downside. Isn’t it? Most of the green left politicians and journalists are keen to tell you that the IEA says that to get to net zero, coal and gas have to be phased out. That’s the message they want to push, but what they’re less inclined to tell you is that there’s no guarantee we get enough power without them. The technology to their dreams of net zero is yet to be invented or at least proven up. So they want us to take them on faith.

Interviewer: Net zero emissions by 2050. What does the mix look like in Australia?

Darren Miller: It’s a good question and obviously we’ll figure that out as we get closer towards that end target, and that could take 20 or 30 years, as you’ve pointed out

Chris Kenny: In short, who knows? Check with me in 20 or 30 years. Don’t worry, it’ll be okay. And that opposition to gas-fired electricity, don’t take that too seriously either. We will be relying on gas too.

Darren Miller: The key thing is how do we balance the system for those remaining hours and batteries, pumped hydro, hydrogen, and natural gas will play a role over the coming decades.

Chris Kenny: Yep. Natural gas is kind of crucial. By the way, just on coal, the International Energy Agency also has publications out on coal generation and demand. They say coal demand will increase four and a half percent this year, bouncing back from the pandemic recession. It says that in China, the world’s largest consumer of coal and the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world by a country mile, the demand is going to continue for coal, continue to rise and go higher than it was in 2014. Therefore, demand for coal, consumption of coal in China is going to go to its highest level ever next year.

Just some facts, facts that you seldom hear elsewhere, but facts that say net zero emissions worldwide are a long way away, a lot longer than 2050, I suggest. And also, that Australian coal exports won’t collapse anytime soon.
Sky News

Insatiable: Coal-Fired Power Continues its Dominance in Energy Hungry China — Iowa Climate Science Education

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