Last Coal company in the US, turn out the lights on your way out...

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woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,455
SE PA
Nice article by the good ol' David Roberts on the fate of Coal power globally:


Key takeaways:

--In 2020, 60% of US coal-fired power plants have already been shut down.
--Zero new US coal power plants are being planned or under construction.
--Globally, coal power is becoming increasingly uneconomic to operate relative to new renewable power, including in India and China.
--Coal is LESS economically viable in China today than it is in the US.
--Coal is expected to be uneconomic (to operate existing plants) in EVERY major global market by 2030, wiping out ~$600 billion in current global capital.

The article dives a bit into China. There is still a popular misconception in the US that China and India are too poor or backward, that they have to build coal plants, or ask the US to build renewable energy for them. This was 2008 era thinking, and why Copenhagan Accord was a total failure. With the current economics of renewable power, China can and will build out renewable power to SAVE itself money. So will India. The Paris Accord (in 2015) is actually an agreement for countries to share best practices for building renewables, and phasing out fossil power, not some politics-driven, foreign aid boondoggle.

While this is all good/needed for the climate, it will have a human cost.

A nice article on this in the US is here:

which describes the closure of a large Coal plant, and associated coal mine, in Arizona. When it operated, its CO2 emissions were the same as >3 million cars. But it supported about a thousand jobs.

It goes on to explain that the loss of coal was never about politics, Obama versus Trump. And discusses how Coal power plant closures have significantly accelerated in the US since 2016, driven by market forces.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,422
South Puget Sound, WA
China and India are the ones to watch. There is a court battle brewing in the west with coal companies that want to establish a coal shipping port on the Columbia to send US coal to Asia.