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BEIJING (AP) ? China's smog-plagued capital has announced plans to ban the use of coal by the end of 2020 as the country fights deadly levels of pollution, especially in major cities.

Beijing's Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau posted the plan on its website Monday, saying the city would instead prioritize electricity and natural gas for heating.

The official Xinhua News Agency said coal accounted for a quarter of Beijing's energy consumption in 2012 and 22 percent of the fine particles floating in the city's air. Motor vehicles, industrial production and general dust also contributed to pollution in the 21 million-person city.

Even with the Beijing ban, coal use is expected to soar in China. Coal-fired power and heating is a major generator of greenhouse gases and has helped turn China into the world's largest emitter of carbon and other heat-trapping gases.

Pressure is growing on China's central government to clean up the country's polluted environment, as discontent over smog and water and soil contamination increases among China's expanding middle class.

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YES, America isn't #1 lol.

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Good news for Australia and their ridiculous new coal mine :rofl:

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That nuclear vs coal picture would be quite appropriate here.

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That's just Beijing. China is a huge country, with lots of pollution centers.

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At least it's a step in the right direction

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please note that China doing this because pollution caused by coal burning became less and less bearable,

and not because of 'global warming' effect of carbon-emission.

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please note that China doing this because pollution caused by coal burning became less and less bearable,

and not because of 'global warming' effect of carbon-emission.

Who cares about why they're doing it? China is spending more than any other country in the world on wind, solar, hydro and nuclear energy.

And at the end of the day regardless of their reason, that's a good thing.

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Who cares about why they're doing it? China is spending more than any other country in the world on wind, solar, hydro and nuclear energy.

And at the end of the day regardless of their reason, that's a good thing.

 

I'd be interested in seeing a source for that... it's probably due to the size of the country and growing usage due to population increase and demand increase. As a % it's probably a very minimal spend. By contrast some countries are now decreasing energy use and have stable populations, meaning green technologies are built to replace old systems and to reduce total consumption from polluting sources.

China's electric energy production is currently around 5,000,000 gigawatts - this new law will close 4 powestations only at a total of 2.7 gigawatts, that's only 0.000054% of China's total electric consumption; and it's forecast that over the next 30 years china will increase electricity consumption by 370 gigawatts every day, or 0.5 gigawatts every minute.

 

Another way to look at it is the increase in consumption over the next 5 minutes and 19 seconds will be the equivalent of what this law will aim to achieve over the next 8 years.

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I'd be interested in seeing a source for that... it's probably due to the size of the country and growing usage due to population increase and demand increase. As a % it's probably a very minimal spend. By contrast some countries are now decreasing energy use and have stable populations, meaning green technologies are built to replace old systems and to reduce total consumption from polluting sources.

China's electric energy production is currently around 5,000,000 gigawatts - this new law will close 4 powestations only at a total of 2.7 gigawatts, that's only 0.000054% of China's total electric consumption; and it's forecast that over the next 30 years china will increase electricity consumption by 370 gigawatts every day, or 0.5 gigawatts every minute.

 

Another way to look at it is the increase in consumption over the next 5 minutes and 19 seconds will be the equivalent of what this law will aim to achieve over the next 8 years.

Well for one they announced last year that they will be spending something like $300-400 billion by 2020 on renewable energy research/building and they've been number 1 for renewable energy investments for for 1 or 2 years now, with almost double the US investment.

They're heavily investing and researching nuclear power plants powered by thorium. They have 20 nuclear power plants right now, they're building 28 more and with plans for a lot lot more. They plan to triple their nuclear power by 2020, then triple that by 2030 and then triple that by 2050. Most other countries are scaling back their nuclear power but China is one of the few that is pushing far far ahead.

China knows they have a problem with emissions and with the power needs of the country, but unlike many other people who stick their heads in the sand and hope it all goes away, they're doing something about it. I would love for the US to start investing heavily in Nuclear power but most western countries seem to be afraid of it after things like Fukushima and Chernobyl. Both of which were because of cost cutting and worker error.

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The 2020 date is key. Next year China fires up it's prototype molten salt thorium reactor, and they expect to be cranking them out like sausages by 2020. This is a very smart move on their part.

Thorium is several tomes as abundant than uranium, so common its a waste by product of mining other ores. It also "burns" cleaner, producing less and lower energy waste.

The US Oak Ridge lab built a thorium reactor decades ago but it was shelved in favor of reactors that produced plutonium for weapons (cold war days.)

We need to get off the fence and start a major national program to produce modular molten salt reactors as well. To size the plant for the region, just add modules. No need to reinvent the wheel for each locale.

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and if this molten salt thorium reactors will became a success in China, i bet other countries will follow suit too, asking the Chinese to built some for their own countries.

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Molten salt reactors have many advantages. Being already a liquid they can't melt down catastrophically. Molten salt also has a very low vapor pressure, so an explosion of the core due to vapor production is pretty much out.

They can also passively self-scram (abort) even without power to their systems. Solid salt plugs in the bottom of the reactor vessel melt if it over heats, allowing the molten salt to drain into several tanks. Each tank contains a sub-critical mass, which causes the salt to solidify. Easy cleanup.

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I'm not sure that China is doing much about it, I'd say less than most western countries who are the biggest energy consumers (The USA is probably the exception, not the rule). China's huge spend and investment might outsize that of other countries (it should they are the largest country), but in relative terms it's still quite small.

 

Even if China's prototype nuclear reactor works as well as hoped by 2020, following testing and construction it will be another decade before you see them rolled out on a wide scale. So forecasts are unlikely to change significantly unless looking beyond 2030.

 

To put it into perspective we can compare current and forecast energy use for China (population of 1350m people), the EU (750m) and the USA (350m). Even though the below graphs are a couple of years old recent forecasts but China's Nuclear energy at only 7% of total use by 2040, and it looks like they are already behind target (http://qz.com/189731/why-chinas-nuclear-energy-ambitions-are-falling-flat/)

 

1. The USA despite having less than half the population of the EU uses double the amount of energy - to reiterate they are not a good example for energy use by quantity or source.

2. As you can see below, it's forecast by 2030 that China will have similar Nuclear production to the other two. It might sounds like a huge investment, but in my opinion that's catching up, not taking the lead, especially when you consider the population difference, and as a percentage of use it's much lower.

3. The USA and EU coal use per person combined is already less than China now... and China only looks to increase this.


speech_21062011_demand_growth_by_region_

 

http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/press/speeches/a-corporate-perspective-on-world-energy.html

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