The peak coal question
Written by Prof Dave Rutledge   
Saturday, 13 February 2010
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There seems to be a strong likelihood that the Global coal industry physically cannot, much longer, supply an annual, year to year, increase of 200 million tons per year of coal to China's already 3 billion tons per year

icon Hubbert's The Peak Coal Question (Prof Dave Rutledge) (3.04 MB)

If this is the case, there will be profound consequences.

When planning to keep Britain's lights on after 1st January 2016, we cannot assume that there will always be a ready source of imported coal for UK power stations, even during the next decade.

Because carbon capture and storage (CCS) can consume up to 30% of the primary energy (in this case, coal) used, can we really afford the energy cost unless the CO2 is doing something socially and economically useful, like enhanced oil or gas recovery?

We need to take a completely fresh look at all our global and local (EU) commitments in the light of the reality which is that for the foreseeable future, Britain must cut its coat according to its available cloth.

 

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