Monday, November 19, 2018

Power-Hungry Asia Drives New Coal Demand

Anti-Carbon-Tax Revolt Threatens To Paralyse France

In this newsletter:

1) Power-Hungry Asia Drives New Coal Demand
Forbes, 15 November 2018
2) Anti-Carbon-Tax Revolt Threatens To Paralyse France
GWPF & Irish Times, 16 November 2018

3) European Court Ruling Throws UK Back-Up Power Plants Into Chaos
The Times, 16 November 2018
4) US Shale Surge Boosts Industry Finances -- OPEC Is Trapped
Reuters, 16 November 2018
5) Brazil’s New Foreign Minister Believes Climate Change Is A Marxist Plot
Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 16 November 2018
6) Another Doomsday Climate Model Flunks A Math Test
Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 15 November 2018

Full details:

1) Power-Hungry Asia Drives New Coal Demand
Forbes, 15 November 2018
Jude Clemente

Even with the Paris climate accords signed in late-2015, global coal demand in 2017 rose for the first time in two years, as reported by the Paris-based International Energy Agency during its annual World Energy Outlook release week.


Global coal use increased in 2017, despite claims it is "dying." DATA SOURCE: BP; JTC

We energy-saturated Westerners, of course, have a hard time understanding this. We should know, however, that any anti-coal policy that we impose is not that significant. The coal action is "over there." Per BP, China consumes over 50% of the world's coal, with India using about 12%. In contrast, the U.S. consumes 9% of the world's coal with Europe at 8%.

In fact, coal is the cornerstone of urbanization, increasingly important since the world's cities are expanding by 75 million humans per year

Again, already accomplished here, mass migration to cities is a phenomenon that is mostly happening "over there," so a lot of us fail to understand.

Yes, the coal-based Asian giants are looking to utilize more natural gas, but that does not necessarily mean a material drop in coal demand. Many of these countries are so energy deprived that all sources are needed.

Moreover, as more gas gets utilized, coal will become cheaper, thereby encouraging use. This practical problem of "using less fossil fuels will simply make them cheaper and more attractive to use" is hardly ever addressed by the anti-fossil fuel business.

Governments in still developing countries see lower cost energy like coal as especially crucial since citizens have a much smaller capacity to absorb higher prices.
Although a little known secret, even the great switch to renewables will mean more coal. Coal is an integral component for 70% of global steel production, and via steel, "There's about 150 tonnes of metallurgical coal via steel in an onshore windmill - and 250 tonnes of coal in an offshore one."

Geology surely will not stop coal. In terms of proven coal reserves alone, Asia and the world have an 80 and 135 year supply, respectively - with the resource much larger.

My point? Undeniably not in a booming market, coal is also undeniably hardly in free fall.

Supplying 40% of all power generated, coal is still the backbone of the world's electric power system Although slowing, new generation capacity builds are outpacing retirements.

Asia Pacific has about 1,500 gigawatts of coal-fired power capacity. While the coal fleets in Europe and the U.S. average 42 years of age, which is close to the end of their life,  "Asia’s coal plants are just 11-years-old on average and most still have decades left to operate."

Looking forward to new builds, Carbon Brief tracks 200 gigawatts of coal capacity currently under construction and another 450 gigawatts being planned. That's around a 30% increase in the global coal fleet.

Everybody knows about China, "according to the China Electricity Council, China added 39 gigawatts of coal-fired power capacity in 2017 alone." But, coal-based India is likely the bigger incremental demand market for coal, especially since the average Indian consumes just 6% of the electricity that we Americans do.

While renewables and gas are expanding, BMI research says that coal will still supply nearly 70% of India's electricity in 2026.

And outside of China and India, the little brother but rapidly growing ASEAN countries will see coal generation capacity boom 40% because it is "attractive" and "affordable."

Moroever, as these emerging economies build out their transportation fleets, the goal for more electric vehicles will make coal power even more vital. Globally, IEA projects that there could be over 900 million electric cars in the world by 2040, helping all sources of electricity.

It is actually a very simple concept: IEA sees a 60% surge in global power demand by 2040, so obviously coal, the main source of electricity, should be expected to grow.

Full post

2) Anti-Carbon-Tax Revolt Threatens To Paralyse France
GWPF & Irish Times, 16 November 2018

France is bracing for a nationwide revolt over the weekend as angry drivers plan to block roads nationwide in protest against the government’s carbon tax and rising fuel prices.

The French government approved a measure in late 2017 increasing a direct tax on diesel as well as a tax on carbon, allegedly to fight against climate change. The so-called Contribution Climat Énergie (CCE), a French version of the carbon tax, has steadily increased fuel prices in recent years.

Drivers across the country have balked at the rising price of diesel as it disproportionately affects workers who depend on their vehicles to get to and from their jobs. Two-thirds of French people expect a “social explosion” in coming months.

Rise of the ‘gilets jaunes’ coincides with Macron’s record low 26% approval rating.

Anti-riot policemen evacuate gilets jaunes protesters during a protest against the raising of fuel and oil prices. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

In just a few weeks, the yellow hi-vis vest has become such a potent political symbol that one risks being mistaken for a supporter of the rebellious gilets jaunes when cycling in Paris.

The gilets jaunes are a grass-roots revolt against high fuel prices, and they threaten to paralyse France on Saturday.

The cause of the price hikes are “eco taxes” meant to dissuade the French from using cars. “We choose to tax pollution and harmful products rather than workers,” budget minister Gérald Darmanin explains. Yet the fuel taxes penalise the poor disproportionately.

In the hope of deflating the protests, prime minister Édouard Philippe on Wednesday announced €500 million of compensatory measures, including a €5,000 bonus for low-income earners who trade in polluting cars for a hybrid model.

The gilets jaunes have organised at least 630 protests nationwide via the website, designed by an 18-year-old student. Some call for go-slows on highways. Others want to block roads, which is punishable by two years in prison and a €4,500 fine. Interior minister Christophe Castaner says no “total blockage” will be tolerated.

But several police unions have expressed sympathy, and promised not to punish petty or “middle-size” offences “out of solidarity with the citizens”.

Full post

3) European Court Ruling Throws UK Back-Up Power Plants Into Chaos
The Times, 16 November 2018
Emily Gosden

Britain’s scheme for keeping the lights on through the winter has been thrown into chaos after a European court forced it to be suspended, triggering fears over security of supply.

The government said that its “capacity market” scheme, which pays power station owners subsidies to guarantee that they are available to generate electricity if needed, had been halted after the ruling.

Up to £1 billion in payments for the coming year now cannot be made, denying energy companies a key source of income and casting doubt on whether their plants can still be relied on for back-up supply.

The ruling also has raised fears over electricity supplies for future winters, for which billions of pounds in further subsidies have been awarded to existing and proposed plants.

Analysts at Jefferies said that if the scheme was blocked permanently, it could cause the loss through closure of as much as 20 gigawatts of old coal and gas plants and would “create serious security of supply issues”.

The government started operating the capacity market scheme in 2014 amid concerns that proposed plant closures could leave the country at risk of blackouts. Auctions are held each year to award retainer-style payments to plants for future winters.

Ministers have said that the scheme “guarantees homes and businesses have a reliable electricity supply all year round” and guards against price spikes. It is a particularly important source of revenue for plants that run only infrequently as “back-up” at peak times or when wind farms are not generating.

Several power plants have been kept open solely because of the promise of payments from the scheme, while dozens of new projects, including batteries and small gas generators, were due to be built because the payments had made them viable.

Full story

4) US Shale Surge Boosts Industry Finances -- OPEC Is Trapped
Reuters, 16 November 2018

NEW YORK, Nov 16 — If Opec thought the 26 per cent drop in oil prices since October might rein in US shale production like the last sharp drop did four years ago, it might have to think again.

US shale firms are more profitable than ever after a strong third quarter, according to a Reuters analysis of results for 32 independent producers. These companies are producing more efficiently, generating more cash flow and consolidating in a wave of mergers, the data show.

Results at 32 independent shale explorers show nearly a third generated more cash from operations than they spent on drilling and shareholder payouts, a group including Devon Energy, EOG Resources and Continental Resources . A year ago, there were just three companies on that list.

The group's cash flow deficit has narrowed to US$945 million (RM3.96 billion) as US benchmark crude hit US$70 a barrel and production soared. The group overspent by three times as much as recently as June and was US$4.92 billion in the hole a year ago, according to Reuters' analysis of Morningstar data provided by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

The change is evidence shale firms have moved to “harvest mode” after shareholders pressured them to rein in spending and increase payouts, said Shawn Reynolds, a portfolio manager at asset firm VanEck. “The industry is starting to do that.”

Opec's worry

While shale producers have fortified their finances, Opec and allied producing countries this week began discussing an output cut of 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) to stem the sharp slide in crude prices. US crude was trading at US$57 a barrel yesterday, down US$20 from its October high.

Opec last sought to drive out shale producers by flooding the market with oil in 2014. That production free-for-all lasted nearly two years, sending crude to below US$27 a barrel, but while it bloodied shale, it led the industry to become among the globe's lowest-cost oil producers.

Now, any Opec output cuts that lift global prices should benefit US shale producers. They have become so lean they can profit on each new barrel of oil pumped from West Texas shale fields at US$36 a barrel and from North Dakota's Bakken field at US$43 a barrel, according to RS Energy Group.

Full story 

5) Brazil’s New Foreign Minister Believes Climate Change Is A Marxist Plot
Jonathan Watts, The Guardian, 16 November 2018

Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has chosen a new foreign minister who believes climate change is part of a plot by “cultural Marxists” to stifle western economies and promote the growth of China.

Ernesto Araújo – until recently a mid-ranking official who blogs about the “criminalisation” of red meat, oil and heterosexual sex – will become the top diplomat of South America’s biggest nation, representing 200 million people and the greatest and most biodiverse forest on Earth, the Amazon.

His appointment, confirmed by Bolsonaro on Wednesday, is likely to send a chill through the global climate movement.

Brazil was where the international community first came together in 1992 to discuss reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Its diplomats have played a crucial role in bridging the gap between rich and poor nations, particularly during the forging of the Paris agreement in 2015.

But when the new government takes power in January, the foreign ministry that leads that work will be headed by a man who claims climate science is merely “dogma”.

In his blog, Araújo states his goal is to “help Brazil and the world liberate themselves from globalist ideology”, which he sees as anti-Christian.

The 51-year-old diplomat – who has never served as an overseas ambassador – claims unnamed leftist politicians have hijacked environmentalism to serve as a tool for global domination.

“This dogma has been used to justify increasing the regulatory power of states over the economy and the power of international institutions on the nation states and their populations, as well as to stifle economic growth in democratic capitalist countries and to promote the growth of China,” he wrote in a post last month.

In another, he claimed the centre-left Workers party in Brazil was “criminalising sex and reproduction, saying that all heterosexual intercourse is rape and every baby is a risk to the planet as it will increase carbon emissions”. He then went on to accuse the party of criminalising red meat, oil, air conditioners and Disney movies.

Full story

6) Another Doomsday Climate Model Flunks A Math Test
Editorial, Investor's Business Daily, 15 November 2018

Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes are bigger than others. That’s the case with a recent study based on a climate model that claimed the oceans had retained 60% more warming than previously thought. It made headlines around the world with its alarming conclusion.

The study itself, by no fewer than ten authors, made sweeping claims. The authors wrote that the study held “implications for policy-relevant measurements of the Earth response to climate change, such as climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases and the thermal component of sea-level rise.”

In other words, this study is a game-changer that policy makers ignored at their own — and our — peril.

Media around the world seized upon the report as yet another indicator of climate-change doom and runaway global warming. No surprise, since most of the media faithfully adhere to the Holy Church of Global Warming.

The only problem: The study made a crucial math error, something that happens often in published reports. Its alarming conclusion was all but invalidated, as The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch reported.

Admitting Mistakes

We’re not ripping the scientists for this. They made math mistakes, which were pointed out by skeptical British climate scientist Nicholas Lewis. His review found “serious (but surely inadvertent) errors” in the study.

After their own review, to their credit, the authors concurred.

“When we were confronted with his insight it became immediately clear there was an issue there,” Ralph Keeling, a climatologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and one of the co-authors of the study, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’re grateful to have it be pointed out quickly so that we could correct it quickly.”

He added: “Our error margins are too big now to really weigh in on the precise amount of warming that’s going on in the ocean. We really muffed the error margins.”

Spoken like a true scientist. And no, we’re not being snarky. That’s how science gets done. When someone finds error in a study or paper, the authors should double-check their work and correct it. That’s what happened.

But there are two huge problems with this.

One, the media — including the Washington Post and the BBC — that so enthusiastically covered the initial release of the paper will not give the corrections of their mistaken reports nearly as prominent display as the original. So, for many readers, the mistaken impression of a world undergoing dramatic warming will linger.

Math Is Hard

Two, this study isn’t the only one containing a major math error. Indeed, such mistakes it turns out are shockingly common. And in truth, many papers on global warming aren’t “science” at all. They’re little more than fanciful extrapolations from statistical models.

As we’ve seen over the years, few if any of the models hold up when it comes to making climate predictions.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has issued a number of alarming reports on global warming over the years, has used literally dozens of different models to confirm their dire forecasts. The models are different in some respects, but all share one big problem in common:

They can’t even accurately predict what has already happened, much less forecast what will happen in the deep future.

Media Negligence

Scientists know this, but the media mostly ignore it.

“(Climate models) are full of fudge factors that are fitted to the existing climate, so the models more or less agree with the observed data,” wrote Nobel Prize-winning physicist Freeman Dyson. “But there is no reason to believe that the same fudge factors would give the right behaviour in a world with different chemistry, for example in a world with increased CO2 in the atmosphere.”

A study by Lewis and climate scientist Judith Curry in the American Meteorological Society’s journal estimated that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would result in temperatures of anywhere from 30% to 45% below UN estimates. In other words, no global warming crisis exists.

Global Warming: Skepticism Needed

Other peer reviewed articles by climate scientists have likewise knocked down the doomsday scenarios of the UN’s IPCC. But the media ignore those studies that convincingly show little or no warming. Or they criticize the authors of the studies as “skeptics.”

Aren’t all scientists supposed to be skeptics? It’s the very basis of science. In their mad dash to prove their global warming bona fides, major media have simply thrown skepticism out the window. What’s left is climate religion.

As yet another study shows, we should all be skeptical.

Full post
see also GWPF press release:
News Media Gave Blanket Coverage To Flawed Climate Paper 

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

1 comment:

Geoffrey said...

Wonder what the likelihood is for our ideological greenies to grasp the significance of this data and the relative stupidity of their insistence that we should attempt to fix things by shooting ourselves in the foot.