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Declining Demand for Coal

Written by , on September 27, 2013

In a sign of the time. the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has turned down a bid of 21 cents a ton for the right to mine 167 million tons of coal in Wyoming. The bid is just 20% of the price paid for similar deposits a year ago and the lowest price since 1998. […]  Read more »

Energy from Coal without Burning Captures CO2

Written by , on February 7, 2013

Researchers at Ohio Stste University have successfully comducted a research-scale test of a new form of "clean coal" energy production which does not involve burning the coal. The technology uses tiny beads of iron oxide to carry oxygen to coal which has been ground into a powder. The coal particles are about 100 micrometers across […]  Read more »

Cool Coal?

Written by , on August 28, 2012

A team of University of Oregon physicists has published a paper recommending the treatment of flue gases from coal-fired power plants by cooling it sufficiently for pollutants to be deposited as "ices". The researchers believe that this cryogenic system would capture at least 98% of sulfur dioxide, virtually 100% of mercury and 90% of carbon […]  Read more »

The Fracking FAQs

Written by , on May 11, 2012

Using oil and gas as an energy source is a remnant of old Industial Age technology and not normally part of our discussion of the developing Global Age. However, the increased price of fossil fuels, resulting from the world’s diminishing oil supply, has led to some extraordinary techniques being used to extract oil and gas […]  Read more »

Building Coal-fired Power No Longer Economic

Written by , on April 5, 2012

If the cost of solar photovoltaic electricity continues to fall, there must come a time when solar power is cheaper than electricity from coal. But when will that time come? This graph shows us that, for new coal-fired power, the time is now. In the short term, PV prices seem to drop sharply and then […]  Read more »

U.S. to Close Up 20% of Coal Power Station by 2016

Written by , on December 31, 2011

For decades, the United States produced more of its electricity from coal than all other fuels combined. As recentlly as 2003, 51% of US electricity came from burning coal. But the use of coal is starting to decline rapidly. In 2011, coal will account for 41% of US power generation, down 2% from the previous […]  Read more »

Can Gas Be a Bridge to a Sustainable Future?

Written by , on July 6, 2011

The Post-Carbon Institute has published a report which claims to shatter the "myth" that natural gas can be a bridge fuel between oil and coal and a renewable energy future for the United States. Without gas from shale, the US Energy Information Administration estimates that gas production will fall by 20% by 2035. However, replacing […]  Read more »

“Clean Coal” Could Trigger Eathquakes

Written by , on December 16, 2010

A Stanford geophysicist, Mark Zoback, has warned that "underground storage of carbon dioxide may trigger earthquakes which could allow the gas to seep back into the atmosphere, rendering the emissions mitigation approach ineffective." The problem is that burning coal produces so much carbon dioxide that the volume is too great to be stored safely underground. […]  Read more »

Peak Cheap Coal?

Written by , on November 24, 2010

According to a report published in Nature, although coal is plentiful, cheap coal may run out within a few decades. The article points out that the current large investments in carbon capture and storage are based on the assumption that coal will remain cheap for many decades but this may not be the case. It […]  Read more »

The Ins and Outs of Coal-fired Power

Written by , on September 27, 2010

Take a look at our new video about the amazing amount of coal and water that it takes to run a coal-fired power station – and the huge volume of carbon dioxide emitted, as well as all of the other pollutants.  Read more »