China and use of coal
Reader benamery 21 comments on US energy consumption from a previous post at Angry Bear on a better picture of what drives energy consumption in China. The NYT article used air conditioning and shopping malls as one metaphor for the good life that the Chinese are striving for, but he would advise caution for those wanting to Americanize our image of China at least in the short term (decades).
Residential air conditioning is only 2.8% of U.S. energy consumption (including electrical system losses at 31.5% system efficiency), and the average occupied square feet is a LOT bigger than a Chinese apartment. A/C isn’t the U.S. energy monster, that’s the private automobile. A/C uses less energy than residential space heating (5%) or water heating (3.0%) or appliance use (9.4%). It takes on importance from an energy perspective because it drives electricity PEAK demand (not total energy consumption) in large parts of the country.
A look at another lifting from comments by sparaxis at Oildrum from China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
It’s useful to look at how coal is used in China to assess what future demand may look like. Unlike the US, less than half of China’s coal is used for power generation, so while important, electricity demand is not the sole driver of coal demand.
China uses almost half as much coal for coking to drive its huge iron & steel industry, so that portion of demand will depend on the outlook for steel, half of which is now used in buildings and infrastructure.
Also unlike the US, China devotes a lot of coal use to district heating (“other transformation” in the graph) in the northern cold climate zones, and that portion is expected to grow only modestly as building reforms increase the efficiency of heat use in buildings.
For direct end-use of coal, that is almost all in industry, particularly the cement industry (residential use has fallen to about 80 million tonnes).
Given many saturation effects driving both construction and end-use of electricity by 2020, we don’t see coal continuing its dramatic rise of the last few years. 2010 probably marks the peak of cement production.
Under a depletion curve defined by China’s declared 189 billion tonnes of reserves from the 2003-2005 National Resource Survey, China is currently on what I call a “sharp peak” production profile that could reach 3.6 to 3.8 billion tonnes, but not for long.
The units in the following graph are in China’s standard measurement of “tonnes of coal equivalent” where 1 tce = 1.37 tonnes raw coal.
China Energy Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Other publications include:
China’s Coal: Demand, Constraints and Externalities
You use the energy that you have available. The Chinese have coal so a large part of their energy future is going to be with Coal. The Norwegians have a high central plateau that water runs off from that allows them to create hydro electric power. Same with several states in the US pacific Northwest. The Northeast does not produce much energy but they have ports and pipelines that allow them to import fuel from other areas. Energy use patterns are largly a function of geology and geography. Wind and solar power are unreliable sources and will never account for a significant percent energy production. Energy production for the next 100 years is with coal because it’s widely available.
How do you reconcile the word ‘never’ and 100 years? And energy use to me means how energy is used, as in 45% generation mainly industrial rather than some notion for residential use, and how that evolves, as instructive data.
Sources of energy such as coal does depend on what is available, yes. But then you denounce alternatives which China is also aggressively pursuing and delivering with a research and manufacturing base. What is your point?
brilliant half assed analysis.
there is plenty of coal. but there is a problem. particulates and CO2. those problems might be solvable. but only a damn fool would “use it because it’s there.”
As for air conditioning being only 3% of total energy usage.
My personal energy usage is only 0.000000003% of total energy usage, therefore it doesn’t matter if i save energy or not.
Coal is cheap and abundant in China and is easily used to generate electricty. That’s why they use it. Also why China is the #1 polluter in the world. Other than stating the obvious I’m not sure what’s your beef against Owl here.
Islam will change
You are 100% correct that it doesn’t matter if you save energy or not. It would not matter at all if the entire country of Argentina stopped using all forms of energy and lived (shortly) like cavemen but without fire. It really wouldn’t. And no one wants to live with energy consumption at 1900 levels.
Solar and wind cannot make up more than a small fraction of a countries energy needs. They cannot be counted on for baseload which is critical. They also both have ecological problems just has significant (just differnet) as the primary energy solutions for the planet (coal, oil, nuclear).
You want to solve the problem we need massive investment into battery technology (energy storage) and fusion power. Much better energy storage solutions allows wind/solar to actually be useful on large scales. Fusion provides a much greener alternative to Oil and coal and somewhat greener than fission. Unfortuanately, right now those are the only two technologies that show any promise in helping to reduce are dependance on the big three. We have a long way to go on both, but there has been some movements on the energy storage front.
Electrical energy drives civilization and people keep demanding more. As countries move up the ladder of wealth they use more and more electricty – look at energy use of China over the past 20 years, or India, or any developed/developing country. Even if you factor out population increases the use per person continues to rise.
Or just look at a photo at night and compare North Korea – Somalia – India – Europe – US.
The human race has (currently) three primary means of getting energy – coal, oil, nuke. With a smattering of other sources on the side. China uses coal becuase its cheap and abundant, France has gone whole-hog fission, the US use a combination of the three. Pick your poisen, but the alternatives are all worse.
Islam will change
Among serious analysts there is no doubt that coal is the dominate fuel of the near to moderate future and will make up an increasing proportion of fuel supplied on a worldwide basis. Coal will be used regardless of the fact that its use increases particulates and releases CO2 to the atmosphere. Only damn fools are in denial of these facts — which includes self described progressives that see a realistic future with diminished coal use.
I still don’t know what is being argued. I did not bring up the idea of replacement sources of energy or evaluate which China should use. China is going all out on many sources and technologies, and the point of the two posts was to focus on Chinese reasons for how they define the mix, and the huge problems involved, and the ultimate end point of a population of 1.3 billion reaching an approximate level of energy consumption.
But we also are being left behind in R and D on alternative sources of energy, and sales of such. Asian markets are turning around and we are not. And my other point was that even if a ‘domestic’ market is achieved in China, there is reason to believe US exports won’t be an important part of that increase.
my beef with owl is that he sees half of what’s obvious. the other part of obvious is something like heating your house with a carcoal brazier.
well, serious analysts must be damned fools then. same point i made to buff. if i give you a lifetime supply of coal for free and a badly vented stove to burn it in, are you going to use it because you have a lot of it? “regardless of the pollution.”
you see amog the assholes and idiots running the world there are a lot of them just like you who think pollution is a limp wristed ‘aesthetic’ problem they can avoid by iiving upwind of their factories and only losers live downwind.
but anymore we are all downwind. that is the facts your are in denial of.
when i said my use didn’t matter, i was trying to be funny. the fact is that each of us uses such a tiny amount what we do doesn’t matter. until you add it together.
electrical energy does not drive civilization. it drives consumption of things we mostly don’t even really want, let alone need.
the solution to the problem is a measure of sanity. not total sanity, mind you. just a little. to start with.
Sorry I took you literally. But…
“if i give you a lifetime supply of coal for free and a badly vented stove to burn it in, are you going to use it because you have a lot of it? “regardless of the pollution.” “
If the alternative is for me or my family to starve or freeze, the answer to your question is ‘Yes.” As it has been since man left the trees. And neither Owl or I or anyone will argue with the wisdom of replacing your badly vented stove either with something more efficient.
Electrical energy drives a modern industrial civilization and is critical in food production, storage, and transportation. When you say stuff like “electrical energy does not drive civilization. ” People will stop listening to you. I know your hearts in the right place, and that King TuT and Ceasar both ruled over civilization with electricity, but current world civilization cannot exist without electricity. We are just discussing how to best provide it.
Islam will change
Energy R&D in the critical areas of energy storage and fusion power are badly underfunded in the US. No argument there. A bi-partisan problem. China’ heavy use of coal is simple – its cheap and abundant and until very recently the Chinese really didn’t care much about pollution. That part is changing, but it will not slow down’s China’s need for more electricty in the future, and coal is China’s solution.
More worrisome is your second point. If the US is not part of that domestic market when it takes off we are in a world of hurt. This could easily end with China having the reserve currency not the US with all the problems that would entail….
Islam will chnage
We have had this debate several times here at AB, with you being involved in everyone of them.
The United States has the tightest regulations on Particlates in the world, and led the way in regulations for other countries. The CO2 issue is not over, and your worry is just that….worry with no evidence to justify your worry.
And again…the United States is not even in the top three polluters. We all want to live clean, and we all want the techonolgy to get away from Fossil fuels…..problem is we don’t have it, it dosen’t exist, and it is not going to exist for quite sometime….so I find it rings very hollow to pretend, and jump all over Owl for being not only reasonable with his comments, but very realistic.
you are the last person i would consult about realistic.
you can’t just burn it because it’s there. there is plenty of evidence, but not for those who will be blind to see.
we can’t go cold turkey on fossil fuels. but we can make a start. and we won’t start as long as assholes are saying “it’s there. we have no choice but to burn it.”
we are all downwind. that smell you smell is you.
your family is not going to freeze or starve if you start to find ways to use less fossil fuel. on the other hand your great grandchildren will starve if you don’t.
China doesn’t know anything we don’t know, and that we haven’t already figured out years ago. It is a culture based on the theft on intellectual property, and mainly stole from us.
Someone needs to point out exactly where the advance in Chinese energy tech is happending, that already is not happending in the U.S….just maybe on a smaller scale here. I suspect the Chinese goal here is based on the preperation for future manufacturing capabilities, instead of real break-outs in new Energy Technology.
glad you noticed that second point.
I like the way I smell….smells like victory!
“on the other hand your great grandchildren will starve if you don’t.”
You are entitled to believe that…I just don’t understand why you do? You need to realize how arrogant of an arguement that really is. The diea that humans have such an impact on the planet, that one particular generation holds the keys to the survival of the entire civilization, yet as time marches on, we have no evidence to suggest it’s even possible let alone actually happending.
There have been 2050 Nuclear tests on the planet since 1945, with the last one taking place in 1998. No evidence the planet was effected in any fashion. Of course, those particular areas where tests happend showed so planetary scares, but no negative effect compared to the benifits that were recieved.
What was your stance back in the 1970’s when the United States quit building Nuke Plants, because if you really want to get away from Coal…Nuke is the way to go!
Making civilization more effiecient in its use of energy sources. Great. The idea that any current technology is going to do more than slow the growth of the use of electricity/energy on this planet is not realistic. At all. Look at Rdan’s graph on what China burns coal for. Notice that large chunk for coke to make steel? That steel builds homes, factories, ships, rail, and lots of other things. And there are 1.3 Billion Chinese. Another 1.1 B Indians. All will be increasing their use of electricity and energy in general. And they are not going to suddenly stop developing just to make western envirnmentalist happy. The only source for that energy right now on this planet in quantity is oil, coal, and nuclear fission. That’s it.
Look at the China coal demand. Doubled in the last 10 years! And projected to double again in the next 20. And I doubt anyone is going to find a replacement for coal anytime soon. Do you?
And no one is saying we shouldn’t find ways to be more efficient. But you not going to slow the demand for more energy on this planet. Especially with another 2 Billion expected to be living here by 2050.
BTW, Jimi points to just another issue why I don’t beleive in AGW. If you truely beleived that you should be whole-hog getting the US into nuclear fission power NOW. But they arn’t, so why take them seriously? They don’t take actions that show they beleive…
Islam will change
Your right we can’t. BUt there is nothing out there that’s going to get us off fossil fuels except nuclear fission right now. Ready to join France and get 80% of our electrical energy form nukes?
But right now, we really do have no choice but burn it….denial is not just a river in Egypt.
Islam will change
so why are you floating down it?
because oh friend of either or, fission has it’s problems too. but getting out and walking is good for you.
I’m sure the Phoencians agree with you, especially for grandma…it’s good for the skin!
116 degrees in Phoenix today!
i lived in Phoenix when it wsa 120 degrees. without air conditioning. we survived.
we also moved to california which is a better climate for human beings.
Refinements on many technologies, yes. But take in industrial scaleability effects and such and there is no reason it would stay that way over the next decades. There are well funded R and D projects. Also if one could buy a slightly better coal plant at 3/4 the price, the tech edges are dulled.
I am not saying this is inevitable, but on the other hand the trend. Cutting edge projects are not the sole province of the West either.
I just came upon this article/letter from here: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/a-letter-from-london/
Take a look at the chart below that was included in the letter.
What he suggests is that the UK turn to fission for now. Spend tha money saved upon the “renewable fuels subsidies” into research into new fuel sources. Of course his comments are aimed to the UK.
Regardless, it is Buff’s proposal in spades. He eviscerates the CO2 reduction argument.
the thin skinned people who live there now could go back to the rust belt and let those folk with 10,000 years practice living in that climate have it back..
on the other hand, if you think it’s hot today, wait’ll global warming gets done with it.
it’s also fair to say that the climate of california is no longer fit for human beings. too many of em came in and spoiled it.
go back. go back. go back to where you once belonged.
leave the evisceration to the soothsayers.
you are a sucker for everyone who comes up with a half witted ‘answer’ to global warming. guy could be right. could be wrong. there is no way in hell you would know the difference.
oh, i had a minute to kill, so i read the article.
i take it back.
i said the guy could be right.
circular argument “there is no problem we need to worry about. the chinks are going to be burning more coal. so there is no reason for us to burn less.” and the picture co rev shows is a classic example of “how to mislead with graphics.
i feel so eviscerated.
Dale explain the math of how this all works. Here’s some basics.
Here are the numbers on the major GHGs.
GHG ———-% GH Effect –% Natural–% Manmade
Water Vapor —-95.000% —-94,999% —0.001%
CO2 —————3.618% —- 3.502% —-0.117%
Methane ———-0.360% —–0.294% —-0.066%
Nitrox Oxide —–0.950% —–0.903% —–0.047%
Misc Gases ——-0.072% —–0.025% —-0.047%
Totals ————–100% —–99.72% —–0.28%
The point is that it takes magic pixie dust (or magical feed back loops to add H2O) to make the man made GHGs any more than a minor GH player. Scary ;-o
I have explained the math of this to you personally a number of times.
water is the most potent greenhouse gas. it is the reason the daytime temperature is within 100 degrees of the night time temperature. but the physics of water tend to keep it from building up in the atmosphere. rain. a warmer planet would possibly increase the amount of water vapor in the air which would either amplify the greenhouse effect or lead to clouds which would tend to limit it. i’ll leave it to the real scientists with the differential equations to guess which. from all i have heard their answer is that CO2 is the problem.
even though the amount of CO2 is small, the climate is rather sensitive to small changes in it. the changes in concentration actually measured over the last 50 years are quite sufficient to cause the small, but dangerous, temperature changes that have also been actually measured over the last 50 years.
the science gets a bit complicated from there and is frankly mostly over my head. but the fact that you would present the “basics” you present here is enough to tell me you haven’t a clue. you think because some numbers are bigger than other numbers that that means that they must have bigger effects. that’s why it you can drink three pints of beer with not much effect. but a hundred pints of cyanide might be dangerous.
i did recommend a book for you “Eating the Sun” by Oliver Morton. I said you’d like his conclusions better than I did, but I hoped it would lead you to respect the science more than you do.
You ignored my recommendation, prefering as you do bozo science that agrees with you.
and let me say here. i hate being mean to you. i have seen from other threads that you are a quite decent guy. but you really don’t know anything at all about science. nothing. and once in a while i let you get my goat.
by the way… notice the similarity between your picture and the upper left part of the picture of chinese coal consumption in the main post. they are the same. but by cutting your picture where they did they make the growth look bigger. it was plenty big enough without lying about it.
BTW, I grew up in AZ without A/C for much of the time (swamp cooler). I also worked outside in the AZ sun during the summer (and drank about 5 gallons a day). That said, I think a lot more energy is wasted on over-heating than on over-cooling.
And 84% of U.S. households have A/C (it isn’t confined to the Southwest, anymore). I work in the electric utility industry in SoCal (and haven’t run the A/C at home in 9 years). A lot of neighborhoods that used to be winter peaking electricity consumers have added A/C and are summer peaking now. The LAX expansion paid for a lot of A/C units, since the noise pattern led a lot of folks to close their windows.
China is not stuck on coal as their long term solution. They are well aware that it is a middle term solution (they will run out). Among other things they have done to stretch coal until they can replace it is to build a hydro generation fleet twice as big as ours, and have under construction enough additional dams to make it three times as big as ours, and have planned enough dams to make it 4 times as big as ours.
Your rudeness is out of control.
Dale said: “by the way… notice the similarity between your picture and the upper left part of the picture of chinese coal consumption in the main post. they are the same. but by cutting your picture where they did they make the growth look bigger. it was plenty big enough without lying about it.”
And that’s after he said the article I presented was “circular logic” while ignoring that the big developing countires have more than doubled their use of coal in the past two decades+. While the developed countries have lowered the rate at which they add CO2 to the atmosphere, the remainder has accelerated its use. BTW, with no impact on temps, and none of the catastrophic predictions have occurred.
Then Dale goes off and gives us the kidergarten version of CO2 heating. Which has this history:
Source ——————–Increase due to doubling CO2
Arrhenius (early) ——- 5-6C
Arrhenius (later) ——- 1.5C
IPCC ——————— 4-5C
J. Hansen (450PPM) —- tipping point to runaway heating
Latest peer rev. est. — .5C
Reality 72% Increase — .6C
To get to to CO2 caused that .6C increase we must assign 100% of the heating to anthropogenic CO2. That’s not possible. Look at my numbers, only a little over 3% of CO2 is man made.
NONE of the estimates have been confirmed in the real world. It can’t all be about irradiance (Dales kindergarten explanation above) Where’s the impacts of convection? Where’s the impacts of conduction? Arrhenius (and nearly everyone since) was wrong in his analysis and ensuing predictions as are you.
Stop trying to scare the kiddees, Dale. You really do need to grow beyond your simple kindergarten understanding. The science is no where close to being understood.
BTW Dale, when are you going to explain the math and not just the basics of one theory of our chaotic climate?
Good Point. Yes they will eventually run out of coal and looking at the long term hydro can be a very green alternative. China is lucky to have the geography that allows the building of lots of dams. But you note they are looking at solutions for AFTER they burn it all.
Islam will change
Coberly is a sanctioned troll. To him the issues are not important.
Here’s even another theory re: Climate Change. It does include the CO2 charts including China, US and Oz. Another evisceration of CO2theory.
there is no free lunch. dams are not green. the coal won’t run out nearly soon enough to save the planet. but you don’t believe in that so it’s worthless talking about it.
agree about the heating. there is something primal comfoting about getting warm. trouble is you can’t really do that with central heat. a blanket or coat would be better. or someone who loves you.
but unless you have circulation problems you should be able to adapt to an indoor temp of around 60 degrees or lower. but you do have to dress for it.
never ever thought about AC in so cal. windows were fine. here when the temp is 80 or above it actually makes sense to keep the windows mostly closed. leave one for air circulation, but not so much that the warm air comes in and warms up the walls and floors. because that will keep the house too warm all night. i do fine at 80. the dogs not so much. but we enjoy thining of ways to cope.
not really. i like co rev. i am not being rude when i say he doesn’t know any science. that’s just the facts.
as it happens i hate smarmy mouth polite people. you never really know where you stand with them.
but i have been trying for years it seems to let co-rev know i like him, but he just doesn’t know any science.
and owl is a bit weak in arithmetic.
give me some actual math to explain. i was trying to explain why your numbers didn’t amount to anything at all. you really just throw out words and numbers that don’t mean anything.
Dale, well at least you have me chortling over your failure to respond.