Australian news, and some related international items

Clean Coal is a Dirty Lie #Auspol 


When the industry talks about “clean coal,” it is referring to a range of technologies that burn coal more efficiently, and pollution controls that remove some of the nastiest pollutants from the smokestack.

Yet even the most efficient coal-fired power plants only operate at around 44% efficiency, meaning that 56% of the energy content of the coal is lost.

These plants emit 15 times more carbon dioxide than renewable energy systems and twice as much CO2 as gas-fired power plants.

Pollution controls can remove sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxides, PM2.5 and mercury from the smokestacks. However, installing these pollution controls can add hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost of a new coal plant, making them more expensive than other renewable options, and discouraging their adoption. Today many countries continue to build new coal plants and run existing coal plants without modern pollution controls, seriously affecting the health of their…

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February 2, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. The Editor
    The Advertiser

    It’s sad to see our Prime Minister resorting to misleading gimmicks like “clean coal” (The Advertiser, 3/2/17).

    In managing a successful transition away from highly-polluting coal we don’t need more base-load power, we need to match variations in supply and demand, a problem for which base-load power stations are particularly unsuitable.

    This is not a new problem, even in South Australia. Large electricity demand fluctuations, caused by increased demand for air conditioning, were supplied by non-base-load power stations.

    These gas-fired peaking power stations were brought on-line at short notice and filled the gap between demand and base-load supply.

    With solar and wind power taking demand away from base-load power stations, existing peaking power stations can be operated more efficiently.

    There are other possible solutions to the electricity supply-demand problem, including various forms of energy storage and decreasing demand through increased energy efficiency, but if we don’t ask the right question we’re bound to get the wrong answer.

    Dennis Matthews

    Comment by Dennis Matthews | February 3, 2017 | Reply

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