Friday, February 19, 2010

Letter to the Rockhampton Bulletin... re: coal fired power stations

I received this email and thought it worthy of posting on the blog.

This article appeared in the Rockhampton morning Bulletin on 22.12.09. Although I have never ever met the author I was, after some difficulty, able to contact him by phone.

This is an excellent piece for my friends to send to their politicians or to anybody who needs to be educated about Australia's Coal driven power houses.

Terry is now retired and is in excellent health at age 69. Nobody paid him to write the article which was, (to their credit), published by the local press.

Terry told me I could distribute his article as I saw fit.

Written By Terence Cardwell

The Editor
The Morning Bulletin.

I have sat by for a number of years frustrated at the rubbish being put forth about carbon dioxide emissions, thermal coal fired power stations and renewable energy and the ridiculous Emissions Trading Scheme.

Frustration at the lies told (particularly during the election) about global pollution. Using Power Station cooling towers for an example. The condensation coming from those cooling towers is as pure as that that comes out of any kettle.

Frustration about the so called incorrectly named man made 'carbon emissions' which of course is Carbon Dioxide emissions and what it is supposedly doing to our planet.

Frustration about the lies told about renewable energy and the deliberate distortion of renewable energy and its ability to replace fossil fuel energy generation. And frustration at the ridiculous carbon credit programme which is beyond comprehension.

And further frustration at some members of the public who have not got a clue about thermal Power Stations or Renewable Energy. Quoting ridiculous figures about something they clearly have little or no knowledge of.

First coal fired power stations do NOT send 60 to 70% of the energy up the chimney. The boilers of modern power station are 96% efficient and the exhaust heat is captured by the economisers and reheaters and heat the air and water before entering the boilers.

The very slight amount exiting the stack is moist as in condensation and CO2. There is virtually no fly ash because this is removed by the precipitators or bagging plant that are 99.98% efficient. The 4% lost is heat through boiler wall convection.

Coal fired Power Stations are highly efficient with very little heat loss and can generate massive amount of energy for our needs. They can generate power at efficiency of less than 10,000 b.t.u. per kilowatt and cost wise that is very low.

The percentage cost of mining and freight is very low. The total cost of fuel is 8% of total generation cost and does NOT constitute a major production cost.

As for being laughed out of the country, China is building multitudes of coal fired power stations because they are the most efficient for bulk power generation.

We have, like, the USA, coal fired power stations because we HAVE the raw materials and are VERY fortunate to have them. Believe me no one is laughing at Australia - exactly the reverse, they are very envious of our raw materials and independence.

The major percentage of power in Europe and U.K. is nuclear because they don't have the coal supply for the future.

Yes it would be very nice to have clean, quiet, cheap energy in bulk supply. Everyone agrees that it would be ideal. You don't have to be a genius to work that out. But there is only one problem---It doesn't exist.

Yes - there are wind and solar generators being built all over the world but they only add a small amount to the overall power demand.

The maximum size wind generator is 3 Megawatts, which can rarely be attained on a continuous basis because it requires substantial forces of wind. And for the same reason only generate when there is sufficient wind to drive them. This of course depends where they are located but usually they only run for 45% -65% of the time, mostly well below maximum capacity. They cannot be relied for a 'base load' because they are too variable. And they certainly could not be used for load control.

The peak load demand for electricity in Australia is approximately 50,000 Megawatts and only small part of this comes from the Snowy Hydro Electric System (The ultimate power Generation) because it is only available when water is there from snow melt or rain. And yes they can pump it back but it cost to do that. (Long Story).

Tasmania is very fortunate in that they have mostly hydro electric generation because of their high amounts of snow and rainfall. They also have wind generators (located in the roaring forties) but that is only a small amount of total power generated.

Based on a average generating output of 1.5 megawatts (of unreliable power) you would require over 33,300 wind generators.

As for solar power generation much research has been done over the decades and there are two types. Solar thermal generation and Solar Electric generation but in each case they cannot generate large amounts of electricity.

Any clean, cheap energy is obviously welcomed but they would NEVER have the capability of replacing Thermal power generation. So get your heads out of the clouds, do some basic mathematics and look at the facts not going off with the fairies (or some would say the extreme greenies.)

We are all greenies in one form or another and care very much about our planet. The difference is most of us are realistic. Not in some idyllic utopia where everything can be made perfect by standing around holding a banner and being a general pain in the backside.

Here are some facts that will show how ridiculous this financial madness the government is following. Do the simple maths and see for yourselves.

According to the 'believers' the CO2 in air has risen from .034% to .038% in air over the last 50 years.

To put the percentage of Carbon Dioxide in air in a clearer perspective;
If you had a room 12 ft x 12 ft x 7 ft or 3.7 mtrs x 3.7 mtrs x 2.1 mtrs, the area carbon dioxide would occupy in that room would be .25m x .25m x .17m or the size of a large packet of cereal.

Australia emits 1 percent of the world's total carbon Dioxide and the government wants to reduce this by twenty percent or reduce emissions by .2 percent of the world's total CO2 emissions.

What effect will this have on existing CO2 levels?

By their own figures they state the CO2 in air has risen from .034% to .038% in 50 years.

Assuming this is correct, the world CO2 has increased in 50 years by .004 percent.

Per year that is .004 divided by 50 = .00008 percent. (Getting confusing -but stay with me).

Of that because we only contribute 1% our emissions would cause CO2 to rise .00008 divided by 100 = .0000008 percent.

Of that 1%, we supposedly emit, the governments wants to reduce it by 20% which is 1/5th of .0000008 = .00000016 percent effect per year they would have on the world CO2 emissions based on their own figures.

That would equate to a area in the same room, as the size of a small pin.!!!

For that they have gone crazy with the ridiculous trading schemes, Solar and roofing installations, Clean coal technology. Renewable energy, etc, etc.

How ridiculous it that.

The cost to the general public and industry will be enormous. Cripple and even closing some smaller business.

T.L. Cardwell

To the Editor I thought I should clarify. I spent 25 years in the Electricity Commission of NSW working, commissioning and operating the various power units. My last was the 4 X 350 MW Munmorah Power Station near Newcastle. I would be pleased to supply you any information you may require.

Originally posted on 11/1/10 at 7:16pm, a new contrary comment has prompted me to move this to the top of the blog. Comments are open now.


Carpe Jugulum said...

All cudos to Mr Cardwell, a well articulated letter. Unfortunately the average ecoharpie still won't get it, brilliant post Kae.

Gary Caganoff said...

This information may help your myopic views:

* Coal mining causes severe erosion, resulting in the leaching of toxic chemicals into nearby streams and aquifers, and destroys habitants.

* About two-thirds of sulfur dioxide, one-third of carbon dioxide emissions and one quarter of the nitrogen oxides emissions in the U.S. are produced by coal burning.

* Coal burning also results in the emission of fine particles matter into the atmosphere. Nitrogen oxide and fine airborne particles exacerbate asthma, reduce lung function and cause respiratory diseases and premature death for many thousands of Americans.

* Smog formed by nitrogen oxide and reactive organic gases causes crop, forest and property damage. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides both combine with water in the atmosphere to create acid rain. Acid rain acidifies the soils and water killing off plants, fish, and the animals that depend on them.

* Global warming is mainly caused by carbon dioxide emissions and is responsible for at least half of the warming.


Pedro the Ignorant said...

My myopic view of Gary: - "Let the bastard freeze in the dark".
Why yes, Gaz, that is an ad hominem comment, but I pinched it from a bumper sticker on a coal truck in the Hunter Valley.

Skeeter said...

Gary Caganoff:

You have provided only one link to sources for your claims, but it would seem that they are all based on information applied to the US coal industry.

We are discussing the situation in the Australian coal industry, so any comments you make should be based on reliable information you have on Australian coal-mining and coal-fired generating industries.

In any case, the web-site that you linked contained this cautionary note:

Environmental Impacts:
Please Note:

IECG and International Electric hold in dispute many of the commonly held concepts about the environmental impacts of coal fired electrical generation. We believe that the benefits far outweigh any potential negative impacts.

Gary, you can cure our "myopia" only if you can back up your claims of Australian coal toxicity and air pollution with links to believable sources.

Here is an example to get you started on your research:

Coal seam gas water from the Miles - Chinchilla area has been suggested as a possible alternative water supply for Toowoomba.

That is a quote from Water Futures Toowoomba, related to sourcing drinking water from coal seams.

Your final (unsupported) claim:
Global warming is mainly caused by carbon dioxide emissions and is responsible for at least half of the warming,
labels you as a lightweight in the AGW debate.

In case you did not read far enough into Mr Cardwell's letter, I commend this paragraph to you for close study. (Keep in mind that these are believers', not sceptics', figures):

Of that 1%, we supposedly emit, the governments wants to reduce it by 20% which is 1/5th of .0000008 = .00000016 percent effect per year they would have on the world CO2 emissions based on their own figures.

You blame CO2 for half the global warming.
The generally agreed CO2-induced temperature rise for the whole of the 20th century was around 0.7°C.
Therefore, from the believers' figures above, Australia's planned emission cuts will be responsible for an annual reduction in temperature of one half of 0.00000016% of whatever the believers are currently predicting.

I will leave the calculation (of the predicted saving in degrees centigrade) to you, but I doubt that you will be able to come up with anything that would pass a cost vs benefits analysis.

Minicapt said...

You neglected to quote the lead:
"Environmental Impacts:
Please Note:

IECG and International Electric hold in dispute many of the commonly held concepts about the environmental impacts of coal fired electrical generation. We believe that the benefits far outweigh any potential negative impacts. IECG and CRPG work with the community and with recognized experts to minimize and eliminate any potential environments hazards such as:"

In addition, the site was last current in 2002/2003.


Wand said...

Gary, if you want to debate this topic well and good but I suggest you read Skeeter’s response first. So just what are you suggesting?

Candidly I’m unimpressed with your link. Your web site provides references at the foot of the page under the headings Conclusion, Current technology, History and Background, Coal, Utility Guide Coal none of which makes any sense.

BTW I didn’t agree with all of Cardwell’s open letter and I wrote a reply which Kae posted. There, you’ll find some more information about coal fired power stations and comments about their efficiency.

Now to your little list: each statement is an assertion that begs the question.

1. I say toxic chemicals are not used in coal mining and mining does not cause severe erosion. So please enlighten me if I am wrong. And BTW I learned something here! habitant is an archaic form of the word inhabitant!

2. So what if those levels of emissions are attributable to coal burning in the US. That is only be relevant if the level of emissions cause problems.

3. So coal burning causes the emission of fine particulate matter but again, so what! The release of fine particulate matter in the exhaust from a coal fired power station is entirely a function of the scrubbing that is or is not carried out.

4. Certainly emissions of nitrogen and sulphur can be a problem but the issue (again) is with the level of emissions rather than the fact that they occur. The solution is the amount of scrubbing that is applied to the power station exhaust. Also, FYI Australian coals are very low in sulphur and we do not have and never have had an acid rain problem.

5. Your last bullet point is classic! Skeeter posted the accepted temperature rise over the last century but anyone looking at how the data have been manipulated would even doubt the 0.7 C rise. I certainly do but it doesn’t matter. Simply the world is not warming and has not for some time now yet CO2 emissions continue to rise. To see how the data has been manipulated and the AGW fraud perpetrated I suggest you read this document and also read through these web sites Climategate and Watts Up with That.

The other assertions about public health linking deaths to burning coal are tenuous at best. Am I supposed to ‘believe’ that if all coal burning in the US ceased that oxides of nitrogen would be reduced by 25% and many thousands of people would not die prematurely? No one could prove or disprove this assertion (because that is all it is). As I said above, each of these statements pretty well begs the question. They read like a liberal agenda to support a stance against coal mining. They might be ok at a rally but as for technical veracity, forget it. They are junk based on lies or half truths at best.

Finally, I see Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, is taking on the US EPA. Exec Summary ; Full submission And in case you are not prepared to recognise the fact, coal provides electricity without which our modern society cannot function.

Mehaul said...

Dear Gary, please return regularly for more clips around the ears from those with myopic views. You're probably all at sea now that Graham Readfearn can no longer write his weekly waffle and feed the local commies their diet of anti capitalist AGW manure.

Wand said...

PS Gary, Is this you?

Skeeter said...

Well outed, Wand.
Let's hope he comes back to share some more of his 'vision' with us near-sighted folk.

Carpe Jugulum said...

Gary - would you be the gary who does, environmental and social justice films.

If so, you sir, are a tosser of the first water, the previous commenters have expressed my disdain to you better than i could.

Have a shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on some decent clothes and get a real job tosspot.