China confirms 23 billion ton coal deposit  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

"The Energy Roadmap" reports that China's large coal reserves are still increasing - with ominous implications for the climate - Reality check for future of coal, China confirms massive 23 billion ton coal deposit.

While US activists prepare for a battle against the notion of ‘clean coal’, China’s coal industry continues to boom. A recent MIT report estimates that China’s power sector has been expanding at a rate roughly equivalent to three to four new coal-fired, 500 megawatt plants coming on line every week.

The real danger is not just the carbon emissions, but the wrong assumptions and perception that incremental solutions, protests, or stricter carbon regulations can somehow shift China’s current direction. Why worry?

The gap continues to widen between what activists want to happen with the global coal industry, versus the reality of coal’s expanding role as the world’s fastest growing source of energy.

Worse, is the misguided hope that cheap solar (which is coming 2015-2025!) can magically counter the existing growth trend lines for coal. Most of that solar power generation will just go to satisfy new demand, not take away from coal’s market share and prime access to national energy grids. If there is a viable solution for this reality, it must be algae or advanced bioenergy solutions that can scale and eat the emissions from the combustion of coal. We need carbon solutions, not just alternatives to coal.

The People’s Daily Online reports that geologists have confirmed a massive 23 billion ton coal reserve deposit in the country’s Turfan Basin. ‘The coal mine occupies an area of over 300 square kilometers with a thickness of 169.69 meters, and a coal bearing ratio of 29%’. This is the second major reserve confirmed in the last six months.

That’s only the beginning! China does not appear to be limiting its reliance to coal on its own domestic supplies. Last week Reuters reported that China’s largest coal miner Shenhua Energy Co Ltd paid $187.4 million for a coal exploration license in Australia.

Another brutal fact? China now has the busiest coal port in the world.

While oil geopolitics seem to gather most media attention, coal is an even more complicated piece of the energy puzzle – especially when it comes to climate change and carbon emissions.

China is hungry for energy. Oil, yes. But mostly electricity. And despite its potential to become a cleantech manufacturing hub, it is likely to rely primarily on coal for the next thirty years.

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