30 Percent CO2 Reduction From Electrical Power Generation – A Policy Too Far

Posted on Tue 06/03/2014 by


TonyfromOzProfileImageBy Anton Lang ~

CO2 Image 05

You just have to laugh here, and here I mean out of control, rolling around the floor laughing, pain inducing laughter.

This is so far out there in the realms of ridiculous statements, and is in fact IMPOSSIBLE to achieve: (My bolding)

EPA Power-Plant Proposal Will Seek 30% Carbon Dioxide Emissions Cut by 2030

Note how this is not whole of Country wide reduction in emissions from every source, but just being aimed very deliberately at the electrical power generating sector, coal fired power as the main target, with Natural Gas Fired power as a secondary target.

So then, let’s look at that 30% reduction figure, based on 2005 data. (for just the electricity generating sector)

The total CO2 emissions from that sector in 2005 were 3.8 Billion Tons.

The total CO2 emissions from that sector NOW, in 2014 are 3.7 Billion tons.

That’s a current reduction of 3.6% ….. in nine years.

He now has 16 years until 2030, the date for this reduction.

Since 2005 coal fired plants have been closing, nearly all of them time expired and of tiny to small Nameplate Capacity. The total power ACTUALLY DELIVERED from those closed plants has been replaced, in MORE than its totality by new Natural Gas Fired plants, so it’s been a sideways move to another CO2 emitting power generation source. Natural Gas emits less CO2 so that accounts for the 3.6% overall reduction.

So, in effect, right now, they have to stop ALL new power generation plants which emit CO2, because, using what is happening now as an example, then the actual reduction if it goes that the same rate it is happening now, then there might be as high as a further 4.8% reduction, resulting in an overall reduction of 8.4%.

Now, using that 8.4% ACTUAL reduction, then that effectively means the closure of a further 21.6% of existing CO2 emissions.

Because Natural Gas is replacing coal fired power, then that figure of 21.6% reduction IS aimed directly at coal fired power. (and hey please don’t mention what is actually happening now, that coal fired power, with less plants, is delivering more power, in fact it has risen for the last 2 years, 5% in 2012/3 and 5% in 2013/14 so far)

So, a reduction of 21.6% in coal fired power will take out one fifth of the whole coal fired power fleet, and that is a removal  of 355 TWH from the grids across the U.S. which comes in at around 9.5% of ALL U.S. electrical power generation.

Now, while 9.5% sounds like it could be doable, please don’t make me laugh.

IT’S 355TeraWattHours

Wind power and solar power have ramped up considerably since that target date 2005, in fact by a factor of TEN, in other words ten times more power delivered than in 2005. In that time, coal fired power has been replaced in MORE than its totality by NG plants, so in fact wind and solar power have not replaced ONE coal fired plant, and hey, who cares, neither wind power nor solar power can supply power on the same time basis (24/7/365) as coal and NG anyway. And do I need to say again that NOT ONE large scale coal fired power plant larger than 800MW Nameplate has closed since I started writing about this in early 2008. And hey, even if you do have the mistaken belief that it could be supplied from renewables (ramped up by a factor of ten in 9 years) both wind and solar power currently deliver 183TWH, so they need to double existing totals by 2030, another thing that WILL NOT happen, and again, who cares, because wind and solar power deliver power on the basis of an average of 7 hours a day versus 24 hours a day power delivery from coal fired power. It’s a meaningless comparison.

This is just so absolutely ridiculous.

It will never be achieved.

Source EIA – Total power generation, coal and NG generation, coal consumption, NG consumption. and renewable power generation for wind and solar power.