Peabody Energy Corporation , is the largest private-sector coal company in the world. Its primary business consists of the mining, sale and distribution of coal, which is purchased for use in electricity generation and steelmaking. Peabody also markets, brokers and trades coal through offices in China, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, India, Singapore, and the United States. Other commercial initiatives include the development of mine-mouth coal-fueled plants, the management of coal reserve holdings, and technologies to transform coal to natural gas and transportation fuels.The coal produced by Peabody Energy fuels approximately 10% of the electricity generated in the United States and 2% of electricity generated throughout the world. In 2014, Peabody Energy recorded sales of 249.8 million tons of coal.Peabody markets coal to electricity generating and industrial customers in more than 25 nations on six continents. As of December 31, 2013, the company had approximately eight billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves.Peabody Energy maintains ownership of majority interests in 27 surface and underground mining operations located throughout the United States and Australia. In the United States, company-owned mines are located in Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois, and Indiana. Peabody's largest operation is the North Antelope Rochelle Mine located in Campbell County, Wyoming, mining more than 117 million tons of coal in 2014. Peabody spun off coal mining operations in West Virginia and Kentucky into Patriot Coal Corporation in October 2007. In October 2011, Peabody acquired a majority ownership stake in Queensland-based Macarthur Coal Ltd, which specializes in the production of metallurgical coal, primarily seaborne pulverized injection coal.Peabody Energy earned Energy Company of the Year and CEO of the Year at the 2014 Platts Global Energy Awards. Peabody was listed as number 365 on the Fortune 500 list of companies in 2014. The company was named to Fortune Magazine's list of America's Most Admired Companies in 2008, ranking first in the "Mining, Crude-Oil Production" industry in: Innovation, People Management, Social Responsibility, Financial Soundness, et al. In Newsweek's 2012 Green Rankings—comparisons of the environmental footprint, management, and transparency of the largest public companies in America—Peabody Energy was ranked 493rd out of 500 in all industries and 29th out of 31 in the energy industry. The company received the worst possible Environmental Impact score.The company is headquartered in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Wikipedia.
Peabody Energy | Date: 2015-03-24
A method of forming a multi purpose drilling for degassing a coal seam that is to mined, the method including the steps of drilling a primary borehole from a surface into a zone above the coal seam, such that at least a portion of the primary borehole extends substantially parallel to the coal seam, and drilling at least one secondary borehole, wherein the least one secondary borehole extends from the primary borehole into the coal seam.
News Article | May 9, 2017
While running for the presidency, Donald Trump disparaged the Paris climate agreement as “one more bad trade deal” he would “cancel” once elected. But more than 100 days into his presidential term, Trump and his staff are still quibbling over whether to take the plunge. Many close to Trump — his daughter Ivanka and fossil fuel companies, for example — have pled for the country to stick with it. So what’s an unsure president to do? Keep putting off the decision, apparently. On Tuesday, the administration postponed a scheduled meeting on the matter and pushed back the time frame on a verdict. Some coal companies, along with advisers like Steve Bannon, have asked Trump to kick the Paris deal to the curb. But support for the pact comes from a broad set of groups, and it includes some surprises: The country’s top oil, gas, and coal producers are standing up for Paris: Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, and Royal Dutch Shell, Cloud Peak Energy Inc., Arch Coal, and Peabody Energy Corp. Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner — a top Trump adviser — are apparently pulling for the agreement behind the scenes. Based on the tug-of-war still underway, their sway may not be all it’s cracked up to be. (We’re waiting for the SNL parody on this one.) Representatives from both parties have urged Trump to stay in the deal, including nine GOP reps who advised Trump stay in the pact but loosen U.S. commitments. Twelve governors (all from blue states, mind you) wrote to the President last week, calling for global action on climate. Californian politicians are even considering whether the state could sign onto the agreement if the U.S. pulls out. In full-page ads in some of the nation’s biggest newspapers, Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and other major companies asked Trump to consider the business risk presented by climate change. As tech-savvy countries like China and India forge ahead on climate action, businesses are worried the U.S. could lose its competitive edge if Paris progress stalls. General Mills, DuPont, Unilever, and Walmart got in on the full-page ad, too. Even Tiffany & Co. defended the agreement on Facebook (much to the chagrin of some fans who would prefer the company “stick to creating beautiful, albeit ridiculously marked-up, jewelry”). Surprise! Green groups of all sizes are lobbying for Trump to reconsider his promise to “cancel” the agreement. In an interview with NPR, energy lobbyist Scott Segal took the same tack as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and said the U.S. should remain in the Paris Agreement to maintain better diplomatic relations. “The President is in a good position to exercise tremendous leverage from the United States to negotiate a better deal,” Segal told NPR. The National Farmers Union, an organization representing almost 200,000 farmers, ranchers, and fishermen, sent a letter to Trump in mid-April outlining the impacts of drought, flooding, and wildfires on agriculture. Some environmental actions, like methane regulations on livestock, might be a challenge for farmers. But the union’s president, Roger Johnson, wrote that keeping the Paris commitments would “benefit rural economies and make American agriculture more resilient to extreme weather.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Rice, who served as Secretary of State under George W. Bush, cautioned Trump about the “diplomatic backlash” that would occur if he bowed out. A group of former military officers sent letters to Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis imploring them to continue support for the agreement. The veterans cited concerns about national security and humanitarian disasters, such as dramatic flooding, pandemics, and increased risk of conflict. Trump and the former vice president reportedly talked on the phone so that Gore could make “the case for why the U.S. should stay in the agreement and meet our commitments.” Imagine that conversation! At the Bonn talks, where delegates from countries around the world are sorting out the rules on Paris, people are pretty peeved at Trump. China — which has newly donned the position of climate leader — implied the U.S. could expect more bad deals in its future if Trump pulls out. Emmanuel Macron, president-elect of France, reportedly told Trump he would defend the agreement during their first phone call. The only other countries not in the agreement are Nicaragua and Syria. According to leaders across the globe, turning its back on Paris would put the U.S. in a very sticky diplomatic situation. This post has been updated.
News Article | May 17, 2017
A push from developing countries to force fossil fuel lobbyists taking part in UN climate talks to declare their conflicts of interest has won a significant battle against resistance from the world’s biggest economies including the European Union, US and Australia. The UN framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC) has agreed to enhance “openness and transparency” for outside parties and will accept submissions from any stakeholder – which could be any person or group affected by climate change or climate change policy – on how it could do so. “The result was pretty good – understanding that the world’s largest economic powers were adamantly opposed to anything to do with integrity or conflict of interest at all,” said Jesse Bragg from Corporate Accountability International, which has been running a campaign on the issue. Since May 2016, Ecuador and Venezuela – on behalf of the Like Minded Group of Developing Countries that represents that majority of the world’s population – had been fighting to have a conflict of interest policy introduced where groups with “observer status” must declare their conflicts. Organisations that have observer status, and can therefore attend meetings and walk the corridors of the conferences, include industry groups that represent all of the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and BHP. Many of them have lobbied against policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In May 2016 at a UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, the Venezuelan delegate said the Paris agreement was an “instrument between states” and made a “moral request” that lobbyists should have to declare conflicts of interest. The move was successfully opposed by rich nations, with the US, EU, Norway and Australia leading the battle. But the issue was raised again in November at COP 22 in Marrakech and continued this month in Bonn where the Australian ambassador for the environment and lead delegate to the UNFCCC, Patrick Suckling, championed the role of fossil fuel companies in helping to craft climate change policy. “Some of the companies being alluded to as the polluters of policy, they will be, some of them, the providers of the biggest and best solutions,” Suckling said. “And you could look at some of the statements coming out of ExxonMobil and Shell recently to underline that point.” ExxonMobil famously hid their knowledge about climate change for decades and investigations have revealed they continue to fund efforts to manipulate public discussions of climate change. On Tuesday, in a closed-door meeting in Bonn, the discussion continued with the US and Australia fighting to remove any language that included the phrase “conflict of interest” or “integrity”. The Guardian understands the US delegate argued that the US and Ecuador had “divergent views” on what integrity meant. The US, New Zealand, Australia and the EU also opposed Ecuador’s moves to call for a reporting process, where stakeholders could submit their views on developing a conflict of interest policy, or on a way of improving the “integrity” of the UNFCCC’s engagement with non-party stakeholders. But on Tuesday in Bonn, Ecuador successfully negotiated an agreement that committed the UNFCCC to enhance the “openness, transparency and inclusiveness of the UNFCCC process” and another that called for stakeholders to submit their views on how that could be achieved. As a result, the discussion will continue in a year’s time, with the input of anyone who submits their views through the UNFCCC website. The discussions appeared to shake-up the fossil fuel lobby, with some organising side events at the Bonn meeting to defend their role at the UNFCCC. Stephen Eule, a climate analyst at the US Chamber of Commerce – a group with observer status at the UNFCCC – led one meeting where he spoke of the need to engage the coal industry; described the US commitments under the Paris agreement as “unrealistically ambitious”; and approvingly described Donald Trump’s moves to dismantle Barack Obama’s environmental regulations. Eule said the Paris agreement was “lopsided and puts the US at a competitive disadvantage”, saying he expects the Trump administration to negotiate “to get a better deal for the US”. In a piece published on a US Chamber of Commerce website, Eule defended the role the body plays in the the UNFCCC processes, saying it would continue to “look after the interests of our members and speak out on the issues that concern us”. According to a Corporate Accountability International report, the US Chamber of Commerce has received millions of dollars from ExxonMobil for “public information campaigns” and executives from Peabody Energy, ConocoPhillips, and Sempra Energy sit on its board of directors. “As longs as your business model depends on extracting and burning fossil fuels, you have no place helping to craft climate policy,” Bragg said. “Your profit incentive is going to keep you from doing the right thing. And, frankly, corporations have a duty to maximise profits – so they would be in violation of their shareholders if they were doing anything but.”
News Article | May 15, 2017
The renewables sector is entering an exciting new phase. Rapidly evolving technology, economies of scale and regulations and changing attitudes among policy makers means that, despite reductions in subsidies, renewables are winning market share from fossil fuels around the world. The announcement in September that the U.S. and China will formally ratify the Paris climate change agreement was greeted around the world as a major step in the battle against global warming and was seen by many as providing an additional boost for the already fast growing renewable energy sector. Although President Trump has made intimations about withdrawing from the agreement, the momentum toward renewable adoption cannot be denied. The historic agreement comes in the wake of a number of factors that are stepping up the pace of growth in renewables. Once considered a niche industry driven by environmental policies rather than economic realities and the need to meet energy needs, the renewable energy market is experiencing rapidly accelerating growth as costs fall while reliability and consistency of supply improves. The Paris agreement is set against a backdrop of technological innovation and falling production costs brought about by economies of scale. The price of both wind and solar are being driven down by competitive tendering as markets move from feed-in tariffs to long term power auctions. The cost of building offshore wind farms has fallen to an all-time low. In September Vattenfall, a Swedish manufacturer, won the Danish Near Shore Wind Tender to build two facilities to power around 375,000 households. The price of just over US$63/MWh is considerably lower than the previous record, set just two months earlier by Danish group Dong Energy, which won a contract in The Netherlands for US$77.16/MWh. Vattenfall also announced an investment of US$5.31 billion in sustainable development over the next five years and an increase in its wind power production in all the countries in which it is present. The figures contrast sharply with the recently announced costs for production at the UK’s Hinkley Point which have provisionally been set at US$114.67/MWh for 35 years. Investments in technology have seen production prices fall. Every time world usage of solar panels doubles, for instance, the price of making them falls by around a quarter. With wind power the cost reduction on doubling of capacity is nearly a fifth. Whereas coal and gas red power stations have expensive running costs as raw materials have to be brought in, the fuel for wind turbines and solar panels is free. The only running costs are maintenance and repair and, thanks to the nature of the technology, these tend to be very low. Technical innovations range from solar paint, which uses organic photovoltaic technology to generate electricity when it’s applied to cars and houses, through to electricity generation from kinetic energy generated by people playing football on AstroTurf. Perhaps most importantly, technology is also improving interconnection allowing renewable energy sources to overcome the problem of a lack of output at night or when there is no wind. Electricity can now be stored and transferred more easily, cheaply and rapidly. Storage in particular is key to ensuring that power is consistently available, whatever the weather conditions for generation might be, and it’s becoming increasingly efficient and cost effective. Around 55 of the 420 members of RenewableUK, the UK’s main renewable energy trade association, are actively investing in solutions in this area. As part of efforts to meet the need to make renewable energy available more easily and quickly, in August the National Grid announced the results of its first Enhanced Frequency Response auction. Successful bidders for the US$80.55 million tender have 18 month in which to complete their projects for the four-year contracts. Battery energy storage dominated the submissions and this technology is evolving rapidly, driving down costs. According to a report by Moody’s last year, battery prices have fallen by a half since 2010 and, it notes, “commercial and industrial use of lithium-ion batteries for energy storage could become economically viable in the next three to five years if the decline in battery prices persists.” Improvements in battery technology are also enabling electronic vehicle (EV) technology to become viable and reliable and to add to the appeal of EVs to consumers. One of the most successful manufacturers, Tesla, recently unveiled Powerwall, a home storage device that holds energy typically generated through solar panels installed in a home during the day and allows the homeowners to use it — again most usually — in the evenings. To boost its EVs Tesla is building a vast “Gigafactory,” in the Nevada desert with a capacity of 35 Gigawatt hours. According to the company when the new facility comes online in 2018 it will produce more lithium-ion batteries annually than were produced through the world in 2013. Such innovation is also providing opportunities and challenges for policymakers who are having to react more quickly than ever to new products and services in the renewables sector. Meanwhile, technology and economics aside, changes in regulation are also driving the growth of renewables. Governments, too, are realizing that lower running costs mean that they can reduce feed-in tariffs or withdraw them completely. Although this has presented challenges to many renewable energy firms, it is, in turn, forcing the industry to become more economically self-reliant. China’s signing of the Paris agreement comes in the wake of a growing trend throughout the country to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and coal in particular. According to figures released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics earlier this year, China’s solar energy capacity increased by 74 percent, while for wind the figure was 34 percent. Meanwhile its imports of coal fell by 30 percent. As the world’s second biggest polluter reduces its carbon footprint the argument employed in the UK and other European countries that their own emissions are relatively minor in comparison to those of China and therefore any perceived sacrifice to reduce them is statically pointless, will become less and less cogent. As well as buying in equipment and know-how from the West, China is experiencing growth in its indigenous renewables sector. For example, Goldwind, founded in Urumqi in 1998, is the largest player in the Chinese market. Its fully integrated business spans the whole product lifecycle through R&D and investment to manufacturing sales and service. Africa is also witnessing an expansion of its renewable energy sector. Rapid increases in population are driving the need for energy sources that can come on line quickly. While a traditional coal red power station might take five to ten years to start production with even longer timescales for nuclear, output from a solar production plant can begin within just two or three years from when permission to build it is given. In the developed world countries are also witnessing the growth of renewables in a variety of different ways, depending on their political situations, economic circumstances and their legacy energy production. The Fukushima disaster in Japan prompted the country to refocus on renewables, admittedly alongside fossil fuels. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects total renewables used in the electric power sector to increase by a respectable 5.8 percent this year. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “Energiewende” policy to boost renewables while phasing out nuclear and fossil fuels has been helped by the country’s ability to export power at peak production times while last year Denmark’s wind farms supplied 140 percent of the country’s demands. In South America wind, biomass, photovoltaic solar energy and hydroelectric energy are enjoying sustained growth. Chile’s ambitious target of 70 percent of its energy supplied by renewables by 2050 has seen huge renewable projects being developed in the country. Chilean wind power now costs around $45/MWh with the cheapest solar project coming in at just $29/MWh. Even though it has scaled back its commitment to renewable energy recently, Saudi Arabia earlier this year pledged to develop 9.5GW of renewable energy in a paper entitled “Saudi Arabia Vision 2030.” As technological innovation and investment continues to increase in the renewables industry, fossil fuel companies face increased scrutiny from investors and the public, encapsulated by the concept of “the carbon bubble” — the idea that big capital investments in carbon emitting energy sources may not produce a return due to the imperatives of complying with global climate agreements. Compounding this political challenge has been the commercial impact of stagnating demand for coal, and other fossil fuels. This summer Peabody Energy, the U.S.’s largest mining company, declared bankruptcy in the wake of similar experiences by Arch Coal, Alpha Natural Resources and Patriot Coal Corp, among others. Withdrawal of subsidies and supports along with the ending of nationally binding targets after 2020 in the European Union has presented the renewables sector with economic challenges. Looking at the bigger picture, though, thanks to problems with fossil fuel supply along with demands by consumers and moves by policymakers but principally because of economic changes brought about by new technology, renewable energy is breaking out of the niche interest and specialist investment sector into the mainstream. Ben Backwell is Managing Director at FTI Consulting and is based in London. Ben is in the Energy practice in the Strategic Communications and Economic and Financial (EFC) segments. Read more on energy in FTI Journal.
News Article | May 23, 2017
Companies' disclosure of risks to their business from climate change could become mandatory in a few years as investor pressure gathers pace, climate finance experts said on Tuesday. Investors have urged companies, particularly those operating in the oil, gas and coal sectors, to disclose the financial impact of long-term climate change and increase transparency as the world shifts away from fossil fuels. "I think we are moving towards the disclosure of climate change risks and stress testing of investments by companies. That is something which is gaining traction," John Roome, senior director of climate change at the World Bank, told an FT climate finance summit in London. "We are now in the voluntary stage but I suspect that in a few years we may very well see standardised requirements from various regulatory authorities on disclosure of climate risk," he added. Last year, a global task force set up by the G20's Financial Stability Board proposed that companies disclose in their public financial findings how they identify and manage risks to their business from climate change. Although the measures are voluntary, there are calls for them to become mandatory. This could happen in a few years and further ahead prudential requirements could be placed on potential stranded assets, Roome said, using a term for assets that no longer provide an economic return because of changes in the market or regulatory environment. Last year, institutions managing trillions of US dollars of assets called for oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron to disclose the impact of curbing global temperature rise on their businesses, although shareholders narrowly voted against resolutions calling for such stress tests. On Tuesday, Royal Dutch Shell shareholders rejected a proposal by an environmental activist group demanding the oil major sets and publishes annual targets to reduce carbon emissions. There are also a number of financial regulators who argue that climate risk is not part of companies' core business, Roome said. Environmental lawyer Alice Garton at ClientEarth said existing laws apply to company disclosure where climate risks are material, or affect the economic decisions of shareholders. There have already been lawsuits in the United States against Exxon Mobil and coal miner Peabody Energy Corp over disclosures related to climate change. ClientEarth said it had written to energy company BP, miner and trader Glencore and investors this week warning of the risk of investor lawsuits based on statements about future fossil fuel demand in their reporting. "It is highly likely that more cases like Peabody and Exxon arise in the future. Class action lawyers have become very clever at developing these cases for profit," said Garton, company and financial project leader at ClientEarth.
News Article | May 26, 2017
On Thursday, shares in St. Louis, Missouri headquartered Peabody Energy Corp. recorded a trading volume of 715,878 shares. The stock ended the session 0.13% lower at $23.97. Shares of the Company, which engages in coal mining business, are trading 5.53% below their 50-day moving average. On May 19th, 2017, research firm Stifel reiterated its 'Hold' rating on the Company's stock with a decrease of the target price from $29 a share to $27 a share. Free research report on BTU is available at: Yellowknife, Canada headquartered Dominion Diamond Corp.'s stock closed the day 0.15% lower at $12.96 with a total trading volume of 388,467 shares. The Company's shares have advanced 6.23% in the past month, 47.78% in the previous three months, and 33.88% since the start of this year. The stock is trading 4.11% and 28.95% above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, respectively. Additionally, shares of Dominion Diamond, which engages in the mining and marketing of rough diamonds, have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 55.18. The complimentary research report on DDC can be downloaded at: Shares in Lisle, Illinois headquartered SunCoke Energy Inc. recorded a trading volume of 480,923 shares. The stock ended yesterday's trading session 1.11% lower at $8.90. The Company's shares are trading above their 50-day moving average by 0.37%. Furthermore, shares of SunCoke Energy, which operates as an independent producer of coke in the Americas, have an RSI of 54.22. Visit us today and access our complete research report on SXC at: Overland Park, Kansas headquartered Compass Minerals International Inc.'s stock finished Thursday's session 1.06% lower at $65.25 with a total trading volume of 324,528 shares. The Company's shares are trading below their 50-day moving average by 3.32%. 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News Article | April 17, 2017
The Eiffel tower is illuminated in green with the words "Paris Agreement is Done", to celebrate the Paris U.N. COP21 Climate Change agreement in Paris, France, November 4, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File Photo WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Advisers to President Donald Trump will meet on Tuesday to discuss whether to recommend that he withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, a White House official said on Monday. The accord, agreed on by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. Trump has said the United States should "cancel" the deal, but he has been mostly quiet on the issue since he was elected last November. Environmental groups want Washington to remain in the Paris agreement, even if the new administration weakens U.S. pledges. A White House official said Trump's aides would "discuss the options, with the goal of providing a recommendation to the president about the path forward." The meeting comes before a summit of the Group of Seven wealthy nations in late May, the deadline for the White House to take a position. White House officials, led by the National Economic Council, have recently been asking publicly traded energy companies for advice on whether to stay in the agreement. Peabody Energy has consulted with White House officials, and Cloud Peak Energy Inc confirmed to Reuters it had told White House advisers it was in its interests for the United States to remain in the agreement to ensure there was a global role for high-efficiency coal plants. On Monday, liquified natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy sent a letter to George David Banks, who handles international energy issues at the NEC, to recommend remaining in the Paris agreement so "the United States can leverage competitive advantages in natural gas and energy technology." The advisers expected to attend Tuesday's meeting include Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. Perry, a former Texas governor, at his confirmation hearings in January softened a previous position that the science behind climate change was "phony." Last week, Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, said the United States should exit the agreement because it was a "bad deal" for the country. Justin Guay, climate program officer for the Packard Foundation, said countries like China and India would continue to shift toward clean energy even if the United States retreated, adding: "It is most important that the U.S. stays at the table."
News Article | April 17, 2017
President Donald Trump this week declared that China is now poised to help make America’s coal sector great again — by rejecting shipments of North Korean coal and buying more from the U.S. "A lot of the coal boats have already been turned back -- you saw that yesterday and today -- they've been turned back," Trump said Wednesday. "The vast amount of coal that comes out of North Korea going to China, they've turned back the boats. That's a big step, and they have many other steps that I know about." Indeed a representative of China’s foreign ministry confirmed that Beijing has indeed stopped buying North Korean coal. Back in February. So is China set to save American coal? Nope. Let’s look at the numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the nine months through September 2016, America exported 205,000 short tons of coal to China. That was down from 230,000 tons in the same period of 2015. That’s not a lot — just a fraction of the 4.1 million tons shipped to India, 5 million to Brazil and 6.9 million to the Netherlands in those nine months. And the trend is not coal’s friend. Year-over-year, U.S. coal exports are down 30% to 41 million tons. All told, exports make up 5% of America’s 800 million tons of annual coal production — which is down 20% over the past 5 years. Exports, to China or elsewhere, will not save American coal. And neither will domestic demand. According to Bernstein Research, 13% of America’s coal-burning power plants have been mothballed, with 7% more slated for closure in the years ahead. As if there were any doubt, power plant switching from coal to natural gas has had an enormous impact on carbon emissions. According to the EIA, coal related emissions decreased 9% in 2016. According to the Carnegie Mellon Power Sector Carbon Index, coal-to-gas switching has contributed half of the roughly 15% reduction in annual carbon emissions since 2005 (to 5.2 million metric tons per year). In the same period, renewables’ share of U.S. power generation has grown from 9% to 15%. And yet the Trump Administration is uncowed by these trends. This week Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is visiting NRG’s recently completed $1 billion Petra Nova project — an uneconomic carbon-capture system bolted on to a coal-fired power plant near Houston (which I wrote about at length here). Meanwhile Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is meeting with Native American leaders regarding the fate of the Navajo Generating Station, a coal plant in Arizona fed by Peabody Energy’s Kayenta strip mine. Not to be outdone, EPA chief Scott Pruitt is speaking today at a western Pennsylvania coal mine owned by Consol Energy. It’s an odd choice of venue. Consol CEO Nicholas Deiuliis said recently that the company intends to exit the coal business entirely and focus instead on natural gas. If America’s coal barons are lucky, all this attention from the Trump Administration will buoy the hopes and dreams of the sector long enough for Consol and its peers to find some buyers. Senior Editor Chris Helman is based in Houston, Texas. Contact him on Twitter @chrishelman.
News Article | May 4, 2017
The nation’s second integrated gasification and combined cycle facility may finally come on line by month’s end. Mississippi Power’s $7.2 billion advanced plant, initially projected to cost $2.8 billion and to be in service in 2014, will capture carbon dioxide and use it to enhance oil recovery. The question that both regulators and consumers are asking is whether this much treasure should have been placed into building such a unit when the parent company — Southern Co. — could have constructed a common combined cycled natural gas plant with fewer headaches. For those who think that the country ought to focus its efforts on the commercialization of sustainable energies, the answer is a resounding ‘no.’ For those who say that carbon-based fuels will remain linchpins of the global economy, however, the answer is that the investments will ultimately pay dividends. To that end, the World Coal Association says that coal now makes up about 40% of the global electricity mix and that in 2040, it will still be 30%. The Asian share of the global coal pie is now about 69% but that will grow to be 77% in 2040. Even China, which will reduce its coal usage from 75% of its electricity portfolio to 49% during this time, will still use 27% more coal because of its anticipated economic expansion. The United States, too, will depend on coal for 25% of electricity in 2040, says the International Energy Agency in Paris. Integrated gasification and combined cycle is an advanced technology that can gasify coal and other carbon-based fuels into a synthetic gas. The impurities can then be removed and the CO2 can be isolated and captured. As for Mississippi Power’s 582 megawatt Kemper advanced plant, it can run on either coal or natural gas. Customers will finance $2.9 billion of the total $7.2 billion cost through higher rates. Southern and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries also have a separate demonstration project in Alabama. Duke Energy’s 618 megawatt Edwardsport project is the second such active project that can gasify coal. It, too, has suffered cost overruns. And while it has not yet shown it can bury the CO2, Duke says that it is still much cleaner and more efficient than other coal plants, with 70% fewer emissions tied to sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. It also releases considerably less CO2. “Without widespread deployment of carbon capture technologies, we will simply fail to meet global mid-century goals for mitigating carbon emissions from electric power generation and a wide range of industrial activities,” says a February 2016 letter signed by multiple interest that include Occidental Petroleum Corp., Arch Coal and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Interestingly, the World Coal Association along with some of the major coal producers in the United States — Peabody Energy, Arch Coal and Cloud Peak Energy — are asking the Trump administration to remain involved in the global climate talks. Those discussions aim to keep temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius from where they were at the start of the industrial revolution. But the latest news accounts indicate that the president might be leaning against continued participation — a position led by his administrator to the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt. That view, however, is opposed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and presidential advisor Jared Kushner. Any withdrawal would require a few years advanced notice. President Trump, of course, has expressed his unconditional support for the coal sector and has vowed to eliminate or reduce the regulations the industry faces. And while those rules do inhibit the use of carbon-heavy coal, the utilities that generate electricity say that cheap natural gas and customer demand for cleaner fuels like wind and solar are driving their business decisions. If coal is going to advance in the developed world, integrated gasification along with carbon capture and sequestration would be the vehicles to facilitate that. Those technologies could then be shared with coal-dependent developing countries. In the United States, for example, a bill is pending that would increase the federal tax credit for capturing and sequestering CO2 from $20 a ton to $50 a ton — something Trump could try and champion on the global stage. So, is the cost of building plants that can gasify coal and other carbon-based fuels worth it? It’s one thing for the deep-pocketed utilities like Southern Co. and Duke Energy to endeavor into this unchartered area. It’s quite another for smaller power companies to take the risk. In that regard, natural gas is too cheap right now. “It makes absolutely no sense to take coal and make synthetic natural gas out of it,” Paul Grimmer, chief executive of Eltron Research in Boulder, Colo., told this writer earlier. “The processes are too expensive. But if you see a huge run-up in natural gas, it may make sense then.” At some point, though, natural gas prices will spike and prompt utilities and their customers to look for clean, abundant and reliable fuels. Today’s investments in integrated gasification with the potential for carbon capture and sequestration could therefore bear fruit later on.
Peabody Energy | Date: 2011-04-21
Torsional oscillation of a shaft in a swing drive system of an excavator is minimized by monitoring torsional strain of the shaft. An electric motor provides torque to the shaft in response to a drive signal provided by a converter. A compensation circuit produces a compensation signal as a function of torsional strain of the shaft. A field excitation circuit or regulator powers a converter as a function of the compensation signal such that a counter torque is provided to the shaft and torsional oscillation of the shaft is reduced.