• Effect of Coal and Competition on Railroading Industry

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

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  by MCL1981
 
eustis22 wrote:"pretend to care"???

Then why pay to subsidize the capture of the solar panel market? Seems an expensive pretense.
Because they want the manufacturing and sales, to then sell it to suckers who think it's the future of electrical generation...
  by MCL1981
 
No, it's not. Unless you have a new method to eliminate pesky things like sunset and clouds. Solar cannot and never will have the capacity to replace primary power generation stations that currently run on coal, gas, oil, and uranium. You couldn't even use it to black start a real power plant. It has its appropriate use cases. Primary power generation just isn't one of them.
  by rr503
 
Many companies are building grids that are able to draw power from geographically disparate areas, obviating that issue. The construction of a national grid even made its way into some speeches by both candidates last year. Never say never.
  by MCL1981
 
Solar power generation coming down in cost is wonderful. But that doesn't mean it magically goes up in capacity too. The MWH limits of solar is still very very low compared to fossil fuel, and trivial compared to nuclear. And averaged out over the course of a year, they only produce usable energy 30-50% of the time. The rest is cloudy days, and that pesky sunset thing. The article even says a good portion of coal's decline will be due to cheaper, more efficient, and higher capacity gas and oil fired plants. Solar hype as far as I'm concerned is a political joke. It has it's appropriate use cases. Primary power generation isn't one of them. But most people believe whatever an activist tells them they should believe.
rr503 wrote:Many companies are building grids that are able to draw power from geographically disparate areas, obviating that issue. The construction of a national grid even made its way into some speeches by both candidates last year. Never say never.
The sun still sets. And pulling power from somewhere the sun hasn't set just makes less power available over there. The capacity simply isn't there no how you try to spin it.
  by rr503
 
MCL1981 wrote: The sun still sets. And pulling power from somewhere the sun hasn't set just makes less power available over there. The capacity simply isn't there no how you try to spin it.
...Unless you design excess 'flex' capacity. I'm not some tree hugger, but the age of coal is over. Sorry, railfans.

Continuing the above argument, I'd read this.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
rr503 wrote:...., but the age of coal is over. Sorry, railfans.
It goes a little further than that, Mr. RR. Try any stakeholder - employee, investor, and yes, railfans.
  by MCL1981
 
I'm not blindly defending coal either. That's not my point. Coal is eventually going to be over and done with no matter what. Oil and gas will be what does them in though. Not solar or wind.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
King Coal is saying "Reports of my death may be premature":

http://www.wsj.com/articles/coal-jobs-g ... 1519473600" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Fair Use;
Miners in Indiana and other states are getting a small lift from global markets: American companies are shipping more coal to Europe and Asia, helping to stop the yearslong drop in the number of U.S. mining jobs.

The latest job increase runs counter to the long-term decline in coal used to generate electricity in the U.S., as coal-fired power plants are closed in favor of plants that burn cheap, abundant and cleaner natural gas.

Exports of U.S. thermal coal used by utilities rose 117% to 42 million tons last year. That more than offset the 11-million-ton decline in coal used at U.S. power plants, which fell to 667.5 million tons last year, from 678.6 million tons in 2016. Coal accounted for 30% of U.S. electricity generation in 2016, compared with nearly 34% for natural gas.
The US$ has devalued against the € as well as concerns that "Vladimir The Great" could shut off the gas valve, appears to have favorably affected US exports of coal. After all, if your house is cold and the lights don't work, how worried are you about "global warming".

While not mentioned in the article, all here know there is only one reasonable and practical way to ship coal over land.
  by gokeefe
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:While not mentioned in the article, all here know there is only one reasonable and practical way to ship coal over land.
My exact thought as well when reading your post. Thanks for passing this on. While I don't hold out hope for this as a long term trend at least the shift is happening gradually.
  by David Benton
 
Hopefully that coal is been used to replace less efficient and more polluting coal in Europe. The reality is coal is still needed in the near future, but long term it will be phased out as the world moves to tackle the carbon emission based climate change.
  by gokeefe
 
Given how much brown coal is used in Europe I think there is reason to be optimistic. I doubt it's offsetting natural gas.
  by Engineer Spike
 
All commodity values fluctuate. Ever buy futures? All these are based of the real or imagined effects of supply, and demand. The last few posts pointed out the possible trade roadblocks with natural gas. Part of the anti coal policy of our former unicorns and lollipops former liberal administrations, and their beliefs that dirty coal would kill all the (invert species).

I have known some people who have installed home heating furnaces which could burn a variety of fuels. This was in order to switch to whichever was most inexpensive at any point in time. Both public policy, and normal market function will change like the weather. Therefore, I don’t think coal is dead.
  by David Benton
 
Engineer Spike wrote:All commodity values fluctuate. Ever buy futures? All these are based of the real or imagined effects of supply, and demand. The last few posts pointed out the possible trade roadblocks with natural gas. Part of the anti coal policy of our former unicorns and lollipops former liberal administrations, and their beliefs that dirty coal would kill all the (invert species).

I have known some people who have installed home heating furnaces which could burn a variety of fuels. This was in order to switch to whichever was most inexpensive at any point in time. Both public policy, and normal market function will change like the weather. Therefore, I don’t think coal is dead.
I don't think you can say 90 % of the worlds climate scientists fall into the unicorns and lollipop category. Thermal coal will never die completely, but its use will be curtailed, unless an economical way to burn it cleaner is discovered. Coal will always be needed for steelmaking.
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