“By 2012, expected cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions under the Kyoto treaty will be swamped by emissions from a surge of new coal-fired plants built in China, India, and the United States.”
SOURCES: UDI-PLATT'S, US ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION, AND INDUSTRY ESTIMATES; SCOTT WALLACE – STAFF
The desire for profit is overwhelming the desire to produce clean electricity.
China is planning the construction of 562 coal-fired generating plants by 2012. They will use traditional “dirty” coal-burning technology. There is no economic incentive to use Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology which extracts sulphur and CO2 before it goes up the stack - but which plants cost 15%-25% more than traditional, less efficient, designs.
India is planning 213 similar plants and the US 72 plants.
Kyoto countries by that year are supposed to have cut their CO2 emissions by some 483 million tons by 2012. These 850 new plants will produce about 2.7 billion tons of CO2.
This alone peels the death knell of Kyoto agreements.
The cover story on this month’s Discover magazine asks, Can the world survive the return to coal?
If IGCC technology is employed in the pre-burning phase AND if efficient emissions scrubbers are used at the exhaust phase, coal-fired electricity generation plants could replace petroleum fueled plants, thus deferring the energy crisis another 250 years based on current coal reserve estimates, BUT currently there is no incentive to do this. They will build dirty ones anyway because the consumer demands electricity to power their fridges, TVs, washers & dryers, next their hybrid cars and, oh yes, the streetlights!
Better invest in companies manufacturing SCUBA gear!
Cf, John Brunner’s dystopic masterpiece: Stand On Zanzibar.