The Search for Clean Coal

The coal industry is at a crisis point worldwide, and any fallout from its decline will impact heavily on the Australian economy.

Barack Obama has stated that his goal is to gradually shut-down every coal fired power station in the USA, and Green lobby groups worldwide are calling for the picketing of all new coal mines anywhere on the planet. Warren Buffett has said that decline of coal mining is gradual, but permanent.

Gas, more so than nuclear, is being promoted as the ideal alternate to totally replace coal and, to add to the problem, coal prices are steadily dropping to the point where it soon will become uneconomic to dig it up. Then, there is the issue of the relationship between miners and farmers, which is at a low ebb and becoming even more militant on both sides.

All of this uncertainty has led to a tightening of the equity and debt markets for coal mines, with junior miners not having strong enough balance sheets to back their development capital requirements. This leads us to a dismal looking future for coal — so the industry is now slowly and reluctantly seeking ways to turn its fortunes around. Continue reading “The Search for Clean Coal”

The Quest for Energy will dominate.

The Quest for Energy will dominate the politics of the future

The provision of energy to meet the growing needs of billions of people worldwide is an enormous economic challenge for every nation on earth. Half of the world does not have any form of power in their homes right now, and there is insufficient to meet the ever expanding needs of industry and transport.

The debate on the future of energy is about the use and abuse of oil, gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, tides, ethanol, etc — which is best, cheapest, more environmentally friendly, available and sustainable — and what influence does political and financial power have on all of them.

Have just read “The Quest” by Harvard Professor Daniel Yergin — an excellent analysis of the global energy situation that covers all of the above. Well written, reads like a thriller. It caused me to form the view that it is not possible to understand world economics without having a basic grasp of the impact of energy on the aspirations of humanity.

The war over power prices.

The “war” over power prices reached a crescendo last month with the Prime Minister and Premiers blaming one another for the excessively high power prices from which we currently suffer.

However, we should all stop playing the blame game for a moment and agree that it is long overdue for us to acknowledge that price rises have little to do with the carbon tax, because our power stations are antiquated, inefficient, environmentally unfriendly and poorly managed. We need to spend billions replacing them with the world’s finest technology, including our first nuclear power plant.

Going Nuclear

The Anti-Nuclear people have had a field day of ranting and raving about the nuclear problems that Japan is battling. They are absolutely delighted that Japan’s tsunami gave them a new platform to parade their delusions.

Their hypocrisy has driven me further into the realm of nuclear believers. Most of the critics are people who spend all day worrying about what might kill them, instead of enjoying life to the full. Death is going to get us all one day, so let us all relax and let it happen. Continue reading “Going Nuclear”