Posted by: doug308 | April 14, 2011

Is Coal a Fading Fuel?

Is coal a fading fuel? In a word, “no”. The bottom line truth of the matter is that it is abundant, relatively cheap, and the majority of power plants burn it. Natural gas is coming on strong (again) because of its current low price, and nuclear is going to have its place whether anyone likes it or not. But there is just not enough money or motivation to simply replace coal-fired power plants on the scale it would take to remove coal as a dominant fuel-source.

My personal viewpoint is that there will in fact be a relatively significant amount of money dumped into the coal-fired power gen industry over the next decade. Why? Because a big chunk of the 600 plus coal-fired power plants in the US are pretty old and needing some sprucing up to keep them running at optimal levels. And believe me my friends, that is going to take some money and not a just a little bit of specialized talent. After all, the populations of New York and Dallas are not likely to put up with the sort of brownouts common to cities like Manilla and it makes a lot more sense/cents to fix up the plants you have rather than to try to get people to swallow the big bitter pill associated with building a new plant no matter what fuel it’s using.

So kids, for the time being anyway, coal is king and the other players in the court are going to have to wait before they can steal the thrown.

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