Cornerstone - Winter 2014 - (Page 67)
GL OBAL NEWS
Movers & Shakers
Mitsubishi Corporation announced the opening of the
Caval Ridge Coal Mine in Queensland, Australia. Run by
BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), Caval Ridge is a new
open-cut mine located in the northern Bowen Basin in Central Queensland that has the capacity to produce 5.5 million
tonnes per year of high-quality metallurgical coal for a mine
life of about 60 years.
The board of the Rio Tinto Group has extended the tenure of
Chief Executive Sam Walsh and Chief Financial Officer Chris
Lynch, providing a strong endorsement of their leadership,
the Group's strategy, and its focus on driving shareholder
With the passage of the Emissions Reduction Fund, the
Australian government has taken a step toward meeting its
greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal of 5% below 2000
levels by 2020. The Emissions Reduction Fund is the centerpiece of the Direct Action plan, which replaced the Carbon
Pricing Mechanism repealed in mid-2014.
On 2 October 2014,
the Boundary Dam
CCS project began
operation; the plant
is the first and only
post-combustion capture facility operating
at the scale of about
one million tonnes
CO2 each year. According to the head of the Global Carbon
Capture and Storage Institute, Brad Page, "This trailblazing
project clearly demonstrates that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is possible on a large scale in the power sector.
Importantly, the lessons learned at Boundary Dam will help
progress CCS projects internationally as a vital technology
to meet our climate change challenge."
The Ministry of Finance and the State Administration of Taxation released a statement that, from 1 December 2014, China
will change its approach to the resource tax on coal. The country will now levy a resource tax based not on quantity, but on
price, which will replace the previous quantity-based approach.
The resource tax rate will be 2-10%; the exact amount will be
determined by the provincial governments within the given
range. The statement also noted that the resource tax will be
reduced by 30% for coal produced from exhausted coal mines,
and by 50% for coal displaced from filling mining.
The European Council (EC) has adopted several energy targets
for 2030: reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared
with 1990 levels; obtain 27% of its energy from renewable
sources; and cut energy consumption by 27% compared with
projected levels. The final text of the agreement includes a
flexibility clause stating that the EC will revisit these targets
after the UN climate summit in December 2015. The agreement also includes provisions to compensate nations like
Poland, which relies on coal for around 90% of its energy.
At risk of missing its greenhouse gas reduction goal of a
40% reduction in emissions by 2020 compared to 1990,
Germany is considering options that include further increasing efficiency and reducing the amount of coal-fired power
generation in the country.
India's Supreme Court canceled at least 214 coal licenses
because they had been distributed without competitive
bidding. Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said that the country
will auction 74 coal-mining licenses to private companies in
the next several months.
The U.S. and China announced an agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions. For its part, the U.S. agreed to reduce
emissions by 26-28% compared to 2005 levels. China committed to peak its emissions by 2030 and also to obtain 20%
of its energy from non-fossil sources. Under the deal, efforts
on low-carbon energy technology development would also
be expanded, including continued funding for the U.S.-China
Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). In addition, the U.S.
and China have committed to equally fund a commercial-scale
(about one million tonnes CO2 per year) CCUS project under
which about 1.4 million m3 of freshwater would be produced.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cornerstone - Winter 2014
From the Editor: Finding Common Ground
Cover Story: The Energy Frontier of Combining Coal and Renewable Energy Systems
The Rise of Electricity: Offering Longevity,
Improved Living Standards, and a Healthier Planet
Understanding the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiativeand Storage
Developing Country Needs Are Critical
to a Global Climate Agreement
The Flexibility of German Coal-Fired
Power Plants Amid Increased Renewables
Toward Carbon-Negative Power Plants
With Biomass Cofiring and CCS
Evolution of Cleaner Solid Fuel Combustion
Making Coal Flexible:
Getting From Baseload to Peaking Plant
Geothermal Assisted Power Generation
for Thermal Power Plants
Shenhua’s Development of Digital Mines
Direct Carbon Fuel Cells: An Ultra-Low
Emission Technology for Power Generation
Exploring the Status of Oxy-fuel
Technology Globally and in China
Volume 2 Author Index
Cornerstone - Winter 2014