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'Coal plants best choice for now'

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'Coal plants best choice for now'
CHULARAT SAENGPASSA
THE NATION, GERMANY December 8, 2014 1:00 am

30249317-01_big.jpg
The Schwarze Pumpe coal-fired power plant in Berlin.

Egat plans to build coal power facilities in Songkhla, Krabi in 2016, 2019

BANGKOK: -- DESPITE PUBLIC concern about their environmental impact, coal-fired power plants have been emerging as a vital force for the country's energy security.


This fact is evident in the vision of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, which believes that "clean-coal" technology would be a |perfect solution for this country.

"Coal-fired power plants will build energy security," said Anuchart Palakawongse na Ayudhya, Egat director of environmental projects. "With 'clean-coal' technology, coal will be the best energy source for the country's power generation in the next one or two decades."

He revealed that Egat planned to boost coal as the energy source for power generation from 14 per cent to 23 per cent by 2030.

Anuchart was speaking as an Egat team led reporters on a visit to Germany to inspect the Schwarze Pumpe power plant, which uses |lignite, the Power Plant of Mainova, which relies on coal, and the Binselberg Wind Park, where electricity is generated by wind energy.

The trip offered a glimpse of how a new-generation lignite-fired power plants can be "friendly" to the environment.

Binselberg Wind Park can generate up to 9,000 megawatts of electricity a year with its two turbine sets. It "lowers" carbon dioxide emissions by 5,800 tonnes every year.

Egat has emphasised that while it is trying to push for the use of a coal-fired power plant in Krabi, it has not lost focus on renewable-energy |promotion.

"We will continue to boost the percentage of renewable energy in power generation too. It should rise from 14 per cent now to 28 per cent by 2030," said Wiwat Chancherngpanich, Egat's assistant governor for power plant construction.

Like Anuchart, Wiwat believes that coal is a good choice for electricity generating, saying production costs range from Bt2.8 to Bt3 per unit.

"When using wind energy, the cost is between Bt5 and Bt6 per unit," he pointed out. "When using solar energy, the cost ranges between Bt8 and Bt9 per unit."

He also said that renewable energy was still not very stable as a source of power generation.

"For example, if we stick to solar energy, we must understand that we may get just four or five hours of sunlight on some days," Wiwat said.

Egat's plan to set up a coal-fired power plant in Krabi, however, has drawn opposition from locals and environmentalists.

They have highlighted what |happened to people living near the lignite-fired Mae Moh Power Plant in Lampang. There, locals have been struggling with pollution and related health issues.

According to Anuchart, the |Mae Moh plant has been improved and has reduced its sulphur dioxide emissions significantly.

He said that Egat recognised that the Mae Moh plant was old and it would be closed soon.

"As for our new projects, we should be able to do at least as well as Germany," he said.

For example, for the planned coal-fired power plant in Krabi, he said that Egat would spend up to Bt800 million on constructing a tunnel for coal transportation along a stretch that went past a mangrove forest.

He said that the transportation system would be closed in order to prevent environmental impacts along the route. Boats used for coal transportation would stay clear of coral reefs off Phi Phi Island and Lanta Island.

Dust particles from the plant's emissions would be 30 milligrammes per cubic metre of air, much lower than the standard 80 milligrammes per cubic metre of air.

Sulphur dioxide emissions would also be far below the standard requirement.

"Our consulting firm is in the process of gathering people's opinions," Anuchart said.

He said that if the Bt50 billion plant got Cabinet approval, its construction would start in 2016 and finish in 2019.

He said that the plant - which would replace an old plant at the same location - would use sub-bituminus coal, an "eco-friendly" raw material.

That plant and two plants planned for Songkhla were crucial in ensuring electricity security in the South.

"We still need coal-fired power plants," Anuchart said.

However, the many protests mean there are now question marks over whether the Krabi and Songkhla plants will go ahead. And if they are not constructed, would Egat be able to find enough energy to meet needs

Wiwat said that if the power plants could not use coal to produce power, Egat would have to consider other options such as liquefied natural gas, which would cause the electricity-producing cost to increase by Bt2-3.

The other option would be to buy energy from other sources such as dams in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

If that happened, Wiwat said the country would become dependant on other countries to meet its energy requirements.

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Coal-plants-best-choice-for-now-30249317.html

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-- The Nation 2014-12-08

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Tony Abbot must have been talking to Prayut during APEC, I am sure he is slobbering over the prospect of selling coal to Thailand, especially since he and the Jockey have crashed the aussie dollar against a 3rd world country under martial law.

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Does Thailand produce coal or will it be imported ?

I was surprised to learn that Thailand produces more than Great Britain. I don't know if that's enough to avoid imports.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_coal_production

It's ridiculous they're pushing the "Clean Coal" propaganda. There's no such thing. Interesting they said they would switch to LPG if they couldn't do coal when wind costs the same.

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Why not encourage solar power and create feed-in tariffs for consumers. A few panels a grid tie inverter and a meter spinning backwards sending power to the grid while your out all day is good for the consumer and the environment. Make the panels affordable, this could be far better scheme to subsidize than new cars...

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They should build power plants that use gasification of rice straw/husks and captures the ash. We utilize an energy source that is plentiful and was going to be burned anyway (no additional CO2), we significantly reduce air pollution, and the captured ash has economic value. Triple-win!

http://www.bioenergyconsult.com/tag/energy-potential-of-rice-husk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Husk_Power_Systems

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Why not encourage solar power and create feed-in tariffs for consumers. A few panels a grid tie inverter and a meter spinning backwards sending power to the grid while your out all day is good for the consumer and the environment. Make the panels affordable, this could be far better scheme to subsidize than new cars...

Whilst I completely agree that solar power generation should be encouraged - and FITs are probably one of the most succesful ways to encourage this, there still the problem of how to generate adequate power when the sun isn't shining - so you still need "other" types of power gen - the cheapest of which (nuclear/coal/heavy oi/ etc.) cannot quickly or easily be turned up or down.

Sharchen's latter point about gasification of waste, would be compatable, as it provides fuel suitable for gas-turbines, which do have quick-start capability.

Edited by steve73
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They should build power plants that use gasification of rice straw/husks and captures the ash. We utilize an energy source that is plentiful and was going to be burned anyway (no additional CO2), we significantly reduce air pollution, and the captured ash has economic value. Triple-win!

http://www.bioenergyconsult.com/tag/energy-potential-of-rice-husk/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Husk_Power_Systems

This is an 'idea' that lacks foresight ...

Why burn off nutrients instead of putting back into the soil?

Why build a plant that burns off biomass when the supply of local biomass is low / seasonal (what are the additional embodied energy costs of transporting in)?

By all means, provide ROI and ERoEI calculations to validate such an expensive, if you are able

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Why not encourage solar power and create feed-in tariffs for consumers. A few panels a grid tie inverter and a meter spinning backwards sending power to the grid while your out all day is good for the consumer and the environment. Make the panels affordable, this could be far better scheme to subsidize than new cars...

Whilst I completely agree that solar power generation should be encouraged - and FITs are probably one of the most succesful ways to encourage this, there still the problem of how to generate adequate power when the sun isn't shining - so you still need "other" types of power gen - the cheapest of which (nuclear/coal/heavy oi/ etc.) cannot quickly or easily be turned up or down.

Sharchen's latter point about gasification of waste, would be compatable, as it provides fuel suitable for gas-turbines, which do have quick-start capability.

"gasification of wastes" please explain ...

nuclear power creates far more problems than it address; the C02e emissions (to design, acquire and make site meet requirements), the embodied energy costs to build, run and then decommission ...

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Why not encourage solar power and create feed-in tariffs for consumers. A few panels a grid tie inverter and a meter spinning backwards sending power to the grid while your out all day is good for the consumer and the environment. Make the panels affordable, this could be far better scheme to subsidize than new cars...

I can tell you why not: Solar panels have only a small electric output and the electricity produced by them is extremely expensive and what do they produce at night, nothing! So you need to have a second power source to provide electricity during night. Now you know why not.

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The power plant Schwarze Pumpe is not located in Berlin but 160 km south. It is run by brown coal while the majority of the coal from Australia is hard coal and as the coal from Thailand is brown coal this inspection is probably related to Thai coal and not Australian.

Regarding renewable energy am not sure how Thailand will cover the extra cost for it. Germany pays more than additional 20 billion a year for renewable energy which covers only 20% of the total electric power production. And as the renewable energy is not constant a whole infrastructure of traditional power plants is needed to cover the electric consumption when there is no wind and sunshine. On the other hand it leads to the strange situation that Germany pays money to other counties when they take electricity that is coming up when there is a strong wind. A lot of unplanned and weird situations which should not be copied by emerging countries.

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get over the hurdle that Thorium is a nuclear power plant. we can't compare a land line to a Smart phone.

==========

The waste can be spread on fields, they can't melt down, can't make nuclear weapons from Thorium, CAN burn off Uranium wastes in the Thorium plants. It's not like the cold fusion myth.

China IS going ahead with Thorium plants.

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There is an interesting U-tube movie on Lockheed being very close to having saleable fusion (not cold fusion) electricity plants in a very few years. The interesting thing is they would just arrive in a 20 foot container & "bolt on to the side" of any existing thermal power plant. I am sure it is a bit trickier than that but the marketing plan is they will be purpose designed to retro fit them to existing thermal plants that have good solid infrastructure for a new lease on life. I am an optimist but the Euros & several other people are very close to perfecting the fusion concept. The Lockheed-Martin one just might be the earliest on the market. Let's hope so. We NEED clean cheap electricity.

This is one of several similar items.

Edited by The Deerhunter

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