Fracking has really dropped the price of natural gas in the USA leading to major switch from coal to natural gas in power plants.
But China is resisting this change because of costs.
China’s effort to promote natural gas over coal to cut pollution is facing resistance from buyers who prefer cheaper to cleaner. The world’s largest energy consumer seeks to raise the share of less-polluting natural gas to 10 percent of its energy mix by 2020 from 6 percent last year. Yet even with the government cutting the cost of gas, it remains almost three times more expensive than coal when used to generate electricity. That’s putting a damper on the switch from a fuel that now accounts for more than 60 percent of demand.
Electricity generated from gas costs almost three times that from coal — about 0.6 yuan a kilowatt-hour in eastern China, while coal-fired output costs 0.22 yuan.
The Shanghai city-gate price — a wholesale cost of gas delivered to distributors — was cut in November to 2.18 yuan a cubic meter. That’s about $9 per million British thermal units, compared with $2.039 for U.S. benchmark prices and $4.24 in the U.K. as of Thursday.
Green fanatics have worked really, really hard to prevent fracking in Europe. And to shut down nuclear power plants.
So what happens? A huge number of lignite power plants are being built. Lignite is filthy coal. High CO2 coal. Lignite produces 80% more CO2 per kWh than natural gas.
Stupid Green Policies have consequences.
“Lignite – also known as brown coal – power stations currently make up more than 10% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions. Greenpeace said that if Europe is to continue to play its part in keeping the world within the internationally accepted limit of 2C of warming, 90% of the carbon contained in its lignite reserves must remain buried.
Despite this, lignite-fuelled power stations are still being built, locking in consumption of the fuel for decades. There are 19 such facilities in various stages of approval, planning or construction in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Greenpeace figures show these new projects alone would emit almost 120m tonnes of CO2 every year – equivalent to three-quarters of the annual carbon output of the UK’s energy sector. The average lifespan for a coal power station is about 40 years, meaning the plants could release nearly 5bn tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.”