Op deze site heb ik onlangs een Engelstalige reactie geplaatst over het wereldwijde steenkoolgebeuren.
Zelfs de hoeveelheid aan betaalbare hoge kwaliteitssteenkool raakt m.i. in hoog tempo uitgeput.
Alvast een link naar een online boek (25 MB) over onder andere het belang van goede kwaliteitssteenkool voor de Aluminium en Staal productie.
Onderstaand mijn Engelstalige reactie over de wereldwijde steenkoolsituatie. Wanneer ik voldoende inspiratie heb, zal ik van dit artikel een beter leesbaar Nederlandstalig artikel maken.
“In my opinion the coal industry (in particular the coal lobby) wants to give ‘the people’ the impression that there is enough (cheap) coal to feed the world’s energy (coal) need for many decades into the future.
Althought there are huge amounts of coal in the ground, (according to statistics on the EIA website or WCA website) the amount of recoverable ‘high quality’ coal (hard coal) is less than half of the estimated total amount of extractable coal.
And the world economy is still very dependent on huge daily amounts of cheap high quality coal (the hard coal: Bituminous and Anthracite).
In most articles about coal reserves, they are only talking about total recoverable coal reserves and total yearly coal production (consumption). All types of coal are thrown on one heap.
At the website of the WCA (World Coal Association) I found no reserves numbers about the different types of coal. I found only the total reserve number (all types of coal thrown at one heap).
Only at the EIA website I found some numbers about resp. the amount of recoverable high quality (hard coal) reserves and low quality coal reserves.
Although there are lots of uncertainties about the amount of recoverable coal reserves, according to the EIA:
1) In 2008 the total amount of recoverable coal was about
948,000,000,000 short tons
2) In 2008 the amount of recoverable hard coal was about 445,000,000,000
short tons of hard coal (this is the high qualty coal).
3) In 2011 the total yearly production of coal was about 8,500,000,000 short tons
4) In 2011 the total yearly production of hard coal (good quality coal) was about 7,300,000,000 short tons.
So, about 85% of total yearly coal production is high quality coal! The amount of recoverable hard coal (high quality coal) is less than half of total recoverable coal reserves.
At current production rate, the total amount of recoverable hard coal is consumed in about 56 years. Of course last menioned is not realistic, because e.g. the low hanging fruit (the cheap, easy to get hard coal) is (based on what I have
read) almost gone. The remaining recoverable reserves of hard coal are the (harder to get/ more expensive higher hanging fruit.
Theoretically, if word coal consumption is increasing at the same rate as in the period between 2000 and 2012 (out of my head almost 5% increase per year), all recoverable hard coal would be consumed in less than 30 years.
[calculation: 7,300,000,000*(1.05^30 -1)/0.05 = 485,000,000,000] [485,000,000,000 is larger than 445,000,000,000.].
Because the low hanging fruit of hard coal is already in low supply, more and more tonnage of harder to extract hard coal is needed to get the same amount of thermal energy or the same amount of cokes.
Probably metallurgical coal (for cokes production) will be in short supply very soon. Maybe the end of cheap coal will be much sooner than a lot of articles (especially the articles from the coal industry) will suggest.