[CAMWEST-discuss] Coal prices

Danny Hannan danny_hannan at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 23 00:43:59 UTC 2011


G'day all,
Thought I might throw this little article into the debate on Global Warming and 
a Carbon Tax.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-21/thermal-coal-s-30-gain-to-outpace-oil-gas-on-japan-quake-energy-markets.html


At the moment our NSW coal-fired power-stations are paying around Au$31/tonne 
for the same thermal coal that is being shipped out of New Castle Harbour.

The proposed carbon tax will have only very minor impact on electricity prices 
when compared to the removal of subsidies for coal prices in this 
state.  Introducting parity pricing for coal in this country as was done many 
years ago for oil would have several factors greater impact than a carbon tax.

And parity pricing needs to happen so that Australians realise what a valuable 
and very finite resource our coal reserves are.  The probability of finding new 
large reserves of coal are very low.  The coal reserves we now have are very 
likely all that we will ever have and we are shipping it overseas to the tune of 
about 4 million tonnes a year and that number is growing rapidly to about 8 
million tonnes by 2016.

At our current rate of production our coal reserves will be all gone by 2100 
(AERA 2010) and at projected rates of production by 2060.

How will we produce our electricity then?  How will we refine our metals then?  
How will we make cement, glass, nitrogen fertiliser, bricks when we have no 
fossil fuels available in a short 50 years?

Dan
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