COAL POWERED ELECTRICITY TO MANUFACTURE AND CHARGE THEIR BATTERIES
The International Mining and Resources Conference in Melbourne resulted in mining executives being harassed, spat on and dragged to the ground by misguided protesters. Yet, as the title would suggest, the conference was
not just about coal mining alone. If their protests were to put coal off limits then they are destined to fail. Coal will remain the main energy source of the future.
Mining is required to obtain any material that cannot be grown through agricultural processes, or feasibly created artificially in a laboratory or factory. Mining is first and foremost a source of vital mineral commodities, coal, oil which powers mining itself, uranium, thorium, lithium, copper, zinc, gold, bauxite to make aluminium, platinum and titanium among the 84 different minerals currently obtained through mining. All countries find these minerals essential for maintaining and improving their standards of living. We needed them to construct roads and hospitals, to build automobiles and houses, to make computers, mobile phones and satellites, to generate electricity, and to provide the many other goods and services that consumers enjoy.
Coal is cheaper and major emergency economies have more of it at home and for this reason coal has been the fastest growing source of energy of the 21st century, driven by the growth of these emerging economies.
“Coal has been, is and will be the backbone of modern electricity and the bedrock on which the modern world is built,” according to the World Coal Association. (“The public image of coal: inconvenient facts and political correctness” May 2014)
There is no conceivable energy future over the next 30 to 40 years in which coal does not play an enormous role.
The divestment campaign, however well intended will fail.While it might succeed in closing down a number of ageing power stations it will never reduce the world’s prodigious demand for coal fired power.