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Energy value of Adani coal not high enough to be profitable?

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Energy value of Adani coal not high enough to be profitable?

Unread postby eclipse » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 02:35:23

Hi everyone,
I'm wondering what you make of this article?

https://www.afr.com/business/mining/the ... 529-p51s62
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Re: Energy value of Adani coal not high enough to be profita

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 20 Jun 2019, 15:15:48

eclipse wrote:Hi everyone,
I'm wondering what you make of this article?

https://www.afr.com/business/mining/the ... 529-p51s62


Well the link goes to a pay per view/subscription site so I can't read the article. That being said I call BS because the same kind of claims are constantly being made about shale fracking for oil and methane and we know those businesses are tootling along generating money for their investors.

Out here in reality it is not the simple issue of energy content as the one paragraph I could see started out with. For counter examples look at burning Biomass in the UK or burning Peat in Ireland. In the case of biomass wood is harvested in Canada and the USA and shipped across the Atlantic so that power stations in the UK can claim renewable energy credits and green status in the political realm. In the case of Ireland the peat is a local resource and even with its moderate energy content using it instead of importing coal from overseas gives political credit for employing local workers in mining and processing the peat.

The mine in question employs or will employ a lot of voters, as will the ancillary businesses that finish the raw coal into useful product, support the work force, and so on and so forth. Pretending that the energy content of a material is the only consideration leads down the EROEI pathway and you can't even get people to agree on what factors to count when making the calculation of a fuels EROEI in the first place. Without a standardized framework to judge against it as always boils down to advocacy. If you like a project and do an EROEI calculation to support it you assume rosy input numbers and ignore factors you can to make the number as attractive as possible. If you hate a project and do an EROEI calculation you use the most pessimistic numbers you can for input costs and load on as many additional factors as you can plausibly attach to make it look as bad as possible. This is what takes EROEI arguments out of the realm of Science and places them in the realm of 'biased analysis'.

As the old saw goes, "figures do not lie, but liars know how to figure" or the corollary "There are Lies, Damnable lies, and Statistics". Gentlemen like Robert McNamara used statistical analysis to justify killing projects he opposed and boosting projects he liked and it was all done by adjusting the values of different inputs until he got the answer he wanted. EROEI advocates do exactly the same thing.
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