Australian Peak Coal on ABC Future Tense

At about the 24 minute mark they start talking about peak coal.

  • ABARE says ‘at current rates’ we’ve got 90 years of coal left.
  • As the program finally says, and us peak oilers have been saying for years, there’s no such thing as ‘at current rates’. Production always increases, exponentially.
  • If growth continues the way it has been, we’ll run out in 45 years.
  • As we know production runs in a bell curve, so Australian peak coal could be well before then.

However, the assumptions here are that Australia, and indeed the world, doesn’t exponentially increase nuclear power production so that peak coal effectively becomes irrelevant. I can imagine scenarios where the last coal plant is shut down in 50 years, leaving a lot of it still underground. If the world finally demonstrates that GenIV reactors are economical, then who is to say that we’ll even have overseas buyers to export coal to? Who is to say that Japan won’t suddenly make a run for 100% GenIV nuclear power?

Interesting times.

The zero carbon jump – RN Future Tense – 11 November 2010.

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