American DOE Energy Information Agency (EIA) says American coal runs out in 119 years.
“consumption will increase at about 1.1% per year for the period 2009-2035. If that growth rate continues into the future, U.S. recoverable coal reserves would be exhausted in about 119 years if no new reserves are added. “
But there’s a few problems!
- There’s no reference to peak coal, which means moving from increasing production of higher grade coal to decreasing production of lower grade coal. This happens in all resource mining, whether discussing copper, gold, iron ore, or oil gas and coal. It means the cost of coal rises exponentially at the half-way mark, not the end.
- There’s no reference to peak oil, and how many see coal-to-liquids as a short term stop-gap for peak oil. (Such as the famous Hirsch Report to the DOE). Coal consumption would increase much faster than 1.1% each year if we turn to coal to save us from peak oil.
What was that about building our house on the sand — I mean coal?