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Air Quality chinese pollution

Published on February 16th, 2012 | by Breath on the Wind

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New Study: EV More Polluting than Petrol??! Not So Fast…

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February 16th, 2012 by
 
 

The Devil is always in the details. It is being widely reported on the web that a new University of Tennessee study by Chris Cherry, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, and graduate student Shuguang Ji shows that, when electric cars are charged by grid power where the energy mix is 90% coal, they are more polluting than petrol vehicles. But when we take a careful look at the study, several clarifications come to light that tend to discredit the study and marginalize the results.

–>Also see: detailed response to comments on this post and discussion of EV myths: EV in a Frightening Chinese Haze

Marginalizing the Results

There are two qualifications of this study that tend to limit its application. First, it studied 34 Chinese cities. Secondly, it was a study of particulate matter.

China is not typical of the rest of the world. It is hard to imagine pollution so bad that a haze was visible across the lobby of a Northern China hotel where I stayed 8 years ago. The sun was never visible (on a “clear” day) and it was never possible to see across the street. This pollution was primarily particulates from coal-fired power plants mixed with smog. They have expanded their economy rapidly and, because they have vast deposits of coal, this is the primary source of energy they have relied upon for new electrical power plants. The advantage of such plants is that they are relatively cheap to build. The construction is proceeding so rapidly that they have been adding a coal-fired power plant a week. The cost of operating such plants, however, is not only the coal but the externality of pollution associated with it.

A study in such a place does not extend to most places in the world—you cannot generalize those results and apply them to very many places.

Different Kinds of Pollution

There are many kinds of pollution. Automobile Pollution is known for NOx (which eventually changes into smog), carbon dioxide, carbon Monoxide, and various other emissions. The particulate level of gasoline engines is relatively low and one of the reasons we don’t use as many diesel engines is that the particulate level is higher for that fuel. Coal pollution, however, is high in particulates. If the study had, instead of particulates, measured CO2, NOx, or carbon monoxide, the reverse results would likely have been found.

A Matter of Degree

Science is like a knife. It can be used for surgery, murder, or our daily bread. In this case, the study has a narrow subject matter: particulates. Its conclusion is further limited to those places where coal is a very large percentage of the electrical energy mix. The US national electrical energy mix for coal is now around 43%. The other nations of the world that have an energy mix that relies so heavily on coal is Australia and South Africa.

It is also a snapshot in time. The electric car is not the problem—power plants are. As the grid becomes cleaner over time, the EV is best positioned to take advantage of that change. It would be hazardous to rely upon the study for any future course of action without considering the trend of the electrical energy mix. In the US, the electrical energy mix for coal has gone from 55% to the present 43% in the last 8 years. In the EU, 70% of new power capacity in 2011 was from renewables.

An electric car, at least, has the possibility of using a clean source for its energy charge, but an internal combustion engine is always going to be burning something and producing pollution no matter what the fuel.

Under the high pressure and temperature conditions in an engine, nitrogen and oxygen atoms in the air react to form various nitrogen oxides, collectively known as NOx. Nitrogen oxides, like hydrocarbons, are precursors to the formation of ozone. They also contribute to the formation of acid rain. (emphasis added)

When we consider that there are many more petrol vehicles than electric vehicles, the major pollution concern is not a few EVs, but dirty power plants and petrol vehicles.

The study also concludes that “electric cars are more harmful to public health per kilometer traveled in China than conventional vehicles.” The important qualification is “per kilometer traveled” and “in China.” With fewer electric cars, the impact is less. In other locations, the study results will not be valid.

But even within China, the study also at times lumps electric bikes with electric cars and confusingly suggests that “electric vehicles in China outnumber conventional vehicles 2:1,” when the vast majority of these are electric bicycles (and the study is focused on cars). It is unclear if the study, when calculating results, included the pollution from refineries or the time-shaving that an EV can do to reduce pollution (or that they can charge with essentially no added pollution during off-peak hours.)

Apples, Oranges, and a False Premise

The study attempts to build upon the fallacy of what has come to be known as the “long tailpipe argument.” The electric car does not pollute in its operation. At issue is the source of energy for a battery vehicle while charging. We can compare individual cars to the general fleet (energy users, power demand, “apples”) or we can compare individual power plants to all power plants (energy suppliers, power supply, “oranges”) and we can even compare all energy demand to all energy supply. What we can’t do is suggest a particular vehicle is being powered by a particular supply as long as there is an electrical grid between the two (apples and oranges). We have to consider the number of vehicles when there is an energy grid between the two.

We can only draw conclusions based upon the size of the electric fleet and the spectrum of power sources. In the US, for example, we could as easily focus on the clean power sources as the dirty ones. In the US, we presently have enough clean sources of electricity (wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric…) to power over 100 million electric cars. This is what is available today. Tomorrow, this number will be even larger as more renewable resources are used for electrical production. China is also building its clean power sources at the same time it is introducing electric cars. Its clean electric power supply will also far exceed the number of electric cars.

So, before we become alarmed by a study that seems to search for its conclusion, it is good to take a careful look at what it is attempting to say, if anything.

Photo Credit: Leo Fung

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About the Author

We share this World; its past, present resources and our combined future. With every aspiration, the very molecules we use for life are passed to others through time and space so that each of us may be considered a Breath on the Wind. This part of the world's consciousness lives in NYC; has worked in law, research, construction, engineering; has traveled, often drawn to Asia; writes on Energy and Electric Vehicle issues and looks forward to all your comments.   "If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect." -- Benjamin Franklin



  • Otter

    This was pretty much an uninformed mess.
    A misguided attempt to change the subject and the information by not adding any information just suppositions.

    There are two qualifications of this study that tend to limit its application. First, it studied 34 Chinese cities.

    For some reason not listed studying Chinese cities is not appropriate when making a study on EVs in China?

    “UT Researchers Find China’s Pollution Related to E-Cars May Be More Harmful than Gasoline Cars”

    As the first ‘Qualification” this is moronic. Unfortunately it does not get much if better

    “Secondly, it was a study of particulate matter.

    Different Kinds of Pollution
    There are many kinds of pollution. Automobile Pollution is known for NOx (which eventually changes into smog), carbon dioxide, carbon Monoxide, and various other emissions. The particulate level of gasoline engines is relatively low and one of the reasons we don’t use as many diesel engines is that the particulate level is higher for that fuel. Coal pollution, however, is high in particulates. If the study had, instead of particulates, measured CO2, NOx, or carbon monoxide, the reverse results would likely have been found.”

    Apparently the only proper studies are ones that ICE are worse than EVs.
    Any pollution that EVs are worse in are some how wrong.

    “Nothing to see here just move along.”

    If the study had, instead of particulates, measured CO2, NOx, or carbon monoxide, the reverse results would likely have been found.”

    Well other studies have been done in China an CO2, Sulfur, and NOX
    EVs produce more of Sulphur and NOX in all parts of China and CO2 in some parts of China. As well as PM. (Particulate Matter)
    This isn’t mentioning the airborne Mercury, Lead, Arsenic and a host of others coal plants produce; but those wouldn’t be proper studies either.

    “In this case, the study has a narrow subject matter: particulates. Its conclusion is further limited to those places where coal is a very large percentage of the electrical energy mix. The US national electrical energy mix for coal is now around 43%. The other nations of the world that have an energy mix that relies so heavily on coal is Australia and South Africa.”

    I will add India southeast Asia and the islands (Indonesia) to that list.
    Where have the manufacturing jobs gone too? Areas with cheap labor and cheap energy.
    Gee where is the greatest amount of new coal usage coming from?

    “It is also a snapshot in time.”

    Thats true as you mentioned China is building a coal plant a week
    Is that going to help make EVs cleaner?

    The electric car is not the problem—power plants are.It would be hazardous to rely upon the study for any future course of action without considering the trend of the electrical energy mix. In the US, the electrical energy mix for coal has gone from 55% to the present 43% in the last 8 years. In the EU, 70% of new power capacity in 2011 was from renewables.

    This whole piece is just a silly mess.

    The electric car is not the problem—power plants are.

    Nope if you don’t use the energy the power plant does not produce it. No pollution, as I said just silly

    It would be hazardous to rely upon the study for any future course of action without considering the trend of the electrical energy mix.

    True. Trends in global energy mix?
    Globally CO2 per kWh has increased 50% since 1990.
    Cherry picking areas as you do below doesn’t cut it.

    “In the US, the electrical energy mix for coal has gone from 55% to the present 43% in the last 8 years. In the EU, 70% of new power capacity in 2011 was from renewables.”

    Cherry picked data as you did there is not the subject of the study, China remember? Not the US or renewables in Europe.

    “As the grid becomes cleaner over time, the EV is best positioned to take advantage of that change. ”

    Also will be the worst hit as most of the world is increasing their coal to grid use.

    One other gem.

    The study also concludes that “electric cars are more harmful to public health per kilometer traveled in China than conventional vehicles.” The important qualification is “per kilometer traveled” and “in China.” With fewer electric cars, the impact is less.

    True but by this logic there will be less ICE in the future there for they will make less pollution and we should switch back from EVs to ICE as there will be less on the road and therefore cause less pollution.

    “In other locations, the study results will not be valid.”

    Possibly that is why the study names China not Global.
    Also why your using information from the US and Europe was inappropriate as well.

    An electric car, at least, has the possibility of using a clean source for its energy charge, but an internal combustion engine is always going to be burning something and producing pollution no matter what the fuel.

    Yes and when you have a cleaner grid EVs may be cleaner.
    At present however no.
    EVs are an environmental disaster on China’s US’s and Europe’s grids.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Here’s your best point…

      “The electric car is not the problem—power plants are.”

      Now, the rest of your post, eh….

      If you want to argue that EVs are causing us to build more dirty coal plants then I’d like to see some data.

      If you want to argue that EVs might cause us to close dirty coal plants a bit slower, you might be right.

      But I’ll offer the counter argument that as people move to EVs they are also likely to support clean electricity generation, even do stuff like putting solar panels on their house.

      You aware that Ford is offering their Focus EV owners solar panel packages?

      You aware that EVs on the grid at night increase the profitability of wind farms and should lead to more rapid turbine installation?

      You aware how aggressively China is installing wind and solar generation?

  • Stan Soliday

    You gotta wonder at what point people would actually make some noise about something like this…maybe when they need flashlights to walk around all day?

    • Bob_Wallace

      Some US cities used to be this bad. I remember when it was common to turn on your headlights while driving through Gary, Indiana in the middle of the day. Oncoming cars would give off only a faint glow in the smog.

      People just accepted it as the way things were. Then the environmental movement started…

      • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

        Hey, we could get back there!

        I’m voting GOP next time so we can have such fun again! I never had the opportunity to play hide & seek in the thick smog bcs of that ‘radical’ environmental movement. I’d like to live in the midst of some completely black air before I die! :D

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    It takes more electricity to make gasoline to drive a gasoline car a certain distance, than it does to drive an electric car the same distance.

    Even if the electricity is 100% coal generated, it has the same carbon footprint as a gasoline car that gets 80-90MPG.

    Renewable energy will be here as long as the earth is — about 1 Billion years. How long will oil and coal and gas and uranium supplies last?

    Neil

    • Bob_Wallace

      Neil – do you have any data to back the claim that enough electricity goes into a gallon of fuel to power an EV for 30 or so miles?

      I’ve tried to answer that question and I don’t find that to be the case. There is a significant amount of electricity used to get a gallon of gas from the well to the tank but something more like 15 (IIRC) miles worth.

      There is also a large amount of natural gas and some of the oil itself used in the extracting/refining process. The overall energy used to produce a gallon of gas might power an EV for 30 miles, but I haven’t been able to put those numbers together.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Bob, I don’t have the data, but Nissan has said that each gallon of gasoline “contains” ~7.5kWh per gallon. A typical car sold in the USA gets about 22mpg, and the Nissan Leaf goes about 3 miles per KwH (if you are driving with a heavy foot — it is quite easy to get about 5 miles per kWh) so that means you can go 22.5-37.5 miles on the 7.5kWh.

        A fellow named Peter Norby has looked at this, too and he has similar numbers: http://electricmini.blogspot.com/2011/10/it-takes-lot-of-coal-to-make-gasoline.html

        It is hard to get an exact number for oil exploration and for drilling and extraction, or even for refining. With some crudes — and especially with tar sand, there is a lot of water that has to be drilled and pumped, and a lot of natural gas that has to be fracked and then used to heat the water, which then has to be pumped underground to loosen the oil so it can even be pumped out of the ground! Or, in the case of tar sand, that heated water is used to wash the tar out of the sand.

        The materials like the drilling mud are complicated to make and they take a lot of energy to do this. Pumping oil through a pipeline is non-trivial, and pumping the tar through a pipeline takes *lubrication* and a LOT of energy!

        There is natural gas used at several stages to turn oil into fuel — and now that we have to frack to get the gas, this takes even more electricity and other forms of energy.

        The gasoline has to be stored and shipped and pumped at several points, and even the pump at the filling station has to be counted, if one is making an “apples-to-apples” comparison with electricity.

        So, when a study only counts the carbon contained specifically in the gasoline (or diesel) but counts the whole process for mining and generation and grid loss etc. for electricity, then you know that the study is fataly flawed.

        Neil

        • Bob_Wallace

          I’m not sure, but I think that 7.5kWh (or 6kWh in your link) per gallon is energy, not just electricity. A lot of the inputs for refining oil are fossil fuel and we can’t turn those into electricity on a kWh=kWh basis. Too much waste heat loss in burning natural gas, coke, coal, distillate fuel oil, etc. to make electricity.

          I tried calculating the energy used for refining with DOE numbers and got 3.14 kWh/gallon. That included the oil from the barrel burned to do the refining. But that’s 3.14 kWh of energy, not electricity.

          This is something that the DOE should do and make public. I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t done it and are just not making the numbers public. I contacted them a year or so ago with the question and they replied it was something that they didn’t study. I just didn’t find that answer believable.

          I’d love to see someone with the proper background tackle this question. My guess is that there’s no more than 10 miles of “usable” EV energy used to produce a gallon of gas, but that’s significant. It’s 10 miles of electricity that we wouldn’t have to produce.

  • reinCARnate

    Nice rebuttal Breath on the Wind.

  • Pingback: EV in a Frightening Chinese Haze - CleanTechnica

  • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

    I’ve been in touch with the writer of this piece, who hasn’t been able to pop into these comments unfortunately, and he will be writing a reply to some of the concerns (and myths) below. Stay tuned…

  • brotherkenny

    The real fear of the fossil industry is not so much that the EVs will displace oil, because oil is actually running out and it does have many other purposes, but it is instead that EVs will result in a battery industry that can produce superior quality, low cost batteries. This would be a boon for the wind a solar electricity industry and may just eliminate the need for coal. Very frightening for them really

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’d say that the coal industry is more scared at the moment. It’s clear that renewables are cheaper than coal if one adds in the associated health and environmental costs of burning coal. Wind is already pushing coal off the grid and solar will soon be doing so as well. Affordable storage will deal coal (and new nuclear) a death blow.

      Oil, I suspect, sees the end in sight but believes that it still has plenty of time to transition. Let’s image that five years from now we have EVs that have a ~175 mile range, can take a 95% recharge in less than 20 minutes, and cost no more than $4k more than an equally equipped/appointed ICEV. At that point the market switches rapidly.

      The average life of a ICEV is roughly 12 years. It would take a decade or two to move personal transportation from oil to electricity. During that time oil companies can plow their enormous profits into other activities. They can buy up battery plants, for example. Chevron is already the world’s largest producer of geothermal energy. Exxon is getting into geothermal.

  • guest

    Don’t waste your time writing about things you don’t understand. Renewable energy (including solar that you “forgot” to mention) combined with energy storage is the future. The only question is how quickly it will be implemented because of people like you.

  • cbdh19

    @Gagognon76 and @Steve K: You both conveniently ignore the fact that large amounts of electricity generated by coal are used to refine oil into gasoline, as does, apparently the U. of Tennessee study. You also repeat tired old myths about EVs which simply aren’t true. We EV + renewable energy supporters, many of whom are currently powering EVs via electricity generated by our own, independent home solar installations, will continue to battle against you guys — until we win! And we will win! — for a variety of reasons, one of the biggest being the fact that oil and coal are very definitely finite resources while sunshine, wind, wave, etc. power are not.

  • Steve K

    Not much to add to Ggagnon except my support. I am in the energy industry and confirm he is right on point about the grid being close to capacity right now.

    Unfortunately, proponents of electric vehicles don’t admit, accept, or acknowledge that the electricity has to be generated SOMEHOW; it doesn’t just naturally occur. Some form of matter-to-energy transfer is usually involved (though, arguably, hyrdo and wind are exceptions).

    Count ALL the costs when contemplating something like an electric vehicle — and I don’t mean just your personal costs. Look at societal costs, as well as the cost of modernizing (building out) the existing grid to accommodate the additional demand these vehicles will cause.

    • Bob_Wallace

      You misrepresent the state of the grid. The grid is close to capacity only during peak-peak hours. A few very hot summer afternoons.

      There’s very little grid build out needed for us to switch to EVs. The grid is already in place and greatly underused late at night when most EV charging will occur.

      The grid, as it now exists, could charge 85% of all US cars if they somehow morphed to EVs over night. What we will need is more curbside and parking space outlets (low cost stuff). And some Level 3 rapid chargers along our main transportation routes.

      Charging for EVs will likely come mainly from wind. The wind tends to blow stronger at night when demand is low. Start charging a lot of EVs late at night and wind farms will make more profit which will increase investment in wind farms which will make more inexpensive wind power available during peak hours. That pulls down the cost of electricity to users.

      EVs will not only be significantly less expensive to drive (~$1/gallon equivalent) they will also help lower the price of electricity.

      Additional EV charging will come from solar. As the price of installed solar continues to fall homeowners will opt for installing panels on their roofs, sell the power to utility companies, and take back zero cost electricity when their EVs are plugged in. As it stands right now one can buy all the “fuel” they will need for the rest of their lives for a few thousand dollars and that will only improve.

  • Ggagnon76

    I believe this “story” is just as deceiving as the original it attempts to debunk. The issue is not the existing mix of electricity generation sources. The issue is where will we get the new sources of electricity that will most likely double or triple our current demand as electric vehicles (EV’s) are adopted by the majority?

    It’s fantastic to say that North America “only” has 43% of it’s electricity produced from coal. However, where will we get more electricity, as electric cars begin to overbuden the existing grid? Hyrdro-electric? I’ll go out on a limb and say that any favorable location for hydro-electric generation has been discovered and exploited by now. Wind? Are you, as a consumer, going to accept the fact that you can’t charge your car on days where the wind dies down? Considering human nature and our current culture of entitlement, I’d say that is unlikely. Geothermal? Again, like hydro-electric, chances are any ideal locations for this have been exploited by now. Nuclear? Too much fear mongering for nuclear to become an accepted source. So what’s left?

    Want to write an honest story on the subject of the cleanliness of EV’s, then consider that the electricity grid is already barely meeting current demand. Now add several hundred million cars, plugged in overnight to charge. Tell me this, where will this electricity come from? And how clean will it be?

    Another topic of cleanliness are batteries. A normal petrol vehicle will have 1, and a typical petrol vehicle may go through 3 or 4 batteries in it’s lifetime. An EV will require a dozen “typical” batteries or their equivalent. A typical petrol vehicle battery is only really required to turn the engine to start the car. After that, an alternator, driven by the engine itself, produces electric power for the rest of the car and recharges the battery. In an EV, the bank of batteries are required to drive the motors that accelerate the car. This is a significantly larger load on the batteries and completely changes how they behave. So a typical EV will probably go trough several dozen sets of batteries (if not more) in a typical vehicle’s lifetime.

    So, how “dirty” are the production, and more importantly, the DISPOSAL of these batteries? Keep in mind that the “cleanliness” of a vehicle is not only limited to particulates and emissions.

    Regarding China… the author appears to belittle the original story because they claim that more than half of china’s vehicles are EV’s, but that includes electric bikes. The author makes the statement that a bike is not an EV. The way I see it, an electric bike is the MOST EFFICIENT form of transportation. This is basic physics. F=MA. Force = Mass x Acceleration. If you, as a driver, want to be able to go from zero to 60 in a reasonable quantity of time, then you’ll need to exert a certain Force on the mass of your vehicle to achieve this requirement. An electric bike has very little mass, and therefore requires the least amount of force applied to it to reach this acceleration. An electric vehicle will have a much larger mass, and will require a much larger force to achieve the same acceleration. The drain on the batteries to accelerate a vehicle will be directionally proportional to the force it needs to exert. Keeping this in mind, the fact that China is so polluted the residents in some areas wear masks over their nose and mouth is a very good indication of how devestating “electric vehicles” could be to the environment because even with some of the most efficient electric vehicles possible, China has no choice but to use coal to produce electricity because of the demand these electric vehicles put on the electric grid.

    • John Bäckstrand

      An EV going through a “dozen” batteries, really?

      That would cost more than the chassis by many times. Its not likely.

    • SaulCausano

      EV batteries are not the lead-acid type that runs the starter in your car. ‘Load’ does not matter. If they are built to put out 400Volts at 100amps that is what they will do. We’re not talking about farm animals, they don’t get tired. The batteries used in the first EVs were nickel cadmium (Nicd), they suffered from ‘battery memory’ (partial drain/charge cycles shortening lifespan), didn’t recycle easily or cleanly and like lead-acid cells, were only good for a couple hundred charging cycles. The Prius used/uses nickel metal halide (Nimh), no battery memory, easily and cleanly recycled, good for about 800 charging cycles. EV’s out now are using lithium-ion batteries (L-ion), no battery memory, totally recyclable, good for well over a thousand charging cycles- they just burst into flames if mistreated or improperly cooled. Then next batteries which are on their way into nearly everything that draws power are lithium iron phosphate (LiFePo). They have none of the problems of batteries used in the past. They’re recyclable, no battery memory, good for around 2000 charging cycles, and don’t easily burst into flames. A dozen batteries? The average person drives 40 miles a day, if their car gets 120 miles per full charge (not exactly a high bar) then that’s 3 days per charge, about 120 charge cycles per year. With a battery pack good for over 2000 charge cycles that’s 16 2/3 years before your battery goes bad. Sounds terrible right? Well hold on, the way the lifespan of batteries is figured that 2000 cycle number is the number of cycles the battery lasts before it drops to 80% of initial capacity. So after 16 2/3 years your battery will still be at 80%. How long do you plan on keeping your car?

      • M_karthik

        Beautiful explanation. Most people think primitively. Times are changing so are battery technologies. Keep writing positive comments. I liked it.

    • JavierK

      Nuclear and Solar are the solution to grid capacity. Nuclear power will handle the large baseload requirements, the fear mongering is just a matter of the times. A new nuclear era is looming! Gen III reactors are already approved for construction in US/China (AP-1000) and Gen-IV reactors will redefine the image of nuclear power.

      Solar can contribute with the distributed generation model, offering ideal solutions for homeowners and solar canopies in parking lots.

      But the truth is, Coal power isn’t going away any time soon.

      • Bob_Wallace

        New nuclear is expensive.

        Wind is cheap. Solar is about the same price as nuclear and falling rapidly. Geothermal is cheaper than nuclear.

        We’ve lowered the percentage of coal on the grid over the last few years and have scheduled almost one hundred coal plants for early shut down.

        As we install more wind and solar coal will get pushed off the grid. Wind and solar, having no fuel costs, will undersell coal (and nuclear) during times of lower demand and cause those generation methods to loose money.

        Operating part of the day at a loss means that one has to charge more during higher demand hours. Raising the cost of power then opens one up to competition from natural gas and stored wind/solar.

        Right now we’re seeing coal plants being completely shut during the spring/fall when wind is strong and demand is lower than during the AC/heating months.

        Nuclear and coal are likely dead men walking. The electricity prices that people like to throw about for nuclear and coal are based on their ability to sell power 24/365 (at least 90% of that time). As other generation methods drop in price they eat into that 90%, driving up the cost of power from nuclear and coal.

    • Bob_Wallace

      We have something like 80,000 existing dams in the US and use only 2,500 for electricity generation. Based on a study of dams on federal lands something over 10% of those existing dams should be usable for generation (adequate inflow, head, and distance from transmission lines). A few existing dams are being upgraded to power generators right now.

      Then add in wind, solar, geothermal, tidal and run of the river hydro. Oh, and some biomass. We’ve got lots of ways to generate electricity and all of them are cheaper than using coal, if we add in the health and environmental costs of burning coal.

      We’ve got massive geothermal potential. Recently discovered – lots and lots of potential in West Virginia. Enough to replace the coal we mine from there.

      EV batteries. The Toshiba SCiB lithium–titanate batteries used in the Honda FiT EV are rated at 4,000 deep cycle recharges. With a 120 mile range EV that makes them 480,000 mile batteries.

      The lithium–titanate batteries in the Lightening GT are rated at 25,000 deep cycles, 3,750,000 mile batteries.

      Utility companies are already setting up programs to purchase used EV batteries to use for grid smoothing/storage.

      When the utility companies are done with them then they will be recycled. We already recycle rechargeable lithium batteries from laptops and other electronic gadgets. A couple of companies have EV battery recycling systems ready to go.

      BTW, the batteries in Honda Prius(es) are working fine at 300,000 miles. They do a lot more than just start the car.

      Even the lithium-ion batteries used in the Nissan Leaf are guaranteed for 100,000 miles. Worst case, at 100,000 they have only 80% of their capacity left, the owner has to buy one new set of batteries if that extra 20% of range is important, and they sell the used battery to a utility company for most of the cost of a new battery.

    • brotherkenny

      There are actually very few electric cars in China either. So the pollution from coal plants is for powering consumer electronics. Much the same as here. Big items such as, water heaters, cloths dryers, electric ranges etc. as well as industrial processes. Remember they have 4 times the population. Their coal plants also have no or very little emmisions equipment.

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