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Mining boss helps phase out coal, transition to renewables

Coal mining QRC
Coal mining

A multinational resources executive will cooperate with autonomous intergovernmental leaders who want to abandon fossil fuels.

Glencore’s chief executive has been appointed as a high-level advisory group member at the International Energy Agency (IEA).

One of Gary Nagle’s first orders of business will be to help “phase down” coal because commodity prices sharply soared to “all-time highs” during Eastern Europe’s largest military conflict since World War Two.

“We are living through extremely difficult times. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shaken the global energy system and is fuelling a damaging and unnecessary cost-of-living crisis that is being felt most painfully by those who can afford it least,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a public statement.

“This is why our new report is critical to provide practical steps to put coal emissions into decline towards net-zero in a way that is fair.”

Failed US presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg will be the next group chair who searches for ways to replace coal with renewable energy alternatives.

“We need to move the world beyond coal … as fast as possible, which requires ending the subsidies that prop them up and turbocharging the deployment of clean energy,” he said.

“I look forward to working with the IEA to accelerate the reduction of harmful emissions, and to do it in ways that will strengthen economic growth and energy security.”

The group will eventually develop a special report that recommends ways to reduce coal, oil and natural gas while addressing unemployment and other “social aspects” of transitioning to renewables.

Meanwhile, researchers recently discovered new ways to store solar energy for almost two decades. The Chalmers University of Technology study found self-charging electronics can successfully capture electricity and release it up to 18 years later.

This so-called “solar energy on demand” technology comprises of molecular solar thermal energy storage systems. Carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen molecules change shape when exposed to direct sunlight. This creates an energy-rich isomer that can be stored in liquid for future use.

A specially designed catalyst releases saved energy as heat, which a compact thermoelectric generator converts into electricity without emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

“The generator is an ultra-thin chip that could be integrated into electronics such as headphones, smart watches and telephones. So far, we have only generated small amounts of electricity but the new results show that the concept really works – it looks very promising,” Chalmers researcher Zhihang Wang said in a public statement.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University researchers Tao Li and Zhiyu Hu in mainland China assisted the study.

Coal exports to China predicted to drop 45 per cent
Central Qld coal mine kickstarts operations
Work begins at $1B Central Qld coal project
Demand for coal could drop due to Russia-Ukraine tension says analyst.

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