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Technology Roadmap: High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions Coal-Fired Power Generation (2012)


Author(s) International Energy Agency’s Energy Technology Division, with Keith Burnard and Osamu Ito as lead authors.
Abstract Over the past decade, fossil fuels, and particularly coal, have satisfied the major share of the incremental growth in primary energy demand. As coal is a widely dispersed and relatively low-cost energy resource, it is used extensively around the world: at present, almost two-thirds of coal demand in the energy sector is for electricity generation. But the growing reliance on coal to meet rising demand for energy presents a major threat to a low-carbon future. On average, the efficiency of existing coalfired capacity is quite low, at about 33%. This means that large amounts of coal must be combusted to produce each unit of electricity. As consumption rises, so do the levels of both greenhouse and non-GHG. Collectively, the large number of coal-fired power generation units around the world hold potential to make a substantial contribution to a low-carbon future. As large point sources of CO2 emissions, concerted efforts to improve their efficiency can significantly reduce coal consumption and lower emissions. But achieving these goals will require strong policies to encourage the development and deployment of state-of-the-art technologies. This roadmap describes how HELE coal technologies2 could contribute to reducing the growing emissions of CO2 from coal-fired power generation between now and 2050. In particular, it examines the potential for combustion of coal under supercritical and ultra-supercritical conditions, and through the use of integrated gasification combined cycle.
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Year 2012
Status Archived
Timescale 2012-2050
Geographic Coverage No Data Supplied
Funder No Data Supplied
Methods No Data Supplied
Stakeholder Government-technology, goverment-other, industry, financial institutions
Document Structure No Data Supplied
Rights Not recorded