Coal currently supplies with more than 40 % of the world electricity consumption and it essential input of around 70 % of world steel production, representing around 30 % of the world primary energy supply. This is because coal is cheap, abundant, accessible, widely distributed and easy energy to transport, store and use. For these features, coal is projected to be intensively used in the future. Production and use of coal present a series of issues throughout the whole value chain. While existing technology allows addressing most of them (safety at work, land restoration, mercury, NOx and sulphur emissions avoidance, etc.), CO2 emissions continues to be the biggest challenge for coal use in the future.
This report focuses on the technology path to near-zero emissions including useful insights in advanced coal power generation technologies and Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage, a promising technology with a large potential which can push Carbon Capture and Storage competitiveness.
In addition, the report shows the features of the new generation of coal-fired power plants in terms of flexibility for dynamic operation and grid stability, requirements increasingly needed to operate on grids with significant wind and solar generation.