Minerals Council of Australia have launched a new Coal Future fact sheet that outlines the transformation underway to sharply reduce the environmental footprint of the coal sector and ensure coal remains an integral part of the global energy mix.
Key messages include:
- With coal providing 41 per cent of the world’s electricity and the world’s primary energy demand increasing by an expected 21 per cent between 2013 and 2030, coal will continue to be a major energy contributor for many decades to come.
- Coal does have a fundamental role to play in a low-emissions future. New generation high efficiency, low emissions (HELE) coal-fired generators emit 20 to 25 per cent less CO2 than the average of existing power stations and more than 30 per cent lower than old plant. The emissions footprint of these plants is comparable with gas-fired generation.
- Hundreds of these new plants are in operation, under construction or planned in China, India and elsewhere in East Asia. In addition to sharply reduced carbon emissions, these plants reduce all other emissions including particulates to negligible levels.
- There is also good progress on carbon capture and storage (CCS), with the new Boundary Dam plant in Saskatchewan reducing CO2 emissions by at least 90 per cent.
- The demand for coal will continue to be robust because it is low cost, reliable and versatile and it is becoming much cleaner through the use of technology and innovation.
- Australia has an important stake in this technological transformation, not least because Australia’s high quality, high energy coal is best suited to the new generation of coal plants.
The factsheet can be downloaded at the link below: