New Publication: Delivering a low emissions coal future


The Minerals Council of Australia today released a new publication Delivering a low emissions coal future that details the technological transformation underway to sharply reduce the emissions associated with the coal-fired power generation.

Hundreds of new high efficiency, low emissions (HELE) coal-fired plants are in operation, under construction or planned in Japan, China, Europe and elsewhere in East Asia. These plants operate at much higher temperatures and greater pressures producing reliable, base load energy while slashing CO2 emissions by up to 40 per cent.

In addition to sharply reduced carbon emissions, these plants reduce all other emissions including particulates to negligible levels. These plants continue to deliver baseload electricity at a much lower cost than all other energy sources.

These plants will ensure coal has a fundamental role to play in the provision of low cost, reliable energy for decades.

The publication also notes that carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies are continuing to be rolled out around the world, pointing to the recent launch of the world’s first commercial CCS plant at Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan, Canada.  The Boundary Dam plant has slashed CO2 emissions by 90 per cent.

Coal accounts for 41 per cent of the world’s electricity generation and in the past decade the use of coal grew 4 times faster than renewable energy sources and 50 per cent faster than gas.

The Australian coal industry is our second biggest export earner valued at around $40 billion in 2013-14.  The Department of Industry and Science projects that Australia’s coal exports will boost national income by around $250 billion between 2014-15 and 2019-20.

Australia is the world’s largest exporter of metallurgical (steel-making) coal and second biggest exporter of coal overall.  Australia is forecast to become the world’s largest coal exporter by 2017.

The publication can be read and downloaded here: