Cornerstone, the official publication of the world coal industry, was launched by the World Coal Association in the spring of 2013. Cornerstone is an internationally recognized, high-quality, objective publication that includes content investigating all aspects of the global coal industry. The electronic version is offered free of charge through this website.
Click on the image below to read Volume 4 Issue 3
“The prosperity and security of the EU depend on a stable and adequate supply of energy.”
– Hans-Wilhelm Schiffer
World Energy Council
By Hans-Wilhelm Schiffer, World Energy Council
The European Union (EU-28) is one of the largest economies in the world, with a gross domestic product of €14,635 billion in 2015. It has 508 million inhabitants, or 7% of the world´s population. Coal has played, and still plays, an important role in covering the energy needs of the EU-28. This article reflects on the role of coal within Europe in the past, at present, and in the future.
By Jeffrey H. Michel, Independent Energy Consultant
Lignite, a low-grade fossil fuel in geological transition from peat to hard coal, is a mainstay of power generation and heating services between Central Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. Germany is the world’s largest lignite producer with an annual output of 178 million metric tons (Mt) in 2015, covering nearly a quarter of electricity demand. Although mining declined significantly after 1990 in the former East Germany and Czechoslovakia, most other countries have increased usage. Foremost is Turkey, with lignite power generation expected to increase by over 80% within three years.
By Michalis Agraniotis, Malgorzata Stein Brzozowska, Christian Bergins, Torsten Buddenberg, and Emmanouil Kakaras, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe
The EU energy strategy for 2020 and 2050 sets specific targets for the transition of the current European energy system and energy market. The aim of the strategy is to encourage a low-carbon energy system with decreased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (by 50% compared with 1990 levels until 2050), increased energy efficiency, and a larger share of renewable energy sources (RES). All these developments set new challenges in the conventional thermal power sector. Under these new market conditions, modern, highly efficient natural gas combined-cycle (NGCC) power plants cannot be competitive in several countries and lose market share. Hard coal and lignite power plants are often requested by grid operators to stay in operation as the backbone of the electricity generation system and to increase their operational flexibility, in order to cover the increasing fluctuations of the residual load due to the intermittent RES.
By Jinder Jow, National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy
China’s primary energy resources are fossil-based fuels: oil, natural gas, and coal, with coal being the least expensive. From a material aspect, coal has both organic and inorganic components, quite different from oil and natural gas which have only organic materials. This article shows the process of a coal-fired power plant and its by-products—from coal mine to electricity or heat. The by-products are (1) NOx, sulfur oxides, Hg, particulate matter (PM), and CO2; (2) wastewater; and (3) fly ash, bottom ash, and flue-gas desulfurized gypsum when an external desulfurization process is used. The solid by-product with the largest volume is fly ash. The fly ash retains the inorganic components of coal after combustion.