Volume 4 Issue 4
From the Editor
By John Kessels, Cornerstone
In November 2012, Cornerstone was launched as the official journal of the World Coal Association. Cornerstone has since become an internationally recognized credible, independent, high-quality publication, featuring some of the most insightful and informative articles on industry developments. We have looked closely at the technological innovations being pioneered across the coal industry and offered some remarkable thought leadership pieces—from academia, research institutes, investors, and mining companies—that have engendered discussion in the industry.
By Andrew Minchener, IEA Clean Coal Centre
Climate change is a serious issue that requires a global response. However, that response will not be a “one size fits all global solution”. In this article the General Manager of the IEA Clean Coal Centre discusses the urgency of moving CCS research to large-scale demonstration and deployment.
By Brad Page, Global CCS Institute
It is now clear that the outcome of the Paris climate talks was a game changer, delivering a renewed global commitment to addressing climate change. No longer are we aiming to limit global warming to 2°C. We are now aspiring for well below that—perhaps as low as 1.5°C. Significantly, the agreement also sets out global ambition for carbon neutrality by midcentury. In the post-COP21 discussions, thinking has shifted from “how much do we do?” to “how do we do so much?”
By Kamel Ben Naceur and Samantha McCulloch, International Energy Agency
The ratification of the Paris Agreement marked an historic milestone for the energy sector and confirmed a global target of limiting future temperature increases to “well below 2°C”. Achieving this will require a much faster and more extensive transformation of the energy sector than previously contemplated. All technologies and all options for reducing emissions will need to be embraced—with carbon capture and storage (CCS) being core among these. The Paris Agreement therefore presents enormous opportunities for the deployment of CCS technologies.
By Tony Wood, Grattan Institute
Any hard-nosed assessment of the energy sector should conclude that there is no future for coal without carbon capture and storage (CCS). Yet for the last decade, governments, their agencies, and the coal industry have failed to support CCS development in a way that would be consistent with this existential threat. The result is that CCS has little credibility as a material contributor to reducing emissions with governments and those outside the fossil fuel industry. This is despite projections by reputable bodies such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) that show CCS does make a material contribution to delivering a low-emissions future at lowest cost. The prospects for bridging that gap rests with several demonstration projects or a major mobilization by a country such as China.
By Rob Jeffrey, Econometrix (Pty) Ltd
The three fundamental objectives of South Africa, and most emerging nations, are to address inequality, unemployment, and poverty. These objectives cannot be achieved by redistribution of wealth alone. They can only be achieved by raising the economic growth rate. A higher growth rate is dependent on having the correct public policies in place and having an adequate and growing supply of affordable electricity. In order to ensure economic growth, South Africa must develop its industrial base and therefore it is essential to supply electricity at the lowest possible cost.
By Sumie Nakayama, J-POWER
The Japanese government set its 2030 power generation target shares for coal at 26%, nuclear at 22%, and gas at 27%. Due to concerns over the slow restart of nuclear power generation, the power sector’s interest in building more efficient coal-fired power generation facilities with low CO2 emissions is increasing. This article examines the reasons behind Japan’s energy policy and the choice of coal. In addition, it looks at the importance of coal for the future of Asian countries and the ways in which Japan is contributing to clean coal technologies both domestically and internationally.
By Taher Diab, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy
The Emirate of Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and a regional hub for tourism, logistics, and finance. The Dubai government is implementing an innovative strategy to manage demand, diversify fuel sources, secure its energy supply, and foster green growth. One strategic aim is to continue to fuel Dubai’s economic growth and maintain its regional and global prominent position.
By Janet Gellici, National Coal Council
Consensus is growing among industry, the environmental community, and international governments that future carbon dioxide emission reduction goals cannot be met by renewable energy alone and that carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies for all fossil fuels must be deployed to achieve climate objectives in the U.S. and globally. Fossil fuels—including coal, natural gas, and oil—will remain the dominant global energy source well into the future by virtue of their abundance, supply security, and affordability.
By Babatunde Olateju and Surindar Singh, Alberta Innovates, and Jamie McInnis, University of Calgary
The province of Alberta, located in Western Canada, is regarded as the pillar of Canada’s energy economy. It is home to the third largest oil reserves in the world, produces 68% of Canada’s natural gas, holds significant renewable energy resources, and is the site of Canada’s first commercial windfarm. Yet the most abundant fossil fuel energy resource in Alberta is coal. The energy content of coal in Alberta is greater than the energy content of natural gas and oil combined, including the oil sands. Coal-bearing formations underlie 304,000 km2 or 46% of Alberta’s total area, making the formations larger than the United Kingdom. Alberta’s coal resource is estimated to be greater than 2 trillion tonnes.
By Tony Lodge, Centre for Policy Studies
The British government’s plan to ban all coal-fired power stations by 2025 has made headlines around the world. Many will now close early and, with that closure, the mining, coal handling, and import facilities that once dominated British ports will become redundant. Though now in decline, this formerly large thermal coal dependency supported many deep and surface mines across Britain and supplied thermal coal internationally. Britain’s electricity supply industry is now looking to combined-cycle gas turbine plants, renewable energy, and new nuclear power plants in its quest to meet ambitious CO2 reduction targets.
By Camilla Bergsli, Gassnova SF
The Norwegian government seeks to realize at least one full-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project by 2020, and three industrial carbon capture projects are about to enter the concept phase. Twenty years of experience with full-scale CCS combined with the world’s largest CCS test facility and more than 20 years of CCS research underlie the country’s ambition to contribute to further development of CCS. This article examines Norway’s efforts to mitigate CO2 emissions by applying CCS and the importance of industrial emissions being mitigated as well as power generation CO2 emissions.
R&D and Demonstration of CO2 Capture Technology Before and After Combustion in Thermal Power Plants in China
By Xu Shisen and Liu Lianbo, China Huaneng Clean Energy Research Institute
Carbon capture, use, and sequestration (CCUS) technology can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a large scale, and represents an important technological option for slowing carbon dioxide emissions in the future. According to studies by the International Energy Agency, application of CCUS technology is a crucial emissions-reducing measure together with improving energy efficiency and employing nuclear energy and renewable energies. By 2050, emissions reductions realized through CCUS are anticipated to account for 17% of total emissions reductions. China’s energy structure is dominated by coal; development of CCUS technology will be an important measure to effectively control greenhouse emissions. Meanwhile, it will help promote the transformation and upgrade of the power industry.
By Wang Fuchen, Yu Guangsuo, and Guo Qinghua, East China University of Science and Technology
Coal is utilized in three ways in China: direct combustion (through coal-fired power plants and industrial boilers), coking, and gasification. Among these three methods, coal gasification is the cleanest option, and the most complex. Coal gasification accounts for 5% of China’s total coal consumption; it is a core technology in efficient and clean coal conversion, and important in the development of coal-based bulk chemicals (chemical fertilizers, methanol, olefins, aromatics, ethylene glycol, etc.), coal-based clean fuel synthesis (oil, natural gas), advanced integrated gasification combined-cycle power generation, polygeneration systems, hydrogen production, fuel cells, direct reduction iron-making, and other process industries. Coal gasification is not only the foundation for the modern coal chemical industry, and widely used in the oil refining, power generation, and metallurgical industries, it is the common key technology of these industries.
The content in Cornerstone does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Coal Association or its members.
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