Volume 4 Issue 1
From the Editor
By Holly Krutka, Cornerstone
In late 2015 world leaders took a unified step toward addressing climate change with the culmination of the COP21 agreement in Paris. Although implementation will be far from simple, this agreement demonstrates that the world is largely ready to collaborate to meet our common objectives on climate. One of the most challenging aspects of the negotiations leading up to the agreement was how developing countries could participate in the agreement without sacrificing their development goals. Thus, the involvement of developing nations throughout the negotiation process was particularly important.
By Paul Baruya, IEA Clean Coal Centre
In the wake of COP21, as the world focuses on climate change mitigation, it can be easy to forget other important energy-sector considerations. For example, the emerging economies in Asia are eager to shake off the currency crisis of 1997 and build a robust and prosperous economic region. However, driving this growth requires more energy. There are many options for energy, and they will all play a role, but coal power is expected to be the principal contributor to increasing electricity production in many countries growing their electricity capacity.
By Barbara Walz, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.
Living in the rural U.S. is different than living in urban areas. Without a doubt, rural life has its advantages: no traffic, close to recreation, knowing your neighbors, etc. But living in rural areas is also challenging: driving for hours to get to the nearest shopping mall or doctor; limited employment options; and, for power providers, consistently delivering affordable and reliable electricity. Rural power providers are specifically challenged by low customer density, the need to install more miles of transmission, and diverse load profiles.
Calling All Technology Developers: XPRIZE’s US$20-Million Competition for Breakthroughs in CO2 Conversion
By Marcius Extavour, XPRIZE
Incentive prize competitions are powerful tools for inspiring and showcasing technical breakthroughs, and engaging a broad community of stakeholders around a common goal. XPRIZE creates and manages the world’s largest global, high-profile incentivized prize competitions that stimulate investment in research and development worth far more than the prize itself. The organization aims to motivate and inspire brilliant innovators from all disciplines to leverage their intellectual and financial capital for the benefit of humanity.
By Milagros Miranda R., World Coal Association
When Laurent Fabius, then France’s Foreign Minister, gaveled through the Paris Agreement on the evening of Saturday, 12 December, he signaled the end of four complex years of negotiations on climate change, and also the beginning of many more. The Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met for its 21st session in Paris, from 30 November to 13 December.
By Frank Blake, American Electric Power
For more than 100 years, American Electric Power (AEP)—a major investor-owned utility delivering electricity to more than five million customers in 11 states in the U.S.—has provided affordable and reliable electricity that, in large part, has been based on the benefits of central-station fossil fuel generation and a robust transmission and distribution system. Throughout its history and especially over recent decades, AEP has sustained its industry leadership by diversifying its generation portfolio through increased use of natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, and other generation resources, and by developing more efficient means to deliver power to customers.
The Importance of System Utilization and Dispatchable Low-Emissions Electricity for Deep Decarbonization
By Jared Moore, Meridian Energy Policy
At COP21, all participating countries formally agreed to create self-imposed plans to limit global warming to 1.5˚C. Achieving this goal will effectively require complete decarbonization of the electricity sector. The conclusions in this article demonstrate that it is important to recognize this long-term goal—deep decarbonization—when crafting climate policy.
By Beni Suryadi and Sanjayan Velautham, ASEAN Centre for Energy
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing regions in the world. Since the declaration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint on 20 November 2007—and the formal establishment of the AEC on 31 December 2015—it has contributed significantly to meeting the objectives of reducing the poverty rate, improving the overall well-being of the peoples of ASEAN, narrowing the development gap, strengthening economic development, and expanding both extra- and intra-ASEAN trade and investment.
By Liam McHugh, World Coal Association
As noted in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2015, India is in the early stages of a major transformation. While other BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations face another year of economic uncertainty, the World Bank suggests India’s GDP will grow by 7.9% in 2016, more than twice the global average. Economic growth and modernization will in turn drive energy demand, especially for coal.
By Irfan Ali, TharPak
Pakistan, the world’s sixth most populous country, is a developing nation facing many challenges. Over the last 12 years regional conflicts have taken a considerable toll on Pakistan’s economy and have left the nation with a damaged and vastly neglected infrastructure. The energy sector has been one of the most affected segments and is in desperate need of investment and revitalization. In 2012, the country, with a population of around 178 million, produced only 80 billion kWh of electricity; compare that with the Netherlands, which produced 115 billion kWh of electricity in 2012 for a population of only 16.7 million people.
By DeLome Fair, Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc.
Gasification technology has experienced periods of both high and low growth, driven by energy and chemical markets and geopolitical forces, since introduced into commercial-scale operation several decades ago. The first large-scale commercial application of coal gasification was in South Africa in 1955 for the production of coal-to-liquids. Recently, growth in the coal gasification industry in general has slowed as the global energy price landscape has shifted significantly.
By Ian Barnes, Hatterrall Associates
Low-rank coals (i.e., lignite and brown coals) have been estimated to account for approximately 50% of global coal reserves, with as much as half of those reserves considered to be economically recoverable. While the principal deposits are concentrated in the U.S. and the Russian Federation, significant reserves also exist across Asia. Over 50 billion tonnes of proven recoverable low-rank coal resources have been identified in China alone and significant reserves of lignite exist in India, Pakistan, and Thailand.
By Chen-Tung Arthur Chen, National Sun Yat-sen University
As energy capacity increases in developing Asia and elsewhere, associated emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases could increase unless low-emissions technologies are employed. Carbon capture and storage has emerged as a potential low-emissions technology, but suitable and safe storage sites must be identified. As capacity to produce electricity grows, there is ongoing research in Japan and Taiwan to identify promising CO2 storage sites that could benefit not only the region, but also the world.
The content in Cornerstone does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Coal Association or its members.
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