Coal indispensible for energy security
Coal is a key component of a secure energy supply, according to a new study from the IEA Coal Industry Advisory Board (CIAB), which assesses the impact of coal use on energy security in several important world regions.
“The use of coal contributes not only to affordable energy prices, allowing broader access to electricity but also improved industrial competitiveness of the economy,” the CIAB said in a press release the highlights the key findings of the report.
The report also found that coal use should work together with the use of renewable generation to bring down greenhouse gas emissions: “Coal and renewables complement each other and are partners in the effort to meet present and future energy requirements,” said Dr Hans-Wilhelm Schiffer, leader of the CIAB Energy Security Working Group and Lead Author of the report.
“Coal-fired power plants provide dispatchable capacity due to their ability to operate flexibly and so compensate for the fluctuations of wind and solar energy supply. In addition, coal-fired power plants can also be seen as an economic balance to the higher system costs of most renewable energies.”
The report concludes that there needs to be an increase in support for high-efficiency low-emissions coal-fired power plants and carbon capture and storage technologies in order to keep coal within the energy mix, while meeting commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“It is recommended that governments promote these technology solutions in order to improve their acceptance and provide a legal framework which allows investment in these advanced technologies,” the CIAB concludes.
“As the Paris Agreement is formally adopted, it is vitally important that its implementation integrates environmental imperatives with the aims of universal access to energy, energy security and social and economic development. All low-carbon technologies must play a role including HELE coal technology and CCS,” said Benjamin Sporton, CEO of the World Coal Association in response to the release of the report.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.