The Global Tide of Clean Coal Generation

By Dr Frank Clemente, Energy
“China has emerged in the past two years as the leading builder of more efficient, less polluting coal power plants, mastering the technology and driving down the cost. While the United States is still debating whether to build a more efficient kind of coal fired power plant… China has begun building such plants at a rate one a month.”
— New York Times, 2009

The world is turning to coal. Abundant, accessible, affordable and increasingly clean, coal is projected to provide about 50% of the world’s incremental electric power through 2035.

Source of Global Incremental Electricity: 2007 - 2035
In 2035, more than 3.3 billion people will depend upon coal for more than 50% of their electric power.[2]
The Rise of Coal Generation in Asia: 2007- 2035
The Rise of Coal Generation in Asia: 2007-2035
The rise of clean coal technologies, remarkable increases in efficiency and the emergence of carbon capture and storage (CCS) are opening the door to both worldwide economic growth and significant progress toward climate change policy goals.
“Prosperity depends upon reliable, affordable access to energy. Coal … is likely to be a major and growing source of electricity generation for the foreseeable future …”
— Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy
China: The Levelised Cost of Electricity in 2010
China: The Levelised Cost of Electricity in 2010
Price Matters:  “Coal remains the cheapest energy source in China by a wide margin. China has the world’s third largest coal reserves.” [1]
“No matter how much renewable or nuclear is in the mix, coal will remain the dominant power source.”
— Ashok Bhargava, Asian Development Bank [4]


1. “China Outpaces US in Cleaner Coal-Fired Power Plants” New York Times, May 11, 2009
2. International Energy Outlook, 2010
3. Projected Costs of Generating Electricity, 2010


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