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Coal-fired Power Stations

Thermal coal-fired power stations currently provide approximately 40% of the world's electricity and 30% of the world's generating capacity. Approximately 83% of all coal demand is thermal coal, and 61% of primary coal energy is consumed in power stations. Notwithstanding alternatives in coal gasification, coal-to-liquids, and chemical looping technologies, the future of coal in the 21st century depends largely on the future of coal combustion for power generation. This chapter provides a technical overview of coal-fired power stations and their exposure to a wide array of environment-related risks, including greenhouse gas emissions and stranded assets; water consumption and competition with agriculture, industry, and domestic uses; climate stresses induced by anthropogenic climate change (of which they are the primary cause); competition with renewables and generating flexibility; costs and trade-offs of mitigation options; retrofitability with carbon capture and storage; and the availability of finance. The future of coal in the 21st century depends largely on the response of policy makers, industry and the concerned public to these risks.

Print publication date: 04 Oct 2017
Copyright year: 2018
Print ISBN: 978-1-78262-860-6
PDF eISBN: 978-1-78801-011-5
ePub eISBN: 978-1-78801-251-5
Citation: