A billion tonnes of new coal power

A RESEARCH report completed by the International Energy Agency and funded by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) suggests there are more than 1,000 low emission coal-fired power stations planned or under construction across Asia.

Added to that, the report has forecast that consumption of thermal coal will increase by a billion tonnes a year in under five years, and Australia will again be the world’s biggest exporter within two years.

“The findings of the report indicate a strong uptake of cleaner, high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal-fired power stations amongst the ten surveyed countries,” Greg Evans from the MCA said.

“Six hundred and seventy of these generation units are already operating across Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“Moreover, there are an additional 1,066 now under construction or planned, which is the equivalent of 24 times Australia’s current coal-fired generation, and is the fastest expansion and modernisation of coal-fired generation in history.”

According to the MCA, emissions from HELE coal-fired power stations are about 25 per cent less than an average operating power station now and around 40 per cent less than the oldest power stations still in operation.

“An estimated 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 abatement annually will result from the planned deployment of HELE rather than older typical subcritical technology,” Mr Evans said.

“What’s more, if the most advanced ultra-supercritical technology was applied across the board,  the savings would be in the order of two billion tonnes, equivalent to India’s current annual emissions.

“This would be 53 times more effective than Europe’s emissions trading scheme.”

The report’s finding are in stark contrast to the message being put forward by a number of anti-coal green groups who have been lobbying banks and governments to withdraw their investment in new coal projects like those planned for the Galilee basin

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