One would have thought that the clean coal solution – which would not only help alleviate greenhouse gases as well as providing employment, exports, and economic growth to both the supplier and user of – would be the answer to everyone’s prayers.
But no. Clean coal is used in some quarters as a term of derision, an “oxymoron”, they say. An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear together.
Well, Hogsback reckons these naysayers are actually being “moronic” by calling clean coal “oxymoronic”.
There has been a lot of work done recently on using high efficiency low emissions coal power generation around the world, but especially in the newly emerging economies of Asia.
Improving the global average efficiency rate from 33% to 40% with HELE technology would reduce CO2 emissions by 2 billion tonnes a year – that is the equivalent of India’s annual emissions.
The next step towards a near zero emissions coal future is the integration of HELE technology with carbon capture and storage, according to the Minerals Council of Australia.
“An established technology in many parts of the world, CCS captures CO2 from power stations or other industrial facilities and stores it in deep underground reservoirs,” it states.
“Emissions savings from combined HELE and CCS deployment increase to 90%.”
HELE technology is integral to the further adoption of CCS because these plants reduce the volume of CO2 to be captured, transported and stored.
This is the way of the future for our Asian neighbours who are crying out for our high quality clean coal. Yet every mad twitterer, blogger, and one-sided academic wants to tell the world how ridiculous the concept of clean coal is.
The benefit of new technology and coal fired power generation is being recognised closer to home as well.
AGL is going to spend $200 million on upgrading its Bayswater coal-fired power station in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley after deciding not to invest further in the nearby Liddell power station despite heavy pressure from the federal government.
By replacing the original turbines with modern turbine technology, Bayswater will have an additional 100-megawatt capacity.
This extra electricity supply will be generated without the need for additional coal use, and therefore without additional emissions.
Hogsback reckons that coal’s winning qualities – reliability, abundance, and efficiency – will come through in the end and lead to an environmental as well as economic solution to the world’s energy needs.