The massive expansion in coal-fired power plant numbers in Asia is embedding long-term demand for more coal, he said.
“Coal's share in power generation across the ASEAN nations is forecast to rise from 32% to 50%, reflecting the demand growth expected right across the region. In Malaysia alone, energy demand is forecast to double, with coal demand tripling to 2040.
“It's also why financial institutions continue to lend to coal projects. Global financing for coal increased from $US55 billion in 2013 to $66 billion in 2014. That's a 360% increase from 2005. In NSW approvals continue to be sought for new coal projects, indicating positive prospects over the long term.”
The IEA Clean Coal Centre estimates that there are currently around 2300 coal-fired power plants installed around the world. In addition, another 1066 extra high efficiency, low emissions coal-fired power plants are currently planned or under construction across 10 Asian nations, including China and India.
“So coal demand is increasing in our region, and global investment in coal is rising,” Galilee said.
“The number of new technology coal-fired power plants is growing, ensuring coal will be needed for many decades to come. This means lower emissions can't be achieved without lower emissions from coal-fired power.
“That's why since 2007 the Australian coal industry has committed more than $300 million in technology to reduce emissions, including on carbon capture and storage and improvements in how coalmines operate.
“Projects include the successful capture of carbon dioxide at a coal-fired power plant at Callide, the proofing of successful carbon capture and storage in a depleted gas field in Victoria's Otway Basin, and a comprehensive R&D program.”