The World Coal Association (WCA)’s Chief Executive Benjamin Sporton has called for policy parity for all low emission technologies in Kazakhstan.
Speaking at the Kazakhstan Green Bridge Initiative Conference 2016, Sporton said: “Coal has fuelled the 21st century so far and remains an important part of the global energy mix. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), global electricity from coal is expected to grow by around 24% to 2040. We cannot wish coal out of the energy mix. Instead, we should focus on fast-tracking the use of all low emission technologies, particularly high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal and carbon capture and storage (CCS).”
Around 80% of Kazakhstan’s electricity is produced by coal. While the government of Kazakhstan realises the environmental implications it also understands that, for the first half of the 21st century at least, power generation from coal will be predominant. Kazakhstan has therefore requested the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide them with technical assistance for decisions on clean coal energy policies.
HELE technologies with rates of efficiency of around 40% are in existence and available ‘off-the-shelf’. They are currently being installed and used in many countries where they have shown proven efficiency gains and financial viability.
“Raising the average global efficiency of coal plants from 33% to 40% with off-the-shelf technology available today would save 2 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions. This is equivalent to running the Kyoto Protocol three times over” Sporton added during his speech.
CCS is ready for scale-up and many believe it should be treated equally along with all other low-carbon technologies. Recent research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted that failing to deploy CCS causes the cost of climate action to rise by about 140%, but the most likely outcome is that the 2°C target could not be reached at all.
“We need all sources of energy to meet growing energy needs and all low-emission technologies to reduce emissions from our energy consumption. WCA welcomes Kazakhstan’s efforts to strengthen its capacities to introduce cleaner coal technologies in the context of climate change mitigation and sustainable development,” Sporton said.
The Kazakhstan Green Bridge Initiative conference brought together government representatives, international energy experts and members of the global community, to discuss coal policies and the practical applications of cleaner coal technology.
“Many countries around the world, particularly in Asia, are looking to coal to fuel their growing economies. That means that it is critical to help them use coal in the cleanest way possible. Without international support for cleaner coal technologies, it will be all the more difficult to achieve global climate ambitions. ” Sporton concluded.
The World Coal Association has recently launched a concept paper for an international Platform to Accelerate Coal Efficiency (PACE). The PACE platform aims to support developing and emerging economies toward modern high-efficiency low-emission coal plants.
Edited from press release by Harleigh Hobbs