Coal is the world's most copious and extensively distributed source of fossil fuel. Nearly 27% of major energy needs are fulfilled by coal and about 38% of electricity is generated from coal. Around 70% of steel manufactured worldwide relies on coal feedstock. When burned, coal gives out emissions that add to global warming, giving rise to acid rains and water population over a period of time. Every year nearly 14 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the atmosphere due to burning coal and during electricity generation.
Clean coal technology is an innovation that strives to lessen severe environmental effects. The technology uses several methods to clean coal and cut down its emissions. It is a novel technique that promotes advanced coal utilization processes that are intended to improve both the efficacy and environmental suitability of coal emissions and usage. Currently, several industrial sectors are highly preferring to adopt clean coal technologies so that the world's massive resources of coal can be utilized for future generations without contributing to global warming.
Factors Impelling the Demand for Clean Coal Technology
The growing coal emissions have given rise to a substantial rise in the demand and necessity for the implementation of clean coal technologies. Moreover, the growing rate of electricity generation and rising global warming due to harmful emissions has propelled the demand for clean coal technologies.
Government bodies worldwide are highly involved in taking up favorable initiatives for safeguarding the environment and hence, have been imposing strict protocols and regulations for curbing harmful emissions, which in turn is rising the importance for clean coal technologies. Nonetheless, the high cost and rising implementation of renewable energy resources are expected to impede the demand for clean coal technologies. Renewable technologies including wind energy and solar PV are much in rivalry with clean coal technologies. Capital costs are one of the most important factors of comparison among these technologies which might affect the adoption rate of clean coal technologies.
Recent Trends in the Clean Coal Technology Industry
Considering the rising demand for clean energy, the government as well as several players in this industry have taken steps toward the adoption of clean coal technologies. As India is the world’s third-largest producer of coal, the central government of India has requested proposals on research, development, and demonstration of power generation using clean coal technologies. The country is anticipated to surge its coal production to around 1 billion tons by 2020.
Moreover, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister has declared a slew of measures to decrease the import of substitutable coal and encourage self-reliance in coal production. Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL), a private player has applauded the developments proclaimed by the government for the domestic coal industry. Naveen Jindal, the Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd. has stated that such measures will encourage companies in this industry to implement clean technologies for steel production. It will also contribute in controlling the country's dependency on imports of petroleum goods.
On the other hand, China is preparing to establish more wind and solar power plants by the end of 2020 than previously estimated. However, the country will also continue the development of new coal production centers at a lick in the coming years and wherever coal-based power is permitted it is going to use clean coal technologies.
Moreover, GE Power, a frontrunner in power generation and water technologies for utilities, independent power generators, and industrial applications, has signed an agreement with Elektrownia Ostroleka to construct Ostroleka C, an ultra-supercritical coal power plant in the northeast of Poland. GE Power has designed and constructed the power plant. Moreover, it has manufactured and delivered the ultra-supercritical technology components including the boiler and steam turbine generator for achieving the highest efficacy level possible for a steam power plant in Poland with 46% efficiency, which is well above the global average of 33%.
Future Scope of the Clean Coal Technology Sector
According to a research report by Research Dive, due to the rising demand for clean energy, the global clean coal technology market is expected to grow with a growth rate of 2.9% from 2019 to 2027. The Asia Pacific region is expected to be at the forefront in this sector due to its high focus on the implementation of clean energy. Currently, many experiments and researches are been conducted for commercializing this technology. This is because coal use is economically competitive regardless of the cost of obtaining and ultimately 'near-zero', emissions are still under research. Hence, these technologies are both expensive and energy-intensive.
Meanwhile, some of the foremost players in this industry including Shanghai Electric, DongFang Electric, Siemens, BHEL, General Electric, Mitsubishi Electric, Toshiba, Doosan, and Babcock & Wilcox, Harbin Electric Company Limited, and others are engaged in building their business by adopting several strategies such as partnerships with numerous companies, collaborations, merges, and acquisitions to develop their prevailing technologies. Considering all these factors, it is clear that the clean coal technology market is expected to boom in the near future.