The webinar presents the recent regulatory trends, practices and developments in major coal producing and consuming countries, which are affecting and may influence future demand for coal and coal-fired power generation. As legislative requirements become more demanding and environmental pressures increase, especially with regard to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and climate change, investment in coal fired power-generating facilities is declining rapidly in most developed countries and to a lesser extent in some developing regions of the world, except Asia where forecasts indicate that demand will increase for some time to come. The report explores the implications of further curbs on GHG emissions from coal-fired plants in the most recent and forthcoming national regulations and international agreements. Policy, legislation and pollution reduction strategies are presented as well as future projections of coal utilisation in major coal consuming economies, including those where forecasts indicate that coal will remain a major player in power generation for the estimable future, such as China and India.Read more >
Turkey has one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Rapid economic expansion, rising population, and growing industrialisation have triggered a general increase in energy demand. Over the next ten years energy demand is expected to double. In order to meet this, significant investment in the energy sector will be required.
Turkey's indigenous energy resources are limited almost exclusively to lignite and smaller amounts of hard coal, so there is a heavy
dependence on imported sources of energy. More than 90% of Turkey’s oil and 98% of its natural gas is imported, as is much of the hard coal consumed, as a considerable cost. The government aims to reduce this,
partly through the greater use of domestic lignite, widely available in many parts of the country. Thus, the government has a ‘coal strategy’ and has introduced incentives to encourage the its greater utilisation. Many new power generation projects are in the pipeline, some fired on ligniteand others that will rely on imported hard coal.
Many existing state-owned coal-fired power assets (and coalfields) are in the process of being transferred to the private sector. Some power plants require modernising and this is being factored into their selling price. The current coal-based generating fleet comprises plants based on conventional pulverised coal or fluidised bed combustion technology. Some newer projects plan to use supercritical steam conditions and all major power plants will be required to install effective emission control systems.
The further development and application of a range of clean coal technologies is being pursued by a number of Turkish utilities, technology developers, and universities. There is increasing involvement
with international projects and, in many cases, growing links with overseas counterparts.
Greece’s financial crisis continues to have a major impact on all facets of the country’s economy. In 2015, the financial crisis continued unabated. When significant economic recovery does occur, the energy sector will have a major role to play. The country has a high energy import dependency, which is expensive ‒ reportedly, about ~US$ 20 billion/year. The overall diversification of the energy mix is rather limited. Greece’s main indigenous energy resource is poor quality lignite, used to generate a significant proportion of the country’s electricity. The state-owned energy company Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC) is the largest lignite producer. More than 93% of Greece’s energy is provided by fossil fuels, (EU average is 75%). In 2014, a new government was elected and energy policy changed direction as earlier plans to privatise parts of the energy sector were curtailed. However, conditions demanded recently by EU and IMF creditors, mean that privatisation schemes may be back on the table. This is likely to encompass natural gas and electricity supply. There has been a renewed focus on the potential of the country’s lignite resources. In order to minimise the cost of imported energy and improve security of energy supply, the present government intends to increase their use, primarily for electricity generation. The webinar examines the situation prevailing in the Greek energy sector, and how this might change in the future. Existing and proposed clean coal-based activities are discussed. However, major uncertainties (in terms of scope and timescale) remain over many aspects of energy production ‒ the nature of, and rate of economic recovery will undoubtedly have major impacts.Read more >
Coal contracts can be typically split into two broad categories, spot contracts (single shipments) and term contracts (multiple shipments). Term contracts can span any period, but in China in 2014, the National Development and Reform Commission announced a desire for coal buyers to negotiate long-term contracts with suppliers. Security of supply of fuel and limiting exposure to shorter-term volatility in prices and fuel supplies are clearly a strategic aim of some Asian economies. Such approaches to coal procurement is used across the world to varying degrees depending on the particular circumstances of the power generators and the markets in which they operate. This webinar provides an overview of a recent publication by the IEA CCC regarding coal procurement and contractual needs, and describes some of the aspects associated with the long-term nature of some coal contracts. It provides an introduction to some of the fundamentals of coal contracts and buying to those unfamiliar with fuel procurement, as well as a review of some regions which have been active in long term coal procurement in recent years.Read more >
Most pulverised coal combustion (PCC) plants employ single-reheat cycles. However, double-reheat cycles can significantly improve the electrical efficiency of PCC plants. Surprisingly, no double-reheat units have been commissioned since the 1990s. However, with rising primary energy costs, more stringent emission limits and advances in thermal power engineering, double-reheat cycles are being considered to minimise the cost of electricity, reduce emissions and prolong valuable coal supplies, especially in China. This webinar reviews, analyses and assesses the application and development prospects of coal-fired double-reheat units.Read more >
Global energy demand is rising primarily as a result of population and economic growth in the emerging economies. Meeting this growing demand places increasing stress on limited fresh water resources as electricity production uses large amounts of water. This has repercussions for other water consumers in the agricultural, industrial and domestic sectors. Climate change could exacerbate the situation. This webinar examines the availability of fresh water for power generation, in particular for coal-fired power plants. It shows where the water stressed areas are in the world today and the demand for power. Global water and energy demand are discussed, and the water requirements of different power generation technologies. Some technologies that use less water, for example, dry-cooled power plants, operate at a lower efficiency. Finally, water availability and management in China and the USA, with reference to their energy production and policies are compared.Read more >
Competition between coal and natural gas for power generation has been observed to occur in North America and Europe in recent years, where the costs of the two fuels have played a key role in determining the relative competitiveness. It is perceived that such a competition could also happen in Asian countries. More importantly, as these countries are expanding their generation capacity to meet growing electricity demand, a key question is raised of whether coal or gas power plants should be built with priority. This webinar is based on a recent report published by IEA CCC, where the authors investigate nine Asian countries to seek to understand the mechanisms that drive the competition between coal and gas for power generation.Read more >
Blending of imported and domestic coal is becoming more important. Until recently, coal blending in power stations was adopted mainly to reduce the cost of generation and increase the use of indigenous or more readily available coal. Low-grade (high ash) coal can be mixed with higher grade (imported) coal without deterioration in thermal performance of the boiler, thus reducing the cost of generation. As coal markets change, new reasons for coal blending are becoming apparent. As indigenous coals become less available, of lower quality or more expensive to mine in some regions, blending of imported coals becomes necessary. It can be challenging to ensure that the resulting blend will maintain plant output without damaging the boiler.
In some cases coal blending is used as a form of pollution control, such as the combination of inexpensive high sulphur coals with more costly low sulphur coals to ensure compliance with sulphur emission limits. It is even possible to blend different coal types to maximise mercury emission reduction.
Many methods of coal blending are used. Coals can be blended at the coal mine, at the preparation plant, trans-shipment point, or at the power station. The method selected depends upon the site conditions, the level of blending required, the quantity to be stored and blended, the accuracy required, and the end use of the blended coal. Normally in large power stations handling very large quantities of coal, the stacking method with a fully mechanised system is followed.
In this webinar Lesley discusses the different reasons and priorities for coal blending. She summarises the methods of coal blending, from coal characterisation though to mixing and storage methods, including some case studies of challenging situations.
Coal-fired power plants are increasingly required to balance power grids by compensating for the variable electricity supply from renewable energy sources. For this, high flexibility is needed, in terms of possessing resilience to frequent start-ups, meeting major and rapid load changes, and providing frequency control duties. This report reviews the means available and under development for achieving the flexibility. Potential damage mechanisms are well known, and the necessary flexibility can be achieved with acceptable impacts on component life, efficiency and emissions. Designs are being developed to enable flexibility in future plants.Read more >
This study examines the role of HELE (high efficiency, low emission) coal-fired power plant in helping to meet the goal of reduced carbon dioxide emissions by setting out an overview of the prospects for the role of HELE technologies in a number of major coal user countries. Ten countries have been selected for study and are (in alphabetical order); Australia, China, Germany, India, Japan, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and the USA. The target countries have differing coal-plant fleet ages and efficiencies, and different local conditions and policies which impact on the scope for HELE implementation.
The profile of the coal fleet for each country has been calculated to meet future electricity demand under three scenarios with progressively greater replacement of lower efficiency capacity with HELE technology, and the consequent emissions of carbon dioxide and costs of implementation determined. The results are discussed in terms of potential carbon dioxide savings and the prospects for adopting a HELE upgrade pathway in the context of current energy policy.
Established CO2 capture technologies such as absorption with amine solvents are associated with significant energetic and economic penalties, reducing power plant efficiency by around 10% points and increasing the cost of electricity production by up to 80%. Dedicated research programmes worldwide have pursued the development of a wide range of innovative, alternative technologies for CO2 capture, largely by addressing the fundamental gas separation step at the heart of post-combustion, pre-combustion or oxyfuel combustion processes. Novel solvents with lower energy requirements than conventional amines, using phase change systems, ionic liquids, enzyme-activation, or non-aqueous solvents, are promising approaches for post-combustion capture. Alternatively, techniques used in other commercial gas separations, including solid sorbents, membranes, and cryogenic separation, have also been developed for carbon capture through extensive materials research and process optimisation. Whilst challenging for post-combustion capture applications, these techniques may be of particular benefit to pre-combustion capture systems where much higher partial pressures of CO2 are available, and integration of the CO2 capture step and water gas shift reaction can be achieved using sorbents or membranes. In oxyfuel combustion, membranes are also an option for efficient oxygen production, but pressurised combustion systems have demonstrated the most potential for efficiency improvements, potentially in combination with novel power cycles which are better-suited to exploiting the altered combustion conditions. Finally, chemical looping combustion is a unique approach to carbon capture which can achieve dramatic energy savings through its inherent avoidance of any gas separation step, and is undergoing significant scale up. This webinar will review these developments in novel capture technologies and highlight the most promising strategies for achieving major cost reductions.Read more >
Pulverised coal combustion (PCC) power plant with supercritical (SC) steam parameters have been operational for over forty years and ultra-supercrital (USC) PCC plant have been operational for just over twenty years. This significant amount of operating experience is valuable regarding the performance of high temperatures steels. For example 9-12% chromium martensitic steels have had problems with cracking and some have not been as strong as they were projected to be. Additionally, PCC power plant have been operated outside of design parameters, such as severe cyclic operation, which has resulted in unforeseen problems for high temperature steels. This webinar reviews the performance, problems, solutions and research efforts for high temperature steels used in SC and USC technology.Read more >
Dr Steve Mills presents his recent researxhRead more >
Coal gasification for chemicals, gaseous and liquid fuels production can fulfil an important strategic need in those developing countries where coal is the primary fuel source and oil and gas energy security is an issue. At the same time, the establishment of major projects in such countries can be problematical for a number of technical and economic reasons, although it is encouraging that some projects appear to be moving forward. There are two developing countries where coal conversion projects to produce chemicals, gaseous and liquid fuels have been taken forward strongly. The first is South Africa, which established the world’s only commercial-scale coal-to-liquids and coal-tochemicals facilities at Secunda and Sasolburg respectively. The other is China, where there is a major gasification-based coal conversion development and deployment programme that is set to become a significant, large-scale commercial element in the nation’s energy development plans. This will provide further major opportunities for the deployment of large-scale coal gasification technologies, various syngas conversion units and catalysts for the subsequent production of the required products. The role of China is likely to be critical in the dissemination of such technologies to other developing countries as it can not only provide the technical expertise but also financially underpin such projects, including the associated infrastructure needs.Read more >
Dr Lesley Sloss presents her latest researchRead more >
Hermine Nalbandian presents her latest researchRead more >
Lignite is an important fuel for power generation in many parts of the world. The major issue is that the high moisture content of lignite results in low thermal efficiencies and high CO2 emissions of lignite-fired power plants. An effective way to resolve this issue is to pre-dry the lignite before combustion in the boiler. Several modern pre-drying processes, such as RWE’s WTA dryer and GRE’s DryFining™ systems, have been developed based on this principle, which can be integrated to lignite-fired power plants to continuously pre-dry the feeding run-of-mine lignite. This webinar describes those technologies and their technoeconomic implications for the lignite-fired power plants to which they are integrated. In addition, the webinar also introduces the development of some standalone lignite drying and upgrading technologies.Read more >
Xing Zhang presents the results of her researchRead more >
Paul Baruya presents the findings of his recent researchRead more >
Kyle Nicol presents the findings of his latest reportRead more >
Dr Stephen Mills presents the findings of his latest reportRead more >
Dr Nigel Dong presents the findings of this report, which was co-authored with Hermine Nalbandian.Read more >
Colin Henderson presents the findings of his latest reportRead more >
Coal power plant control systems have progressively evolved to meet the growing demand for efficient and flexible power generation whilst maintaining low emissions. In particular, optimisation of the combustion process has required increased use of online monitoring technologies and the replacement of standard control loops with more advanced algorithms
capable of handling multivariable systems. Improved stoichiometric control can be achieved with
coal and air flow sensors or imaging and spectral analysis of the flame itself, whilst in-situ laser absorption spectroscopy provides a means of mapping CO and O2 distribution in hot regions of the furnace. Modern plant control systems are able to draw on a range of computational
techniques to determine the appropriate control response, including artificial intelligence which
mimics the actions of expert operators and complex empirical models built from operational data.
New sensor technologies are also being researched to further improve control and to withstand the high temperature and corrosive environments of advanced coal plant and gasifiers. Increased use of optical technologies is of particular interest, with sensors based on optical fibres able to perform low noise, highly sensitive, and distributed measurements at high temperatures.
Microelectronic fabrication techniques and newly developed high temperature materials are also being combined to develop miniaturised devices which provide a robust and low cost solution for in-situ monitoring of gases and other parameters. These new sensors can be integrated with wireless communication technology and self-powering systems to facilitate the deployment of distributed sensor networks and monitoring of inaccessible locations. Using principles of self-organisation to optimise their output, such networks may play a growing role in future control systems.
Dr Lesley Sloss presents the findings of her latest report.Read more >