The Minerals Council of Australia has today released a new report outlining why high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal technology is part of Australia’s future electricity generation mix.
With the Australian Government identifying the need for a reliable, cost-effective and emissions reducing electricity grid, the report will further inform the debate about the nation’s future energy mix.
The key to a reliable electricity supply is ensuring that there is a prudent energy mix which avoids over reliance on weather dependent non-synchronous sources. Clearly recent events in South Australia demonstrate what happens when a dogged pursuit of one generation type is pursued.
The report, New generation coal technology, describes the benefits that nations are achieving in emissions reductions through building HELE coal-fired plants. HELE plants can provide reliable baseload power needed for industry and manufacturing and at a cost lower than any renewable option according to the Australian Power Generation Technology Report.
The report notes that supercritical and ultra-supercritical plants have already reduced global output of CO2 emissions by over 1 billion tonnes since 2000. Further, it says building more HELE plants that would improve the global efficiency rate of coal generators from 33 per cent to 40 per cent would reduce CO2 emissions by 2 billion tonnes per year.
With over 1,000 HELE units already operating around the world and more than 1,200 planned or under construction, there are no barriers to the construction of a HELE plant in Australia.
Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal and with substantial reserves of high-quality coal, it would be negligent not to take advantage of this resource to lock in our competitive advantage from a reliable and inexpensive supply of electricity.