In 2009 coal fired power generation alone con tributed 30 percent of total

In 2009 coal fired power generation alone con

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In 2009, coal-fired power generation alone con- tributed 30 percent of total global CO 2 emissions. The efficiency of plants varies enormously due to differences in their age, steam conditions, local climatic conditions, coal quality, operating and maintenance skills, and adopted technology. Even though high-efficiency, low-emission technologies for coal plants are becoming more widespread (50 percent of new plants in 2011), approximately 75 percent of all operating plants used low-efficiency technology in 2011 (OECD/IEA, 2012). From a global perspective, efficiency improvement is therefore one of the most cost-effective and short- est lead-time strategies for reducing emissions from energy production. This is especially true for coun- tries in the South, where plant efficiency is gener- ally lower and coal use for electricity generation is increasing (World Coal Institute, 2012). In China, coal is used for an estimated 77 percent of total electricity generation in 2010 (in the United States, 54 GLOBELICS THEMATIC REVIEW
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it is 44 percent), which represented 40 percent of total world coal-fired electric generating capacity. Although China has been closing its older, ineffi- cient coal-fired power plants, the country contin- ues its rapid increase in coal-fired generating ca- pacity (OECD/IEA, 2013). Further improvement and dissemination of highly efficient low-emission technology can be part of a global low-carbon de-velopment strategy in which innovation plays a key role (OECD/IEA, 2012). Carbon capture and storage technology removes CO 2 from fossil energy in power plants or indus-trial use and stores the carbon underground. Car-bon capture and storage have so far only few, small-scale applications and is struggling to improve. The reasons for this are: t F ɨ BCTFODF PG B EPNJOBOU UFDIOPMPHJDBM EFTJHO t $POUJOVFE VODFSUBJOUJFT BCPVU UIF MJBCJMJUJFT PG long-term underground storage; t 6ODFSUBJOUZ BCPVU TVïDJFOU QPTTJCJMJUZ PG JN- proving carbon capture and storage and devel-oping the vast supply chains for carbon capture and storage within the required time, i.e., the next two or three decades; t 6ODFSUBJOUZ BCPVU UIF ëOBODJBM WJBCJMJUZ PG EF-veloping large- scale CCS systems and supply chains; and t 4USPOH QVCMJD SFTJTUBODF EVF UP /*.#:JTN 11 , fear of crowding out renewable energy technolo-gies, fear of rebound effects and of legitimising continued fossil-energy use (Markusson et al., 2012). Carbon capture and storage is thus largely un- proven on the scale required for a serious impact. However, assuming that fossil energy retains its role in the world’s energy matrix for the medium term, the technology has the potential to form part of a lower-carbon process. Carbon capture and storage is thus an immature low-carbon technology, pro- moted mostly in oil and coal producing nations such as Norway, Canada, China, and the United States.
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