Coal, Gas

Coal plays bigger role in future power generation

22 October 2004 – Coal fired generators will have a greater role in 2012 while the status of gas turbines will diminish, claims a report published by the McIlvaine Company.

Countering government forecasts, this prediction is based on a country-by-country analysis, which suggests that by 2012 the world will have a coal power generation capacity of 1450 GW.

The reasons stated in the report for the predicted greater growth for coal are that the price of natural gas will remain high, the cost of environmental controls for coal fired plants will be less than anticipated and that the opportunity to combine biomass gasification as a supplemental fuel for existing coal fired boilers will boost electricity output and qualify units as renewable energy producers.

World coal fired capacity is forecast to increase from the present 1200 GW to 1450 GW in 2012 whereas gas turbine capacity is forecast to increase from 649 GW this year to 900 GW. However, most coal fired plants will be base loaded while many gas turbine plants will operate only at peak hours.