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Regardless of how many developed nations walk away from coal-fired power, many developing nations will incorporate into their electricity mix. Why not ensure that coal is of a high quality to reduce emissions compared to lesser coal?
The future of coal was front and center in Energy Cast podcast host Jay Dauenhauer’s recent conversation with Steven Winberg, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy. Winberg touted coal’s versatility, from use in roofing products to using it in creating hydrogen.
He also sees a role of more adaptive future coal plants with smaller footprints. Those would operate almost like a gas peaker plants; unless, of course, gas eventually rises in prices and coal may return to baseload services.
“U.S. has some of the highest quality coal in the world. If we had a west coal terminal we could be exporting it into the Asian market which gets very hungry for high quality coal,” Winberg said. “If we exported that coal, we would be displacing lower quality coal sourced from other countries, and the net benefit is that there would be lower CO2 emissions. Those people are going to burn coal anyway, so why not burn the highest quality coal they can get?”
Dauenhauer himself was previously executive director of the Clean Coal Technology Association in Texas. He also has worked as project director in power generation and transmission as well as a media analyst for TXU Energy prior to the $45 billion leveraged buyout of that company in 2007. A Louisiana native and proud graduate of Louisiana State University, his career began as a TV news producer before transitioning into the energy sector. Back behind the mic, Dauenhauer hopes to bring his experience working across several energy sectors to you in a program designed to be accessible to both the public and industry insiders. Dauenhauer also is a member of the POWERGEN International and DISTRIBUTECH International advisory committees. Clarion Energy is the parent company of Power Engineering, POWERGEN, DISTRIBUTECH.
Energy Cast Podcast is hosted biweekly by Jay Dauenhauer. Learn more about the podcast here.