The technology used for producing/generating electricity by burning coal is known as coal fired power generation. Globally it is one of the oldest and an efficient way for generating electricity. Its value can be understood as its ability of supplying power during both peak-demand and non-peak demand.
The main driver which is pushing the coal fired generation market is the fact that it costs less than other sources of energy and since it’s an old concept it is reliable in terms of its technology. The factors that are hampering this market are the environmental concerns related to burning coal. An opportunity lies in looking for some technological advancement which can negate the effect of coal on the environment.
The global coal fired power generating capacity was estimated at 1.3 million MW in 2006 which rose to 1.7 million MW in 2011 and is estimated to reach a level of around 2.1 million MW by 2018 growing at a CAGR of around 3%, from 2012 to 2018. For this change, investment would be required, which is planned to exceed USD 1 trillion. China had a number of coal fired power generating stations during the period 2006 to 2011 which helped them to take over US in terms of capacity, but even after this, China’s coal fired power, per capita would be half of that of the US in 2018.
The DOE has forecast that the US coal fired capacity will be around 300,000 MW in 2018. Europe is also a strong market for coal fired power generation with Germany alone planning to add 26,000 MW of capacity. Stringent rules in Europe have pushed companies to burn biomass with coal during production in order to minimize the harmful effect on environment. Waste heat from the coal power plant can be utilized for producing ethanol.
Some of the major players in the coal fired power generating market include: Doosan heavy business and NTPC.
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