WCA: IEA Reports Missed an Opportunity to Call for Investment in Clean Coal Technologies

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) inaugural Status of Global Energy Investment report highlights coal investment growing by nearly a quarter in 2015, confirming the role of coal in energy generation. “Unfortunately, the report fails to substantially address the need for greater investment in HELE coal and CCS technology, both issues highlighted by the IEA’s Energy Technology Perspectives 2016 report,” said Benjamin Sporton, CEO, World Coal Association (WCA).

High efficiency, low emissions (HELE) coal technology and Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) are vital to the long-term success of the Paris Agreement, Sporton explained. To support implementation of the Paris Agreement, the WCA has advocated for an international mechanism to be established to provide financial and other support necessary for countries to accelerate deployment of HELE technologies. The vision of the WCA’s Platform for Accelerating Coal Efficiency (PACE) is to deploy the most efficient power plant technology possible and to encourage international partners (such as development banks and governments) to work together to increase funding for, and the use of HELE technology.

In many countries, coal is the logical low-cost base-load power choice, particularly in Asia. To assume that fossil fuels will not be required or can be substituted in the next few decades, is likely to lead to cheaper, less efficient coal technology being deployed, threatening the ability to deliver global climate objectives.