Sustainability with Regards to coal energy Production
Sustainability with regards to coal energy
BY: M. Ubair Riaz
• Sustainability Assessment of Coal-Fired Power
Plants with Carbon Capture and Storage
– US Department of Energy
• Coal energy for Sustainable Development
– World Coal Association
• Coal Power in a warming World
– Union of concerned Scientists report
• Nepra state of Industry Report 2013
• Development that meets the need of the present generation
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own need
• Or put more differently
“Development that lasts”
scope of our approach to sustainability
• For reasons of space and coherence, we decided to omit
several topics that might have been included within a broader
definition of sustainability like; the practical and philosophical
impact of population growth on sustainability etc
• Today our focus will be on sustainable energy and
• Energy is critical to sustainable development
• Across the world there are 1.3 billion people without access to electricity.
International action is needed to change this.
• It is predicted that by 2035, unless action is taken, around one billion
people will still be living without electricity
• The world needs an energy access target to provide energy to those who
• Energy access is also critical to the broader economy and society.
Businesses and industries are major consumers of electricity.
• Coal will be the bedrock on which energy access is built.
• Coal is the most widely available fossil fuel energy resource.
• Coal resources exist in many developing countries including those with
significant energy challenges, like Pakistan
• Coal will therefore play a major role in supporting the development of
base-load electricity where it is most needed
• The World Energy Outlook 2011 highlights that “coal alone accounts for
more than 50% of the total on-grid additions” required to achieve the IEA’s
Energy for All case
• This clearly demonstrates coal’s fundamental role in supporting modern
base load electricity. Many countries with electricity challenges are also
able to access coal resources in an affordable and secure way to fuel the
growth in their electricity supply.
Energy and climate change
• In the face of global action to address climate change, it has been argued that
the expansion of energy access could threaten international climate ambitions
• which aim to cap atmospheric CO2 at 450 parts per million and keep global
warming less than two degrees above pre-industrial levels.
• Developing countries have been concerned that requiring them to reduce
emissions will threaten achievement of their legitimate development priorities
• However, an effective and sustainable climate response must integrate
environmental aims with energy security and economic development.
• The world’s least developed countries need access to low cost energy, but they
are also the most vulnerable to the impacts of policies aimed at reducing
greenhouse gas emissions
• While addressing climate and energy challenges
together seems contradictory to some, the reality is
that they must be considered as integrated priorities.
Disadvantages of Coal
• The underground mining of coal is a dangerous profession, and
underground and surface mining are both highly damaging to landscapes,
water supplies, and ecosystems.
• The burning of coal releases more than 100 polutants into the atmosphere.
• It is the largest source of sulfur dioxide emissions (which cause acid rain),
the second largest source of nitrogen oxides which contribute to smog and
asthma attacks), and the largest source of ﬁne soot particles (which
contribute to thousands of premature deaths from heart and lung disease
• Most importantly, coal is the most carbon-intensive
fuel. 3 CO2 emissions are the predomnant human
contribution to global warming, and
• coal plants represent the single biggest source (about
one-third) of the U.S. share of these emissions—about
the same as all of our cars, trucks, buses, trains, planes,
and boats combined
Carbon capture and storage
• Carbon capture and storage technology will be a key technology to reduce CO2
emissions, not only from coal, but also natural gas and industrial sources.
• Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has the ability to dramatically reduce carbon
dioxide (CO2) emissions from power production. Most studies find the potential
for 70 to 80 percent reductions in CO2 emissions on a life-cycle basis, depending
on the technology.
• Because of this potential and policymakers are considering the wide-spread
implementation of CCS technology on new and existing coal plants to dramatically
curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the power generation sector
Problems with CCS
• CCS technology comes with its own set of environmental and
health risks, including the risk of slow leaks that would
undermine its capacity for reducing global warming pollution.
Rapid leaks of CO2, either from a storage site or pipeline,
could pose a local danger since high concentrations of this gas
can be fatal.
IGCC Facilitates Carbon Capture
• A newer technology known as integrated gasification
combined cycle (IGCC) converts coal into a gas, runs the gas
through a combustion turbine to generate electricity, and uses
the heat from that process to generate additional electricity
via a steam turbine.
• To meet the huge global demand for energy, all energy sources will be
• Nuclear technology may be available in some countries and not others.
• Renewable energy will have a particular role to play in providing offgrid
electricity and in meeting peak demand.
• But cost of wind turbine is high
• Coal will play a major role as a complement to renewable energy sources.
It will be one of the key sources of energy to address gaps in wind and solar
powered electricity, both of which include risks of intermittent supply.
• Pakistan has been facing a lot of energy crisis
• The current energy crisis began to manifest itself in earnest by late
2007 and in 2010 there was up to 18 hours of load shedding
• While 2007 is considered the starting point of the ongoing energy
crisis, the issue has its roots in policy decisions taken two decades
• In 1994, when only 40% of the population had access to electricity
NEPRA state of Industry report
• Gas 49%
• Oil 30.83%
• Hydro-electricity 10.82%
• Coal 6.62
• Nuclear Electricity 1.94%
• LPG .5 %
Thar Coal project
• Pakistan’s government ahas launched Rs. 180 billion Thar
Coal Power Project of Thar Coal Reserves that will start
energizing 330 Megawatt electricity within three years which
will help overcome energy shortage in the country.
• Government will refuted the propaganda about hazards of coal
based energy, saying that 43 per cent of electricity is being
produced through coal in various parts of the world.
• CCS technology?????
• To meet the huge demand for energy, all energy sources will
• Although there is a cost to renewable resources but Pakistan
should move slowly towards it
• Till that time we should use coal energy but with proper CCS
and IGCC technology to reduce carbon emissions