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Coal: Cleaner Energy for All T here are currently 1.3 billion people across the globe that lack access to modern electricity. The world needs to come together to address this major challenge. All energy sources have a role to play in delivering energy to those who need it, but coal will be front and centre in solving the energy poverty crisis.At a recent speech the International Energy Agency's Chief Economist, Dr Fatih Birol, described coal as "the forgotten fuel". In the context of 20 years of debates about addressing climate change and calls to reduce the use of the world's fossil fuels, 2010 saw coal's share in global energy consumption at its highest level since 1970. According to the IEA's 2011 World Energy Outlook (WEO) "coal unquestionably won the energy race in the first decade of the 21st century" matching all other energy sources combined in providing incremental electricity supply. In the last 30 years worldwide coal consumption has increased from 3.7 billion tons per year to an amount approaching 8 billion tons per year today. This is explosive growth indeed and the past will be prologue. The fact is that coal is the world's second largest source of primary energy and largest supplier of electricity - about 40 per cent of global electricity generation comes from coal. Even in the face of action on climate change, coal's role is forecast " improving the efficiency of coal-fired power generation is among the cheapest and easiest ways to reduce CO2 emissions "Fredrick D. Palmer, Chairman, World Coal Association (WCA)Milton Catelin, Chief Executive, World Coal Association (WCA)Siemens Press Picture062 clean coal technologyFigure 1: Incremental world primary energy demand by fuel, 2000 - 2010

to overtake oil as the world's most important energy source. As the backbone of the world's electricity supply, coal cannot and will not be excluded from the world's energy mix based on concern over climate change, as we collectively cannot afford to step back from an affordable, secure, safe and reliable energy resource. Coal also has a significant role to play in CO2 mitigation. Improving the efficiency of coal fired power generation and the deployment of carbon capture use and storage (CCUS) are key measures that can be taken to reduce emissions from coal combustion.In fact, improving the efficiency of coal-fired power generation is among the cheapest and easiest ways to reduce CO2 emissions. Many of the world's existing coal-fired power plants are more than 30 years old, small, and use inefficient subcritical technology. Replacing those plants with modern, highly efficient plants can lead to a dramatic reduction in emissions, and China is a world leader Pictured: Schwarze Pumpe Power Station, Germanyin this, mastering the technology and driving down the costs. A one percent increase in efficiency at a coal-fired power plant reduces CO2 emissions by around 2-3 per cent. Improving the efficiency of the oldest and most inefficient coal-fired plants would reduce global CO2 emissions from coal use by almost 25 per cent representing a 6 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions, more than the total intended effect of the Kyoto Protocol. A substantial effort should be made by governments and international institutions to support the deployment of advanced coal-fired power generation. Another technology critical for dealing with climate change is CCUS. CCUS is the technology that captures CO2 from power plants and industrial installations, uses it productively and stores it safely underground. The IEA says CCUS in particular is one of the most critical technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and combat climate change. According to the WEO 2011, CCUS will contribute around ? clean coal technology 063