Welcome to Volume 5, Issue 20 of Currents. In this issue, we discuss major and interesting topics such as IGCC coal power, BP and solar projects, using coal substitutes, Republican investments in EVs, cofiring, secure mineral supply chains, and coal-fired output decline.
Japan Ushers in New Era for IGCC Coal Power
"The Nakoso integrated coal gasification combined cycle plant, a much-watched power project in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture because it incorporates a pioneering advanced coal gasification technology, began commercial operations on April 16."
Why this is important: On April 16, 2021, Japan began commercial operation of a new integrated coal gasification combined cycle ("IGCC") plant, a significant power project in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture. The plant replaces a nuclear plant damaged in the tsunami and incorporates a pioneering advanced coal gasification technology. The 543 MW plant uses coal and air to create syngas made primarily of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which is burnt to create electricity. The use of IGCC plants around the world has not been consistent over the years, and some of the plants already have closed. The new plant in Japan has shown the ability to reduce CO2 emissions by about one-third (emitting 650 g CO2/kWh vs 950 g CO2/kWh for a traditional coal-fired plant). However, coal-fired electrical generation plants continue to be targeted for closure around the world.
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