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GE analysis identifies potential for cleaner coal and gas

New data compiled by analysts at General Electric has found that coal and gas-fired power plant emissions can be reduced by 10 per cent when existing hardware and software solutions are fully applied.

That equates to removing 95 per cent of cars from US roads.

“The technology to make coal and gas more efficient is available now ” countries and companies alike should be taking advantage of this to lower their carbon output,” said Deb Frodl, Global Executive Director, Ecomagination, GE told World Coal. “These actions should be taken as a complement to continued investment in renewable energy sources as we all strive to find carbon reductions across the energy mix.”
General Electric
GE used a proprietary set of data for each coal-fired and gas-fired plant in the world to uncover potential opportunities to improve plants’ heat rate and lower carbon emissions. The analysis comes as countries around the world are looking for climate saving solutions that will help them transition to a lower carbon energy future.

It found that coal-fired power plants could be made approximately 4 per cent more efficient with 2.5 per cent in efficiencies coming from turbine and boiler upgrades, and 1.5 per cent coming from software improvements. The analysis also found that applying all potential upgrades to coal-fired power plants can remove 900 million t of CO2 (11 per cent of total coal power emissions) ” more than the annual CO2 output of the UK and France combined.

Paul McElhinney, President & CEO, GE Power Services said, “Globally, carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired electricity generation can be reduced by 10 per cent annually, and GE’s software and hardware upgrade solutions can help make this a reality with moderate investments in the installed base.”

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), approximately 41 per cent of global electricity generation comes from coal-fired power plants and 22 per cent comes from gas-fired power plants. The IEA estimates that both fuels will see increased use over the next decade. For markets with significant energy needs and coal reliance, such as China and India, upgrades to power plants can help provide cleaner energy options and help countries make progress towards their climate goals.