The Indonesian government is working with the World Coal Association (WCA) in a bid to incorporate more clean coal technology into its existing and future coal-fired power plants.

WCA chief executive Benjamin Sporton explained that with high efficiency, low emissions (HELE), Indonesia could reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as well as non-greenhouse gases such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (S02) and particulate matter.

“This technology allows Indonesia to continue to use its coal resources to meet increasing energy demand and promote economic growth while continuing to meet its emission reduction targets in the Paris Agreement,” Sporton told journalists on Tuesday, according to the Jakarta Post.
Benjamin Sporton
He added that although it was slightly more expensive, the clean coal technology could reduce CO2 emissions by 35 per cent compared to existing technology, which is less efficient.

Indonesia is the fourth-largest coal producer in the world. As an abundant source of fuel, coal remains a primary component of the country’s efforts to provide electricity to a bigger percentage of its population. Currently, 50 coal-fired power plants are operational in Indonesia with a capacity of 19,404 MW.

Indonesia has committed unconditionally to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 29 per cent in 2030 compared to business as usual, under the terms of the Paris Agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The target could be increased to 41 percent if the country receives international support.

At this year’s Financial Times Energy Transformation Strategies Conference in London Sporton had warned against dismissing the role of clean coal technology in the fight to curb emissions. He told an audience of power professionals, “Coal does have an important role to play and we can’t wish it out of the energy mix- we need to think about how to treat coal as part of the energy mix but recognise we need to do something about how we can reduce emissions from coal to meet our climate target. If we don’t invest in low emissions coal technology we’re not going to meet our climate target – it’s as simple as that.”