Coal-to-Gas: a bridge to sustainability

Hartmut Oehme, Director of Brownfield Transformation for Combined Cycle Solutions, Siemens Energy, explains how the reduce, reuse and recycle mantra can be applied to coal-fired power plants.

It is hard to imagine life today without electricity. It is fundamental to almost every part of our daily lives, whether at work or leisure.

The United Nations development goals point out that improved access to electricity worldwide is critical to alleviating poverty.

This article was originally published in Enlit Europe’s Guide to season 3 – A just transition.

This, however, needs to be set against the growing concerns of climate change. There is a genuine need to decarbonise electricity generation to reduce CO2 emissions and meet at least the 2OC target of the Paris Accords.

But this is where a very real dichotomy occurs. At present, coal plays a vital role in electricity generation worldwide, with coal-fuelled power plants currently generating 38% of global electricity.

In some countries, coal fuels a higher percentage of electricity. Despite protestation from within the coal industry, coal should have no role to play in the future electricity generation landscape.

When considering the road to a carbon-free future, it must be remembered that the energy transformation around the world is starting from different places and will proceed at a different speed.

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