The incompatibility of high-efficient coal technology with 2 degrees scenarios

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 11.08.50 amBy ECOFYS, April 2016

This report is a critique of the coal industry’s attempts to make a case for the deployment of high efficiency low emissions (HELE) coal-fired power plants. The industry claims that HELE technology is climate friendly, and if combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS), would ultimately lead to zero and even negative emissions.

This report shows that HELE coal power is incompatible with the goal to keep global temperature rises to below 2°C. The global carbon budget and the time remaining to reduce greenhouse gas emissions simply do not allow for replacement of retired coal plants with new more efficient coal plants, let alone construction of new coal plants, regardless of the technology. This conclusion was reached through an assessment of the IPCC scenarios presented in the Fifth Assessment Report, the IEA World Energy Outlook 2015 scenarios, and the data on coal plants currently planned and/or under construction.

Download the full report here.