Increased energy access is key to lifting citizens out of poverty. China’s efforts in recent decades to improve poverty rates and raise the overall quality of life for Chinese people have been successful in large part because of the role coal plays in extending energy access.
With the world’s fastest-growing economy, China is the largest energy user and largest coal user. Now China is developing what will be the world’s largest near-zero emissions rate coal power plant through its signature GreenGen Power Project and Carbon Research Center in the city of Tianjin.
The world has major energy needs that will continue to grow in coming decades. By 2050, GDP is forecast to rise 250 percent, electricity generation would be up 110 percent, steel production would increase by 125 percent and world population would reach an amazing 9.6 billion. Meeting these enormous needs requires an “all of the above” energy strategy.
Carbon capture has been used successfully by the petroleum industry for a half century to recover stranded oil. The Statoil Sleipner Project in the North Sea shows the promise of long-term geologic storage, with a million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) captured each year.
Without electricity people and society struggle. Basic needs such as hygiene, public health and life expectancy falter. Take a look at why electricity “really is life” in the words of South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Energy.
With coal as its primary energy source, China has grown to become the second-largest economy in the world. But that’s no surprise: Throughout much of its history, China has relied on coal for energy, and has been the world’s biggest coal producer for most of the past 2,000 years. More recently, this reliance on abundant, affordable coal has played a central role in driving China’s unprecedented industrial and economic growth.
Since the Industrial Revolution, coal has been a mainstay of Australia’s economy. Coal’s ability to deliver jobs, foreign income and affordable electricity has made it crucial to the nation’s prosperity, and will continue to do so for decades to come.
Coal has an important role to play in ensuring energy security and independence in Australia. Coal is an affordable, reliable and locally available energy resource, offering cost advantages over all other energy sources.
Once hailed as a global blueprint, the European model requires nations to increase renewable energy use, improve energy efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions rates through an expensive array of subsidies and emissions trading schemes. This approach has sent energy costs soaring, with electricity prices in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Europe 37 percent higher than the United States.