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Could Advanced Coal Technology Reduce Carbon Footprint?

When you think of coal mining, visions of thick black smoke polluting the atmosphere with carbon-based emissions most likely enter your mind.

However, the development of advanced coal technologies could ensure that the production and distribution of fossil energy improves and that environmental effects are dramatically reduced.

Here, looks at the resurrection of the coal sector and how new technologies are set to reduce our global carbon footprint.

We all know coal isn’t clean, and most of the developing world is dependent on it. Therefore, it’s important to focus on capture and store methods to eliminate or at least reduce carbon emissions.

According to the World Coal Association, coal is now about “40 percent of the global electricity mix and it will be 30 percent in 2040.”

Therefore, the fundamental question is how can we make it cleaner to help protect our environment. After all, “the United States will depend on coal for 25 percent of electricity in 2040”, says the International Energy Agency.

Over the past few years, bold ideas have been tried and tested to develop new ways of capturing and storing carbon emissions.

According to Forbes, coal gasification plants can “scrub the mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide before they would separate the remaining byproducts: carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, which could be used to power everything from cars to power plants.”

While, they state that the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Southern Company had “completed an initial demonstration phase of carbon capture at Southern’s coal-fired Plant Barry in Alabama, which could recover more than 90 percent of the carbon dioxide, send it through a 10-mile pipeline, and inject it underground.”

Other bold ideas are also gaining traction within the industry, which are becoming the main point of discussion, debate and development to ensure they fall in line with the Paris climate agreement.

The Paris climate accord aims to “keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius by mid Century”. If the world fails to do so then we could face catastrophic natural disasters.

Coal is not going anywhere and it will be mined for many years to come. It is essential to ensure that it is as clean as possible and that any damage done to the environment is minimal.

Reducing carbon emissions will have a bold impact on the world we live in, and improving coal technologies will allow us to tap into fossil fuel energy which will see us through into the next century, and beyond.

How The United States Is Set To Become The Largest LNG Exporter In The World

Technological breakthroughs enable us to tap into the plethora of natural gas resources available on the planet but also allow us to develop new energy sources.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) production has surged in the United States over recent years, and with the increased need for LNG around the globe exports are set to rise exponentially.

Here, looks at the bold impact the United States has made on the natural gas industry through LNG production.

According to Business Facilities, the United States, less than one hundred years ago the world’s largest importer of energy resources, “is set to become the largest LNG exporter in the world.”

Not only has the development of new technologies and techniques used for shale extraction improved, but LNG has opened the door for other emerging markets.

If the demand for exports of LNG continues, it could see “five to seven years of unprecedented growth in demand for domestic natural gas, with the potential of an increase of as much as 20 billion-25 billion cubic feet a day by the end of the decade”.

This ‘supply and demand’ trend enables the nation’s LNG production and export to secure the United States as the global leader in the natural gas industry.

As U.S. energy producers outpace domestic demand, it gives owners of reserves the opportunity to “raise asset values sharply, and simultaneously provide a huge boost for the service industry”. Thus, driving the economy and developing a resource that will help generate and stimulate many new markets.

The key to LNG success is to ensure the market can sustain itself by absorbing increases in demand while still managing to keep the prices low – this is what makes this resource attractive after all.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA)’s forecasts “production increases in the second half of 2016 and through 2017 in response to forecast increases in prices and in liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. Forecast natural gas production rises by 0.6 percent in 2016 and by 3.0 percent in 2017.”

Exports to all countries that have a free-trade deal with the United States are set to increase over the coming years, which could also see Russia’s grip on the European market diminish.

According to the EIA, U.S. exports to Mexico have accounted for more than half of all natural gas exports since April 2015, and projects that LNG gross exports will rise by the end of 2016 and again in 2017.

This natural gas boom has seen the emergence of LNG production and exports rise at a rapid rate. It just goes to show that investing in new technologies and creating bold ideas to stimulate a nation’s energy market can prove beneficial in both the short and long-terms.