Clean Coal, Dirty Coal
Despite repeated urging from environmental activist to employ renewable energy for energy needs, coal remains and will likely continue to remain a key source for power generation in Asian countries. Reasons - abundance (296.9 thousand million tons) and wide distribution (43 percent of primary energy needs and 54 percent of the electricity in Asia-pacific countries are met by coal)
Nonetheless, the coal fired electricity plants; despite being the most popular form of energy source are also the most belittled because of emissions of particulate matter, NOX, SOX, and Carbon Dioxide - Carbon dioxide being the largest pollutant from coal fired units (the units in Asia-Pacific produce 4.5 billion tons every year contributing significantly to the greenhouse effect because of its global warming potential (GWP) value.)
As a combat measure, the two clean coal technologies that are proactively being promoted in the AP-6 partnership are the Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) and Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) because of their ability to contain carbon dioxide. These two clean coal tools have proved to be technically sound and competent to capture and re-route carbon dioxide emissions from coal fired plants.
Nonetheless, I believe, the CCS and IGCC are not going to replace the existing tools to contain pollutants spewed from coal fired electricity units. It needs to be acknowledged that fossil fuel as an energy source in Asia pacific countries is here to stay. That being said, clean coal technologies are likely to complement the available air pollution control equipment. The present limitation to getting a toehold in the coal fired electricity generation market is the high capital cost of these future tools. An emission trading mechanism among industries may give IGCC and CCS the appropriate impetus for market entry and terrain to combat the greenhouse problem marked by carbon dioxide emission.