The report presents a comprehensive study of the global coal mining industry by technology (underground mining and surface mining), by end-user (thermal power generation, steel manufacturing, and cement manufacturing), and by product type (lignite, sub-bituminous, bituminous, and anthracite). The report also determines the geographic breakdown of the market in terms of detailed analysis and impact, which includes key geographies such as China, the US, India, and ROW.
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Market driver: better electricity generation technology
Countries around the globe are striving to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and to reduce the energy consumption for cost reduction. Generation of electricity involves both carbon dioxide emission and consists of the consumption of enormous amounts of energy. With the use of better electricity generation technology, carbon dioxide emission is expected to reduce and simultaneously save on energy. The electrical power generation industry is the major end-user of coal. Subcritical boiler technology, which is a major technology being used in coal-fired power fleet plants, has almost 30% efficiencies and is used by plants globally. This is a common technology as the installation cost is low and easy.
According to a senior analyst at Technavio for metals and minerals research, “The usage of supercritical plants is increasing in coal-fired power fleet plants as they are better than subcritical boiler technology and made up almost 23% of the global coal-fired power fleet in 2016. This technique helps in gaining thermal efficiencies of about 40%. The high capital cost incurred due to the requirement of high steam pressures and temperatures is the only drawback of supercritical plants. The cost saved on fuel saving can mitigate this inflated cost. A supercritical plant can emit around 20% less carbon dioxide than a subcritical plant. Thus, within policy interventions and technological progress, high-efficiency low emission technologies are expected to be implemented and thus bringing down the subcritical fleet to 50% in 2025 from 69 % in 2015.”
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Market trend: usage of liquid form of coal as fuel and electricity
The ownership of motor vehicles is increasing globally. Coal-derived fuels and coal-based electricity is expected to play a substantial role in supporting the growing energy needs of the transportation sector. The ability of coal being transformed into different states such as gases and liquids will enable it to be used as fuels or processed into chemicals to make other products. These gases or liquids are sometimes called synthetic fuels or synfuels.
Liquid fuel, which is derived from coal, can act as an alternative to the conventional oil products whose prices are increasing significantly and produce fewer air pollutants when burned than burning coal directly. They do not contain sulfur and have low levels of oxides of nitrogen. Countries such as China are developing several coal-to-liquids (CTL) demonstration plants.
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