(PR Newswire, October 2) – Peabody Energy calls advanced coal technology the low-cost, low-carbon solution to energy needs and environmental objectives in its “21st Century Coal’s Role in the Future of Energy”, a new report. The report presents the company’s views on carbon management and coal mining and use in the 21st century.
Peabody believes safe, environmentally responsible, high-technology coal mining and energy generation offer the most secure, available and cost-competitive means to meet the energy needs of growing nations, while supporting a transition to a low-carbon economy.
The United Nations’ Secretary General has called energy “the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equality and an environment that allows the world to thrive.” Life expectancy, educational attainment and national wealth are all statistically correlated with higher levels of electricity use.
The U.N. called on nations to halve extreme global poverty by 2015 as part of its Millennium Development Goals. As that deadline approaches, however, more than 3.5 billion people in the world still lack adequate access to energy. Peabody’s report calls this a “global challenge with deep environmental, human health and economic consequences.”
“Energy poverty is the defining crisis of our time. Ending it is a challenge the world must embrace,” said Peabody Energy’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gregory H. Boyce. “Citizens in nations with access to affordable power consistently enjoy better health and greater prosperity and coal is at the foundation of this progress.” Quoting the International Energy Agency, Boyce notes that coal is the largest source of power globally and, given its wide availability and low cost, it is expected to remain so for the foreseeable future.
Coal has been the world’s fastest growing major fuel for the past decade and today comprises more than 30 percent of global energy use its highest share since 1970. Global industrialization and urbanization trends are driving this growth.
“The question is not whether the world will use more coal, but how nations can use more coal, more cleanly,” according to the report’s authors. 21st century coal technologies provide a clear path forward given global demographics and growing need.
The report points to the experience of the United States, where research, development and deployment of advanced technologies have transformed coal use and created “a great environmental success story.” Over the past several decades, more than $100 billion has been invested by U.S. utilities in environmental controls. Since 1970, coal used for electricity generation has increased by more than 170 percent, while key power plant emissions rates have been reduced by 90 percent per unit of electricity.
Highly efficient, commercial technologies available today are essential to accelerating the global transition to low-carbon, high-efficiency energy systems, according to the report’s authors. Next-generation technologies, such as carbon capture, utilization and storage, when commercialized, can build on this progress.
Peabody Energy is the world’s largest private-sector coal company and a global leader in sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal solutions. The company serves metallurgical and thermal coal customers in more than 25 countries on six continents. For further information, visit PeabodyEnergy.comand AdvancedEnergyForLife.com.