Coal is broadly recognized as secure, competitive, diversified, not vulnerable and predictable in price as an energy resource. In the power generation sector, coal is playing a dominant role in the EU-27 with 25% share of the total installed capacity and almost one-third of the power generation. The role played by the domestic resources and especially by coal is increasingly becoming the focus of the EU energy strategy.
There is a strong pressure for the decarbonization of the energy mix. The emission trading scheme (ETS) can have an impact on the shift to lower carbon-intensive fuels. The impact of ETS on coal can be important, because it is very short-sighted and only defines the period up to 2008–2012. The ETS carbon dioxide (CO2) regime must ensure that investments in coal-fired plants in the long term are supported. EU Research Institutes and Coal Industry identified an important CO2 reduction potential by improving the efficiency of the conversion of solid fuels into electricity. Highly efficient clean coal technologies can contribute to reasonable costs and challenge the issue of climate change.
It must be pointed out that the EU Energy Policy should now concentrate on the necessity to effectively support demonstration projects and to create the legal framework for the integrated approach of efficiency enhancement and CO2 capture and storage (CCS). However, it is not a proper and rational approach to implement CCS before the technology is demonstrated and before it is clear that it will be commercially viable.
Keywords:Energy, Lignite, Greece