The aim of this paper is to present the current status of the coal-fired power sector in an enlarged ┼§ (EU-15 plus ┼U member candidate states) in relation with the main topics of the European Strategy for the energy production and supply. It is estimated that 731 thermoelectric units, larger than 100 MW, are operating nowadays, and their total installed capacity equals to 200.7 GW. Coal c´ntribution to the total electricity generation with reference to other fuel sources, is by far more intensive in the non-EU part (EU member candidate states), compared to the ┼§ member states. It is expected that even after the enlargement, the European Union will strongly being related to coal. Enlargement will bring additional factors into play in order to meet the requirements of rising consumption, growing demand for conventional fuels and increasing dependence on imports. Besides the technology, boiler size, efficiency, age and environmental performance will determine the necessities of the coal-fired power sector in each country. Depending on the case, lifetime extension measures in operating coal-fired power plants or clean coal technologies can play an important role towards the energy sector restructuring. Low efficiency values in the non-EU coal - fired units and heavily aged power plants in ┼§ countries will certainly affect decisions in favour of upgrading or reconstruction.
The overall increase of efficiency, the reduction of harmful emissions from generating processes and the co-combustion of coal with biomass and wastes for generating purposes indicate that coal can be cleaner and more efficient. Additionally, plenty of rehabilitation projects based on CCT applications, have already been carried out or are under progress ▀š the ┼U energy sector. The proclamations of the countries' energy policies in the coming decades, includes integrated renovation concepts of the coal-fired power sector. Further to the natural gas penetration in the electricity generation and CO2 sequestration and underground storage, the implementation of CCT projects will strongly c´ntribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the European union, according to the targets set in the Kyoto protocol. In consequence, clean coal technolog▀es can open up new rnarkets not only in the ┼U member candidate states, but also in other parts of the world.
Keywords: clean coal technolog▀es, electicity generation, rehabilitation, CO2 reduction