The pollution created from coal combustion has long been criticized, and its use as an energy source is becoming increasingly unpopular given massive research and use of natural gas and rising environmental awareness. However, in view of limited oil supply, increasing oil price and bottleneck of technological development and application of a variety of renewable energies, the application of coal has once again catches wide attention in developed countries. Relatively speaking, coal is a cheap source of energy. According to statistical prediction, the quantitative reserves of coal can supply more than 200 years of energy needs by human kind, far exceeding sources of oil and natural gas. Based on the forecast of International Energy Agency (IEA), from 2004 to 2030, the global usage of coal will grow by about 50% and the trade on hard coal is estimated to increase by 55%. Clearly, coal will take on an important role as an international energy source and supplier in the future.
Based on this, clean and efficient utilization of coal has become the subject of increased attention, discussion and research funding in developed countries: enormous amount of researches are funded in the attempt to resolve Sox, Nox, suspended particles, and liquid and solid waste through use of coal. Increasing the energy efficiency and exploring improved power generation technologies of coal are also subjects of the focus. According to data by Taiwan Power Company, from a cost point of view, the coal-fueled power generation will still remain in the future. As global supply of liquefied natural gas gets tighter, there should be a re-evaluation of application of coal and its related technological development, covering viewpoints of energy safety and environmental protection and economic development.
|The opinions and suggestions|