Flory Anette Dieck-Assad

Abstract

Environmental, political, and economic events seem to conspire simultaneously towards the objective to erase coal-fired power plants. The most important events are: the increase of environmental regulations, the surge of natural gas as a cleaner fuel, the operative costs, the aging and the efficiency issue of the coal-fired power plants. However, the decision of the U.S.A. Supreme Court, the 29th of June 2015, suspended the regulation proposals presented by the U.S.A. Environmental Protection Agency concerning the mercury emissions of coal-fired power plants. This decision caused debate and controversy. The main objective of the sustainable approach for electricity generation is to find the blending of fuels that decrease contamination. However, the contradiction of different events in the world poses the challenge to evaluate if the XXI Century will see the end of the coal era. Could the technological breakthroughs like the Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) and the development of other Clean Energy Technologies on Coal (CCT) stop this trend or, will the financial and environmental profitability of coal help it to remain in the energy mix?