A technology roadmap for high efficiency low emissions coal power plant, CCC/309

Light trails on a German autobahn a power station in the background. Image: IndustryAndTravel, Bigstock


As coal-fired power plants remain a dominant source of electricity worldwide, particularly for emerging economies, it is imperative to maximise the deployment of high efficiency, low emissions (HELE) coal technologies over the coming decades. Uptake of some HELE technologies is on course with targets set by the last technology roadmap in 2012, but there is an urgent need to build on this progress in order to minimise the environmental impact of the existing and planned coal fleet. This updated roadmap briefly reviews the status, deployment trends, and research and development targets for key HELE technologies. These include high-efficiency designs for new plants, such as ultrasupercritical (USC) and advanced USC steam parameters, integrated gasification combined cycles (IGCC) and fuel cells (IGFC), and supercritical CO2 cycles, as well as strategies for reducing the carbon intensity of existing units, including efficiency and flexibility upgrading, biomass cofiring, and carbon capture. Developments in abatement technologies for air pollutants including particulates, SO2, NOx, and mercury are also addressed. A review of the drivers and barriers for the deployment of HELE technologies outlines overarching policy, market, and financial factors, followed by more detailed case studies of experiences in China, India, Japan, Indonesia, and Germany. Based on this analysis, a roadmap of targets for future technology development and appropriate policy actions is presented.


A Technology Roadmap for High Efficiency, Low Emissions Coal Power Plant

Report Author(s)

Toby Lockwood

Report Number




Publication date

2 March 2021