Forecasts of coal fired boiler capacity for each country of the world are continually revised and displayed. Comprehensive analyses reveal the environmental, demand, political and other factors providing the basis of the forecast. Monthly updates have specific new generator plans. Separate forecasts for super critical, sub critical, CFB, and IGCC are provided.
World coal-fired power generation capacity will rise from 1.3 million MW in 2006, to 1.7 million MW in 2011, and to 2.7 million MW in 2030. This will require more than 1.7 million MW of new coal-fired construction to account for retirements as well as growth. The investment in these new plants will exceed $2.5 trillion.
Substantial changes in the price of natural gas, the support for stringent greenhouse gas reductions and many other factors could quickly alter the situation. For example, the revelation recently by NASA that thinning of the aerosol layer by as much as 20 percent in the last three decades could be a major cause of global warming raises uncertainty as to the net contribution of coal-fired plants.
The rise in coal consumption will not be proportionate to the rise in capacity. New plants will use less coal per kWh than the units they replace. Supercritical units are now the choice over subcritical units for new plants. Ultra supercritical units represent a further improvement in efficiency.
Co-firing of biomass and coal is another trend. First in Europe and then elsewhere, biomass will often replace up to 10 percent of the coal. It will be introduced either along with the coal or as a gas injected above the primary combustion zone where it will serve to reduce NOx as well as provide additional fuel.
China will build an unprecedented number of coal-fired plants in 2005-2011, bringing coal-fired capacity from just under the U.S. capacity now to over twice the U.S. capacity by 2011. This requires an average addition of over 45,000 MW/year. in the short-term. Coal-fired generation additions in 2011-2030 are predicted to average 25,000 MW per year. This will result in coal-fired capacity in 2030 of over one million MW.