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Fossil Energy Assistant Secretary “Optimistic” about future of coal

Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg said that because of the Trump Administration’s energy policies, “We have reason to be optimistic about coal.” In a keynote speech at the Washington Coal Club’s annual awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., Assistant Secretary Winberg noted that the “Administration truly understands the value and the necessity of coal—and the coal industry,” he said. He also stressed the potential of technology to ensure coal’s competitiveness in the U.S. energy mix.

“We are at the beginning of the next cycle of coal technology advancements—and we have the opportunity to make great strides in efficiency and cost improvements to the existing coal fleet, and to accelerate the development of transformational technologies.”

The 300-member non-profit Washington Coal Club was established in 1982 as a forum for discussion of issues that impact the coal industry.  Its membership includes US industry executives, academia, policymakers, and legislators. Winberg made his remarks after accepting the Club’s Annual Achievement Award on behalf of Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. 

Winberg highlighted the Energy Department’s research on advanced clean coal technologies, including supercritical CO2 power cycles that can reduce the size and cost of future coal-fired power plants, while improving their efficiency. In addition, he outlined some of the research the Department is pursuing to upgrade the Nation’s existing fleet of coal power plants, including improvements to turbines, boilers, and other critical components. 

Winberg also discussed early research now underway to extract critical rare earth elements (REE) from coal and coal by-products, noting that three Department-led projects recently found high levels of REEs in various coal samples.

“This is exciting research, and it could lead to a whole new value proposition for coal—and to new industries and jobs in coal country,” he said.

Published by World Coal, December 27, 2017

This month's top international coal headlines

  • Roadmap to nowhere: the myth of powering the nation 100% with renewable energy — Energy Post
  • CIF ARA coal markets stagnant despite early morning deal — Platts CTI
  • China buying, India struggling — Platts CTI
  • Komipo buys 130,000 mt of South African coal — Platts CTI
  • Atlantic thermal coal trading limited as prices drop — Platts CTI
  • Coal prices face moderate correction — Platts CTI
  • South African coal competitively priced to India — Platts CTI
  • Slack demand keeps CIF ARA coal trading light — Platts CTI
  • Steam coal prices look overcooked — McCloskey Coal Report
  • Indian buyers resist rising South African market — Platts CTI
  • Global primary energy demand — World Coal
  • South African, US coals flow to India — Platts CTI
  • Vessels delayed at Richards Bay Coal Terminal: cFlow — Platts CTI
  • Steam Coal Outlook 2018 & Beyond — Coal Asia

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