Europe’s coal ‘can be clean’, says industry

A project co-funded by the European Commission and the coal industry claims coal has a role in reaching the EU’s climate neutrality targets, but green groups have slammed the idea.

At a coal technology event in Brussels, the European Association for Coal and Lignite (EURACOAL) made the case for the fossil fuel in the energy mix, and how it could adapt to the EU’s climate neutral goal. The workshop was part of “CoalTech2051”, a commission-funded project to research clean coal. 

Most emphasis was placed on carbon capture and storage and carbon capture utilisation (CCUS) techniques.

An example of a potential “circular carbon economy” concept was given by Jens Hannes, research and development lead at RWE Power, which tests converting emissions from the lignite-fired power station in Niederaussem, Germany into methanol. “This isn’t about coal anymore, it’s about using the carbon,” said Hannes.  

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