Energy security and the role of coal
AUTHOR: John Kessels, Stefan Bakker, Bas Wetzelaer
DATE: February 2008
Security of energy supply is a major concern for OECD and developing countries, such as China and India. The long-term supply security depends to a large extent on the primary energy sources a country or region uses with energy conversion and demand also important. Recognising that the current international context has widely diverging views on energy security this study examines the role of coal and energy security policy. A major element of the study is assessing the effectiveness of other energy supply options versus coal and the impact of coal utilisation on the energy security situation of important world regions. This is undertaken by developing scenarios in which more coal or more renewables are used compared to the baseline for several world regions and analysing the impact on different indictors for energy security of supply.
The impact of increased coal utilisation on coal markets is studied qualitatively. The study also examines the link between improving security of supply with countries that have high ash coal such as China and India through new utilisation methods and the existence and development of clean coal technologies. It is concluded that substituting primary energy sources such as oil and gas with coal or renewable energy will increase energy security of supply for most world regions, but that diversity in primary energy sources may decrease.