It is widely accepted that coal gasification combined-cycle plants represent an environmentally superior alternative to conventional coal fired power plants with flue gas desulfurization. Purpose of this paper is to show that technology is available for all steps required to convert coal to electricity, including treatment of waste streams. Based on examples for power plants in the 200–800 MW range using current and as well as advanced gas turbines, it is shown that under both European and US-conditions cost of electricity from this (new) route of coal based power generation is certainly no higher — and probably even lower — than from conventional PC (pulverized coal) power plants equipped with equivalent environmental control technology. Thus, this technology is likely to be a prime contributor when it comes to enhance environmental acceptability of power plants in general, and to help solve the acid rain problem in particular.

In addition the versatility of the proposed technology for repowering, decentralized application and district heat system is explained.

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