Coal is currently the source of 41% of the world's electrical power generation and responsible for 20% of the world's CO2 emissions. In 2006 about 49% of US , 79% of China's, 46% of German, 69% of India's and 77% of Australia's power generation was derived from coal. With the decision by the German government to shut down Germany's nuclear power plants, but still meet the EU's objective of 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050, coal will continue to play a major role in electric power generation and in the world's CO2 emissions.
Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) has been the big hope of the coal industry that would enable coal to continue to be a major source of electric power and at the same time contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. To date there are no successful CCS generation plants in production.
Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) Otway Project has reported that it has successfully stored CO2 underground. After eleven weeks of continuous operations, 60,000 tonnes of CO2 have been injected into a 1500 meter well, "demonstrating that CO2 can be safely stored underground" according to the project leader.
According to the CEO of the CO2CRC, “The key achievement from these experiments has been the development of the world’s first single well test, which can be used to evaluate the carbon dioxide storage capacity of saline storage reservoirs for carbon storage projects around the world."