and that a sustained program of RDD&C for coal technologies is important for the economic, environmental, and security interests of the United States.

The strategic planning framework identified two priority areas for the DOE coal program: (1) conversion of coal to electricity, representing the principal market for coal for all planning periods, but particularly in the mid- to long-term periods; and (2) conversion of coal to liquid and low- and medium-Btu gaseous fuels, in the mid to long-term. EPACT requirements for coal use emphasize the need for high-efficiency, low environmental impacts, and competitive costs. These needs are generally consistent with DOE's objectives for coal RDD&C, as defined in the most recent planning documents (DOE, 1993a, 1994a). The DOE planning horizon, however, currently extends only to 2010. Specific objectives have been formulated for that period for advanced power systems and advanced fuel systems. These objectives are discussed below in the sections on electric power generation and clean fuels from coal.

  1. DOE's strategic planning objectives for coal technology RDD&C currently extend only through the year 2010, even though coal will continue to be a major source of energy well beyond that period.
  2. The most important strategic objectives for coal RDD&C programs are to support the development of (a) advanced coal-based electric power systems that are considerably more efficient and cleaner than current commercial systems and which will be needed beginning in the near to mid-term; and (b) advanced coal-based fuel and coproduct systems that can be used to replace conventional oil and gas in the mid- to long-term periods.
  1. *The planning horizon for DOE coal RDD&C programs should extend beyond the agency's current planning horizon of 2010. The committee recommends the use of three time periods for strategic planning: near-term (1995-2005), mid-term (2006-2020), and long-term (2021-2040). The main objective of DOE's coal program in all periods should be to provide the basis for technological solutions to likely future demands in a way that is robust and flexible.


Coal preparation—or cleaning—is a widely used commercial process for removing mineral matter from as-mined coal to produce a higher-quality product.


Asterisks (*) identify the most important recommendations.

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