Since 50% of the electric power in the US is generated by pulverized-coal-fired power plants and 95% of the US fossil fuel reserves are coal, immediate action should be taken to improve coal-fired power plant performance. The DOE has started a program to develop most efficient coal-fired power plants with the goal to reach 60% net power plant efficiency. Present coal-fired power plants are mainly designed and built more than 30 years ago with a net power plant efficiency of about 32%. We should not wait for a general application of a future technology with the potential of reaching the 60% net efficiency level of coal-fired power plants. We must take action today and build more advanced pulverized-coal-fired power plants based on a technology, which has already gained operating experience and is commercially available. This paper shows how such power plants can be built as new units or as units replacing outdated units. A power plant net efficiency of 45% can be achieved even with highly effective emission reduction systems already included. The 40% lower specific coal consumption of these plants over present units reduces also the CO2 discharge by the same magnitude. Coal-fired power plants can also be designed for proving high operating flexibility. They can support the grid system in case of grid disturbances and can also stay at idle operation after full-load rejections for immediate reloading. Therefore, blackouts can be avoided. This paper provides detailed information on how to build such advanced pulverized-coal-fired power plants.

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