Harry Perry Director of Cool Research, Bureau of Mines, U.S. Dept. of the lnterior, Washington, D.
By 1980, the free world's need for economic sources of energy is expected to double. As a result, there will be a tremendous potential for all energy sources working together to supply the demand. For coal to continue its dominant role as a low-cost energy source, means must be found for it to meet the challenge of nuclear power and to overcome obstacles placed on its use by air and water pollution regulations. As the more limited reserves of gas and oil diminish, economic ways are also required for converting coal to synthetic liquid and gaseous fuels, and to chemicals, thus resulting in optimum utility of the most abundant low-cost fuel resource. The means for accomplishing these ends can only come about by a vigorous research and development program. Successful efforts by industry and government working together, both in America and abroad, will assure the continued use of coal to meet the world's energy demands. This paper discusses the emerging patterns of energy sources throughout the world and the role that research and development on coal will play in supplying future energy requirements.