Innovative technologies could reduce the cost of energy from both gas combined heat and power (CHP) and coal plants.
They can also help them more compete with cleaner power sources on the global energy market, according to a report by KIC InnoEnergy.
It analysed 40 European combustion system innovations and highlighted 28 with the potential to reduce the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) by 17% in gas CHP and 27% in coal-fired power plants by 2025.
The report established these future costs based on elements of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) as well as annual energy production.
It found innovations that reduced OPEX in CHP plants were in engine mechanical design and in boosting systems. The introduction of hybrid fuel combustion is anticipated to reduce LCOE by nearly 6%.
In the case of clean coal, reduced fuel OPEX is achieved through innovations that enable the use of lower cost fuel and waste products, the report added.
The three major innovations were thermal pre-treatment of biomass and waste-based fuels, hybrid fuel combustion and modification.
Marcin Lewenstein, KIC InnoEnergy Thematic Field Leader, Clean Coal and Clean Gas Technologies said: “The findings are paramount in showing how we can help improve the running and LCOE of existing infrastructure. The technologies identified will have a big impact in limiting coal emissions, making sure systems are safe and adapt to market challenges.”