Increasing demand for energy production with low impact on the environment and minimised fuel consumption can be met with high efficient coal fired power plants with advanced steam parameters. An important key to this improvement is the development of high temperature materials with optimised mechanical strength. Based on the results of more than ten years of development a coal fired power plant with an efficiency above 50 % can now be realised. Future developments focus on materials which enable an efficiency of 52-55 %. (orig.) 25 refs.