CO2 capture (CC) using hot K2CO3 solvent in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant is a promising technology for CO2 emission reduction. Based on pilot scale trials, an innovative IGCC system with CC using hot K2CO3 solvent is proposed, in which the intercooling heat between CO2 compressors is recovered for CO2 regeneration (IGCC + CC + HR). Thermodynamic performance and exergy and energy utilization diagram (EUD) analysis are presented. Results show that recovery of the intercooling heat between CO2 compressors reduces the steam extraction requirement from turbines for CO2 regeneration by around 18% and enhances the efficiency of IGCC with CO2 capture (IGCC + CC) plant by 0.3–0.7 percentage points. With 90% CC, the efficiency of the IGCC + CC + HR plant is around 35.4% which is higher than IGCC + CC plant using Selexol technology. Compared to IGCC, the energy penalty for CC in IGCC + CC + HR plant is mainly caused by the exergy losses in CO2 separation (45.2%), water gas shift (WGS) (28.5%), combined cycle (20.7%) and CO2 compression units (5.6%). EUD analysis shows that the IGCC + CC + HR plant realizes good match of the energy levels between the intercooling heat and the recovered steam for CO2 regeneration, thereby obviously reducing the exergy losses in CO2 compression and separation units and improving the plant efficiency. The results presented in this paper confirm the sources causing the energy penalty for CC in IGCC power plant and the new IGCC + CC + HR system helps to reduce the energy penalty for CC in IGCC power plant based on solvent technologies.