Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lets analyze Coal's future

Carbon capture could become commercial within 10-15 years. And while it holds the potential to significantly cut heat-trapping emissions, it may be noticeably more expensive than current technologies and thereby cause consumers to pay more.

According to the Government Accountability Office, current carbon capture and sequestration technologies would increase the cost of power by 30 percent to 80 percent, albeit it has greater potential to reduce carbon emissions than other ideas. The alternative to such progressive technologies is one that centers on improving efficiency gains, or reducing the amount of coal that is burned so as to limit emission levels. But those "ultra-supercritical" generation technologies are expensive and may only be worth it if the nation attaches a price to carbon and therefore increases the costs of coal. Otherwise, utilities may find it cheaper to build natural gas plants and particularly if the price of such fuel remains relatively low.

Coal now generates about half of all electricity in this country. By 2035 -- and because of pressures to reduce the level of harmful emissions -- it is expected to provide about 44 percent of all such power, says the U.S. Department of Energy. Coal now accounts for about a third of all carbon dioxide emissions. To that end, the Energy Department will spend $600 million to help commercialize advanced coal generation technologies.
Source: Ken Silverstein, EnergyBiz Insider, Editor-in-Chief

You might wonder, hey what about the "clean" coal technology that you see the ads for all the time?

Well according to IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme CO2 Capture and Storage Database; Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program at MIT, CO2 Capture and Storage Project Database, "There are no homes in America powered by 'clean' coal."

Clean coal technology is a marketing term used to describe technologies being developed that aim to reduce the environmental impact of coal energy generation.

If thats not enough, according to the article “Big Coal Campaigning to Keep Its Industry on Candidates' Minds,” Wall Street Journal, Oct. 20, 2008 (link); IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme CO2 Capture and Storage Database (link); Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program at MIT, CO2 Capture and Storage Project Database (link): "The coal industry is spending millions advertising 'clean' coal, but not a single 'clean' coal power plant exists in the U.S. today."

"While you might have heard the phrase ‘clean’ coal during the presidential campaign, it's actually an oxymoron." Brian Williams, NBC News, Nov 18, 2008 (video)

Source: You can find more fun facts and quotes about "clean" coal by -------> clicking here

Take a look at these facts about Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Click here
Decide for yourself: what is the future of coal?

Here is the clean coal's dirty little secret:

And on the other hand, maybe coal IS clean

My opinion: Coal is not going anywhere, anytime soon. But, we can change this!

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