Friday, August 13, 2010

Clean Coal Still Years Away

Earlier this year, Barack Obama established the Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage to look at the technology's feasibility. Carbon capture and storage (or CCS), also known as "clean coal," involves digging coal out of the ground, burning it and pumping the resulting CO2 back into the ground. The task force has issued a report that is not encouraging for proponents of the technology:
While there are no insurmountable technological, legal, institutional, regulatory or other barriers that prevent CCS from playing a role in reducing GHG emissions, early CCS projects face economic challenges related to climate policy uncertainty, first-of-a-kind technology risks, and the current high cost of CCS relative to other technologies. Administration analyses of proposed climate change legislation suggest that CCS technologies will not be widely deployed in the next two decades absent financial incentives that supplement projected carbon prices. In addition to the challenges associated with cost, these projects will need to meet regulatory requirements that are currently under development.
The report concludes that several demonstration projects could come online in six years.

I'll be discussing CCS and other energy issues with Allan Loudell of WDEL, 1150 AM, at 5:54 this evening.

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