More evidence that ‘clean coal’ won’t move forward without limits on greenhouse emissions

October 5, 2011 by Ken Ward Jr.

We’ve written before on Coal Tattoo — many times (see here, here and here) — about the fact that continued opposition by the coal industry and its political friends to any limits on greenhouse gas emissions is part of what is sinking any efforts to move forward with carbon capture and storage, or CCS projects.

Now, there’s a new report out from the Global CCS Institute that further makes this important point.

The report is mostly positive, touting things like this:

Through the Institute’s annual projects survey 74 large-scale integrated CCS projects were identified around the world, 14 of which are either operating or under construction. The total CO2 storage capacity of these 14 projects is over 33 million tonnes a year. This is broadly equivalent to preventing the emissions from more than six million cars from entering the atmosphere each year.

Progress is being made on CCS globally. The number of CCS projects in operation or under construction is growing and is likely to continue to grow.

But the report notes that nearly a dozen projects have been canceled or put on hold in the last year, saying:

The most frequently cited reason for a project being put on-hold or cancelled is that it was deemed uneconomic in its current form and policy environment. The lack of financial support to continue to the next stage of project development and uncertainty regarding carbon abatement policies were critical factors that led several project proponents to reprioritise their investments, either within their CCS portfolio or to alternative technologies.

And, importantly for the coal industry in Appalachia, the report noted:

In the case of the Mountaineer power project, American Electric Power cited regulatory and policy uncertainties as key factors contributing to its decision not to progress to the Execute stage.

Among other things, the report concludes:

Substantial, timely and stable policy support, including a carbon price signal, is needed for CCS to be demonstrated and then broadly deployed. This in turn will give industry confidence to continue to invest in CCS and drive innovation.

One Response to “More evidence that ‘clean coal’ won’t move forward without limits on greenhouse emissions”

  1. Meto30 says:

    According to the NEEDS database, WV has 40 coal units. Their average service date is 1967; over half of them were put in service before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. The amount of waste from these inefficient plants is huge. We would probably do better replacing these coal units with more efficeint supercritical ones like Longview. The savings in fuel use and emissions would probably dwarf any of the sequestering efforts currently underway.

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