Reality Looms for
Carbon Capture

Two recent bulletins on 'Carbon Capture' projects, usually known as 'Clean Coal' .

American Electric Power, one of the largest utility companies in the U.S., has said that it is abandoning plans to build a carbon sequestration plant capable of capturing the emissions of a nearby 30 year-old coal-fired power plant.

Company officials said they were dropping the $668 million project because they did not believe state regulators would let the company recover its costs by charging customers. There was therefore no reason to continue the program.

14 July 2011

Clean Coal is a pioneering technology where carbon emissions are captured from a fossil fuel plant and piped into storage caverns.

No full-scale plant has ever been built, so the science remains unproven.

The government, unperturbed, decided some years ago that all new coal-fired power stations in Britain should have to incorporate carbon capture and storage. The reason: tightening environmental laws designed to "tackle climate change".

However, a more recent government pronouncement, whilst continuing to promote Carbon Capture, hints at a change of tone.

It said clean coal is "not a dead concept", and that it will make 1bn available to developers in a new competition.

So this is how part of our official energy policy, 'no new coal stations without Carbon Capture', is to be decided. By the outcome of a competition.

You couldn't make it up.

Two previous carbon capture projects at E.ON's plant in Kingsnorth and RWE npower's plant in Tilbury have been abandoned for reasons of expense. There are now few sites left in the UK where an attempt at carbon capture might be made.

SSE's Peterborough gas plant is still pursuing carbon capture plans and there is another company, 2Co, which is trying to develop a different type of "clean coal" known as pre-combustion.

20 Oct 2011

      In the view of this website the technology is another scheme put forward by politicians who have little understanding of our energy needs or resources. The one good thing about spending on CCS is that less money will be available for wind power. - Ed.

ND/ habitat21, 18 Nov 2011

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