November 26, 2018 Read More →

The progress of a commercial carbon capture technology

Wyoming Public Media:

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has been a source of hope for coal country and touted by the Trump Administration as a way to keep the coal industry alive, while reducing its emissions. CCS aims to remove carbon dioxide from significant fossil-fuel emitting sites like power plants – it then either be stored or eventually used to develop products. But one report questions if its development is too slow to have a mainstream impact.

A report from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a non-profit focused on renewable energy, argues that carbon capture technology is still too expensive. Dennis Wamsted, associate editor of the report, said that’s even after billions in investment along with support from the federal government — not to mention multiple test facilities around the country and Canada. One of those test facilities is The Department of Energy’s carbon capture program administered through the Office of Fossil Energy.

Wamsted said test facilities have been unable to bring down the cost; consequentially, resulting in a significantly higher price of energy produced per megawatt/hour. He said, with increasingly competitive natural gas and renewables, it wouldn’t make sense for power plants to afford retrofits resulting in higher production costs.

“If you add more costs to the coal industry it makes the economics almost impossible,” he said.

Wamsted said the equation just gets more difficult when you consider the average age of today’s coal fleet.

“The bulk of the coal plants in the U.S. are more than 40 years old. In five years, if somebody starts to consider putting a carbon capture technology on a coal plant, you’ve just gone five years further down the road,” Wamsted said.

The Progress of A Commercial Carbon Capture Technology

Posted in: IEEFA In the News

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