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Coal gasification for electricity: A multibillion-dollar failure

September 01, 2017
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Key Findings

The technology used in coal gasification plants—known as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC)—poses major risks to ratepayers and investors alike as the technology remains both unreliable and expensive.

The Kemper and Edwardsport experiments show that Integrated Integrated IGCC technology does not operate as advertised.

Executive Summary

Efforts to gasify coal for power generation have been major failures, technologically and financially.

Only two of the 25 coal-gasification electricity generating plants proposed in the U.S. since 2000 have ever come on line: Southern Company’s Kemper plant in Mississippi and Duke Energy’s Edwardsport plant in Indiana.

Both Kemper and Edwardsport have been economic disasters for consumers and investors alike.

Under pressure from the Mississippi Public Service Commission for having logged billions of dollars in cost overruns at Kemper, the Southern Company affiliate Mississippi Power announced in July 2017 that it will halt coal burning at Kemper. Henceforth the plant will run only on natural gas.

That leaves Edwardsport as the sole remaining plant built in the U.S. in the last decade burning gasified coal to produce power. It is the only modern plant built around "clean coal" gasification technology that continues to be promoted as a viable way to generate electricity but in fact is not.

Please view full report PDF for references and sources.

Press release: IEEFA Report: Costly and Unreliable, Two Multibillion-Dollar American Coal-Gasification Experiments Prove the Case Against Such Projects

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