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Why ‘Clean Coal’ Remains out of Reach

first_imgWhy ‘Clean Coal’ Remains out of Reach FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Robert Rapier for Forbes:Since the coal industry and utilities that use coal want to continue to exist, they have pushed the clean coal narrative for many years. After all, if there is some hope that this dream is achieved, perhaps the EPA could cut them some slack while they work out the kinks.It’s not so hard to imagine how it would be done. In fact, it’s already been demonstrated many times at a pilot scale. The exhaust from the power plant stack is captured, compressed, and stored underground — either in a cavern or an old oil or gas field.The key challenge has always been one of economics. The capital cost of capturing and compressing those emissions is very high, and the power consumed in compressing the carbon dioxide places a parasitic load on the power plant. Just to compress the emissions can require the electric power requirements of 10% of the plant output, and then it must still be transported to an appropriate site and pumped into the ground. All of these factors drive up the costs to the point that coal power with carbon capture is prohibitively expensive relative to competing ways of producing power.The prohibitive costs are amply demonstrated by the FutureGen project in Illinois. This project was a partnership between the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and an alliance of coal mining and electric utility companies. The project was to be located at the 275 MW Meredosia Power Station in Illinois.FutureGen won $1.1 billion in federal money in 2009, and the project cost was estimated to be $1.65 billion. The DOE spent $202 million on the project, but missed project deadlines and unresolved technology challenges ultimately caused the DOE to pull the plug on the project in 2015.While there are a number of other pilot projects underway around the world, they all suffer from the same basic problem. The costs of competing technologies are close enough to coal that when you try to capture the carbon dioxide emissions it pushes the cost of coal-fired power beyond the competition.Thus, in reality there aren’t any commercial clean coal technologies. It’s very likely there won’t be any. So for countries that have committed to reducing carbon emissions, the pressure to phase out coal will continue to be intense.Full item: The Elusive Search For Clean Coallast_img read more

Curfew imposed on Guinea town after clashes

first_imgGuinea’s authorities have imposed a night curfew on Nzerekore after clashes broke out leaving one person dead.Fighting broke out on Saturday after a campaign visit from President Alpha Conde, who is running for re-election.Supporters of the president clashed with those of his rival Cellou Dalein Diallo in the hotly contested city.Opposition parties have called for Sunday’s election to be postponed over alleged irregularities in the process.Nzerekore is seen to be a stronghold of former military junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara, who recently attempted to return to Guinea from exile to run for president.His party has now entered an alliance with Mr. Diallo.Diallo won the first round in the 2010 election but lost in the run-off against Alpha Conde.In addition to the one fatality, more than 80 people were wounded by gunshots or stones in the fighting.President Conde is facing seven challengers in the second election since the death of the long-serving leader Lansana Conte.last_img read more