NCC Report: DOE must develop stronger policy to foster adequate carbon capture and storage

carbon capture facility

The National Coal Council (NCC) today released a new study in response to a request by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. The study, entitled “Fossil Forward – Revitalizing CCS: Bringing Scale & Speed to CCS Deployment,” provides an industry assessment of the progress made by the DOE and others regarding the cost, safety, and technical operation of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCS/CCUS). It provides recommendations to Secretary Moniz on how to advance the deployment of CCS/CCUS on a commercial scale.

“Cities cannot be built without coal. Increasing demand for electricity cannot be met without coal. Energy poverty cannot be eliminated without coal. CCS is the only large scale technology that can mitigate CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use for electricity generation and key industrial sectors.”

NCC Chair, Jeff Wallace (Vice President Fuel Services, Southern Company) said, “In order to meet U.S. economic, energy and environmental goals, power generators are being called upon to enhance the environmental performance of fossil fueled power plants. For coal, that enhanced environmental performance requires the application of CCS/CCUS technology. NCC’s Fossil Forward study addresses critical RD&D and investment needs that must be addressed to advance CCS/CCUS technologies.”

NCC Coal Policy Committee Chair, Fred Palmer (Senior Vice President Government Affairs, Peabody Energy) commented on the valuable role coal plays in power generation and economic development both globally and in the U.S. “Cities cannot be built without coal,” he said. “Increasing demand for electricity cannot be met without coal. Energy poverty cannot be eliminated without coal. CCS is the only large scale technology that can mitigate CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use for electricity generation and key industrial sectors.”

The study recommends that CCS should have policy parity with other low carbon technologies in order to achieve commercial-scale deployment. It also asserts that technology and funding incentives must be significantly better coordinated if they are to be effective, and that a plan is needed to ensure a total of 5-10 GW of CCS/CCUS demonstration project in the U.S. by 2025. The study notes that the DOE program goals require far more clarity and alignment with commercial technologies and financing approaches. Budgetary constraints, as well as the need to move more quickly to advance large-scale CCS projects, dictates a need for the DOE to cull its support for technologies that show a clear promise of meeting or exceeding the Department’s CCS performance goals.

The study continues, saying that the DOE should accelerate its efforts in CCS/CCUS public engagement, education and training activities (especially those targeting counties and states with demonstration projects), and regions with potential infrastructure sites. It also makes clear that control of GHG emissions is an international issue in need of international initiatives, and that international partnerships in commerce should be pursued. Fostering CCS/CCUS demonstration projects in developing nations could provide a low-cost means to increase global knowledge and acceptance of commercial scale CO2 storage.

 

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