New Technology Magazine

Efforts To Develop Carbon Capture Technology Waning: Global CCS White Paper

The Coal Utilization Research Council (CURC) and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) have released a study titled Analysis of Options for Funding Large Pilot Scale Testing of Advanced Fossil-Based Power Generation Technologies with Carbon Capture.

The paper is the product of an effort led by CURC pursuant to a contract with NEDO of Japan and as a component of the continuing collaboration between NEDO and the U.S. Department of Energy. Other participants to the study include Natural Resources Canada and the Korean Institute of Energy Research of the Republic of Korea.

“With global climate threats on the rise and increasing use of fossil fuels to generate electricity especially in the developing world, the need for cost-effective carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology could not be greater. The study documents the global CCS development efforts underway and the enormous challenges to further progress,” states the Washington, D.C. representative of NEDO – Hiro Hatada.

David Mohler, deputy assistant secretary for Clean Coal and Carbon Management of the U.S. Department of Energy, commented: “A number of technologies under development, including several supported by the Department, are ready for pilot scale application. Government and industry support are essential to the execution of this next technology step. The white paper describes the challenges we are facing and also emphasizes the need for international cooperation and collaboration if we are to accelerate efforts in time to meet U.S. and global climate goals.”

The paper describes the status of technology demonstrations worldwide and provides a list of lessons learned from both successful and abandoned CCS technology projects. Significantly, government and industry efforts to develop carbon dioxide capture and storage technology appears to be waning. Findings in the report document only three on-going coal related CCS demonstrations underway, all being pursued in North America. Until recently, scores of CCS projects had been announced but pursuit has been slowed or abandoned.

“Substantially greater financial and other national resource commitments must be made worldwide if we are to realize the promise of developing carbon capture technologies,” said Shannon Angielski, executive director of CURC. “This study draws attention to the fact that abundant and inexpensive natural gas, regulatory uncertainty facing the coal industry and flat electricity demand have combined all at once to greatly soften interest in technology development in the U.S.”

The report follows a 2015 workshop conducted by CURC that addressed U.S. industry viewpoints on what is necessary to develop advanced fossil-based power generation with CCS at a large pilot scale. A companion white paper to the study released this week is expected to be drafted for release in 2017. That paper is intended to set forth specific recommendations to facilitate financial and other contributions from multiple countries and organizations in order to plan, construct and operate international CCS pilot plant projects.

The New Energy and Technology Development Organization plays an important part in Japan's economic and industrial policies as one of the largest public research and development management organizations. It has two basic missions: addressing energy and global environmental problems, and enhancing industrial technology.

The Coal Utilization Research Council is an industry advocacy group organized to promote the research, development, demonstration and deployment of technology that will enable the long term use of U.S. coal supplies in a cost-effective and environmentally acceptable manner.


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