13 October 2009

Our Coal-Fired Future

Think the world is going to stop burning coal? Doesn't look like it:
The world will need to have 100 large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects by 2020, with thousands more built over the following three decades, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. "We will need 100 large scale projects by 2020, 850 by 2030 and 3,400 in 2050," Nobuo Tanaka told a CCS conference in London . . .

The IEA estimates $56 billion of investment will be needed in CCS globally from 2010-2020, followed by $646 billion from 2021 to 2030.
Thanks JA for the link!


  1. In the same article, under the heading "Copenhagen Success"...

    "Talks on the new U.N. climate deal made little progress at a two-week session that ended in Bangkok last week, partly because of disputes between rich and poor nations about sharing out the burden of curbs on greenhouse gas emissions."

    So how, exactly, does the editor of that story choose that header?

  2. 1) We will, most certainly, continue burning coal for hundreds of years to come -- especially in the USA.


    Start with the fact that the USA is sitting on 27% of the world’s estimated recoverable coal (and, an ever expanding amount of recoverable natural gas).

    France, by the way, has virtually no hydrocarbon resources (and, was thereby forced to go nuclear).

    2) That said, CCS is a fantasy! It will NEVER HAPPEN!

    Nor is there any valid reason why it should.

    CCS -- just like Cap and Trade -- is nothing but an excuse to bankrupt our electricity providers, create yet another national crisis and -- in response to the crisis -- nationalize the entire energy sector (and resume burning coal).

  3. CCS is a huge waste of money, time and effort. Might as well capture the 'poisons' O2 and H2O as well!

  4. The IEA estimates are only the capital costs for building the CCS plants.

    They will also add operating costs of trillions of dollars a year to the price of the energy they produce, over and above the fuel costs!

    That's why "Irrigated afforestation of the Sahara and Australian
    Outback to end global warming":


    is a better way to go!

  5. I agree with Paul Biggs that CCS is a waste of money. I would rather see the USA spend money on something more realistic, like boosting our Nuclear from 20% to 50%, and switching to recycling our nuclear waste (like France does). I am guessing that this would either slow our rate of increase of carbon output, or hold it steady.

    It seems like we have the technology to do this as fast as we can build nuclear plants, while wind and solar (large scale) seems like pie in the sky to me.