The Economist (4/23): “[U.S. Energy Secretary Steven] Chu’s policy shift that axed research on hydrogen cars simultaneously poured $1 billion of stimulus money into a clean-coal project called FutureGen that the Bush administration abandoned in 2008. Though it appears to all intents and purposes like a state-of-the-art power station, FutureGen is actually a huge hydrogen production facility in disguise.”
Roll Call (4/27): “In late May, [Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.)] is also expected to visit China on official business. According to a letter signed by Gordon, the delegation will meet with the chairman of the National People’s Congress Science, Education, Culture and Public Health Committee to discuss ‘renewable energy along with a look at China’s work on clean coal and space and aeronautics issues.’”
Calgary Herald (4/27): “In passing Bill 50, the Alberta government appears to have entrenched coal as the dominant fuel source for power generation in the province because it supports the infrastructure of power being generated in the north — by coal plants — and shipped southward. Alberta already is among the largest per capita emitters of CO2 and supporting additional coal-fired electricity by building more transmissions lines appears to go against where [Canada Minister of the Environment Jim] Prentice is heading.”
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, The Daily Mail (4/29): “We want to make Virginia the East Coast energy leader with nuclear, coal. We think we have the chance to bring the first American reactor online in 13 years…We’re building a coal-fired electric generating plant in Wise County and have another in consideration in Surry County. And we have the largest coal export terminal in the United States.”
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, The Hindu (4/29): “I agree with you absolutely that China and India are not going to turn their back on coal, and so we have to develop the technologies that can use coal cleanly…The United States, quite frankly, I don’t believe will turn its back on coal as well. So we need to develop these clean coal technologies.”
There has been a shift in the climate discussion of late. More than ever, people are talking more about environmental policy in terms of strengthening energy security and stabilizing our economy.
Many people understand that part of the answer must depend on the commercial deployment of clean coal technology – not only will it help solve the climate change issue, it has other added benefits.
Clean coal can protect and create jobs and increase our energy security while reducing the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. Even better, we’ve already got carbon capture and storage demonstration projects in operation all over the country.
Now it’s a matter of fleshing out the details on funding and innovation. Public-private partnerships are crucial to both, and the energy conversation will be centered on these two points in the upcoming months as potential climate legislation picks up steam.
What’s your take on the issue?
Scientists and engineers know that coal is going to be a part of our energy portfolio for many decades to come – but they also understand we need to deploy emissions-cutting technologies in order to continue using it.
That’s why the Center for Energy at the University of Pittsburgh is heavily focused on developing the most cutting-edge innovations for fossil fuels in addition to renewables like wind and solar. Pitt researchers want to push the envelope for cleaner, more efficient coal-based electricity generation.
Just take a look at their clean coal initiatives – they include converting coal to clean energy sources, cleanly combusting coal, storing carbon dioxide underground and creating new sensors for more efficient fossil fuel plants.
Here are some more projects that the Center is working on. Click on each link to read about its concept, benefits and technical approach:
• CO2 Capture from Power Generation Facilities Using Novel Physical Solvents
• Reflection Seismic Imaging: Advanced Seismic Processing and Survey Minimization Related to CO2 Sequestration
As you can see, the Center’s clean coal initiatives cover different parts of the energy cycle, from pre-combustion to post-combustion. It’s good to know that people are approaching the technology from across the spectrum. Support the Center for Energy and become a fan of the University of Pittsburgh on Facebook.