Posts tagged MIT

Clean coal technology by the numbers

By now, you’ve probably seen our Clean Coal Technology map on the America’s PowerSM Web site. From the map, we know that there’s more than $12 billion in clean coal research in 43 states, even some not normally associated with coal production.

Those are some pretty impressive numbers. I’ve come up with a list of other interesting figures to illustrate the commitment that government and energy organizations are putting into the commercial deployment of clean coal technology.

Take a look:

• There are officially four clean coal projects listed in President Obama’s Clean Coal Power Initiative.

• Obama’s administration is pushing to have “five to 10” commercial clean coal power plants operating as demonstration projects by 2016.

• The U.S. Department of Energy manages more than 300 active research and development projects spanning a wide range of fossil fuels, including coal.

• Of those projects, 70 are focused on carbon sequestration technology.

• According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s latest database, there are 46 active carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects across the globe, including countries like China, the United Arab Emirates and Australia.

Fifteen of the projects mentioned above are located in the U.S.

• More than 60 organizations and institutions have partnered with the World Resources Institute to develop safe practices for CCS, including Harvard University, Southern Company and the Argonne National Laboratory.

These numbers show that people understand coal’s value as an abundant, affordable fuel source. They also demonstrate the extent to which they’re investing in clean coal research and are working to deploy carbon capture and sequestration. For even more figures, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s fossil fuel database.

MIT making waves in CCS research


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been in the news a lot lately. Last month, President Obama delivered a speech on clean energy at the university. And last week, MIT president Susan Hockfield told Bloomberg News that the federal government needs to invest more in energy research.

We’re likely to hear more about MIT in the coming months. It’s a crucial time for energy innovation, and the university is at the forefront of some of the latest technological breakthroughs in clean coal technology.

At MIT’s Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program, researchers have been focused on developing carbon sequestration from the technical, economic and political perspectives since 1989.

According to the program’s Web site, “Interest has been increasing in the carbon sequestration option because it is very compatible with the large energy production and delivery system now in place” and is a way to help significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Its current research projects – sponsored by energy companies such as BP, StatoilHydro and Siemens – include strategies for implementing carbon capture and storage (CCS), policies for promoting CCS innovation and costs of commercial deployment.

The Web site has a comprehensive list of links to CCS organizations and regional partnerships, an interactive map of CCS projects around the world and, in case you would ever need it, a CO2 Thermophysical Property Calculator.

‘We’ve got to get back into the business of making stuff’

The lack of government investment in energy research is increasing the risk to national security and hindering the creation of breakthrough energy technologies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology President Susan Hockfield told Bloomberg News last week.

As we approach Veterans Day, her message could not have rung truer. Hockfield said that the Obama administration’s request for $6.7 billion in U.S. energy-research funds “isn’t enough to move the U.S. toward energy independence.” (Her institution was the site of President Obama’s speech last month to highlight the nation’s need for clean energy.)

In order to create this technology, the government needs to invest in the research and development. And private industry wants to pitch in and lend a helping hand to its innovation.

More funding could build more robust public-private partnerships. Companies behind carbon capture and storage projects, such as Dominion’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County, Va., and American Electric Power’s Mountaineer project in New Haven, W.Va., are already seeking federal stimulus funding to ensure more efficient generation of our most abundant energy supply.

Investing in our domestic energy supply – as Hockfield stressed – is essential to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and gas.

But first, she said, “We’ve got to get back into the business of making stuff.” We agree.

We hope Obama’s clean energy message inspires movement toward CCT

This afternoon, President Obama is scheduled to deliver an address on clean energy to an audience of students and faculty members at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As he speaks about the nation’s energy future, we will listen for his support of clean coal technology (CCT) and the placement of affordable energy costs for consumers.

Congress has included provisions in the climate legislation to fund CCT, and we are also encouraged by recent remarks from U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu supporting carbon capture and sequestration initiatives. At the end of the day, we hope Obama’s speech inspires lawmakers to support a bill that will create an innovative and cost-effective energy plan, bring CCT to the global marketplace and secure our energy independence by relying on coal to meet our growing energy demands.