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Is Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Technology putting Lipstick on the Coal Pig

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Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Technology is akin to putting Lipstick on a Pig (read Coal Power Plants).This Technology which has been hyped as the Green Answer to Coal’s Dirty Polluting Ways has never been proven on a commercial scale .Note the British Government promising CCS with every new Coal Plant.Despite numerous large pilot projects,the Technology remains immature.Even China which gets 80% of its electricity from Coal Power Plants and is the biggest emitter of GHGs,remains skeptical of this technology.Note US utilities like Duke Energy are looking at China for progress for Clean Technology as Coal faces increasing opposition in the developed markets.According to the chief technology officer of China’s largest utility the Huaneng Group,the first plants to use CCS won’t be running till 2015,only after which it can be considered a viable weapon against Climate Change.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in my opinion does not make much sense as a technology to fight Global Warming despite IEA’s Thumbs Up.CCS is like putting a patch on leaking pipe rather than replacing it.It makes more sense to invest R&D Money on other technology with better ROI .Note a number of CCS projects have been announced the biggest being the one Gorgon LNG Project in Australia.This massive $50 billion project will spend around Australian $2 Billion in storing the 3.5 million tons of Carbon Dioxide under the Barrow Island.Note there is no large scale commercial implementation of CCS till now.CCS Technology is estimated to double the cost of the generated coal power.With Solar Prices continuously dropping due to rapidly improving Technology,I think their is very high probability that by 2020 Solar Power will be cheaper than CCS generated coal power making the technology obsolete.

China awaits proof to back carbon capture: officials – Reuters

China’s plans for energy are unlikely to offer direct support for carbon capture technologies as Beijing remains wary about their cost and feasibility, industry officials said on Wednesday.

Xu Shisen, chief engineer at the science and technology center of state-owned China Huaneng Group, the country’s biggest utility, said policy makers were likely to wait until carbon capture and storage (CCS) had been tested on a commercial scale before offering any substantial policy support.

Overseas utilities like Duke Energy and American Electric Power, facing possible CO2 abatement bills at home, are counting on Beijing to lead the global effort to develop CCS, but Xu said it was still too early to tell whether or not the technology was commercially viable.

“It’s meaningless right now to talk about commercialization, no matter what country you are in. Once demonstration projects are up and running after 2015, the U.S. and Chinese governments can make policies and decide on subsidies,” he said.

“The government needs proof — is the technology really mature?”


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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