More dirty-coal plants coming to US despite global warming

Wed, 2007-02-21 10:46Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

More dirty-coal plants coming to US despite global warming

Power companies plan to build about 150 coal plants over the next few years to meet growing electricity demand, but almost none will be built to control carbon emissions despite expectations climate-change rules are coming.

Worried environmentalists put their faith in a technology that gasifies coal before burning, while utility officials say gasification is too expensive and unreliable, and their pulverized coal plants can be equipped later to trap emissions.

But technical experts are dubious of both. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study, scheduled for release soon, concludes in a draft it isn’t clear which technology — the so-called ‘integrated gasification combined cycle or pulverized coal — will allow for the easiest carbon capture, because so much engineering work remains to be done.

“Other than recommending that new coal combustion units should be built with the highest efficiency that is economically justifiable, we do not believe that a clear preference for one technology or the other can be justified,” the draft concludes. The M.I.T. study said it was critical that government “not fall into the trap of picking a technology ‘winner.’ ”

Meanwhile, TXU Corporation of Dallas is planning a fleet of huge new coal plants of the pulverized variety. This week, a Texas District court judge blocked a plan by the governor to “fast track” TXU’s application.

In Austin, Tex., Tom Smith, a researcher at Public Citizen, who is helping lead the opposition, said, “It’s clear that coal gasification is by far preferable to building traditional pulverized coal plants.” Getting carbon out of the gas stream before combustion must be easier, Mr. Smith said, because post-combustion gases in a pulverized-coal plant are 160 times as great.

Some utility executives agree. David Crane, chief executive of NRG Energy, said at some point engineers might work out an economical way to capture carbon after combustion in a pulverized coal plant, but that does not exist now.

Because carbon regulation is coming, he said, gasification plants will be needed. “For the next generation, it’s clear to me that rather than build a bunch of pulverized coal plants, with their 50-year life, the country is much better off if we go to (gasification),” he said. The company is planning such a plant in Tonawanda, N.Y.

 

Comments

Yet again Bush’s America forges ahead…with no intelligent plan.
But still leagues ahead of us. Their GHG emissions are, indeed, increasing, but at half the rate of ours. And what of China, with 500 new coal-fired plants on the drawing board? It doesn’t seem to matter what subject is being discussed; there’s always room for some good old anti-American dribble.

It’s anti-Bush. I was making an analogy between going into Iraq without a viable plan, and building highly polluting plants without a plan for dealing with the effects of the CO2 released thereby. It’s irresponsible and stupid, and the lack of foresight always winds up costing a LOT more than expected.

That Canada is doing the same is deplorable, but irrelevant. And the old “they’re doing it, too” line doesn’t excuse anything.

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With significant advancement in nuclear power plant technology, why not move towards nuclear power plants? Yes, I agree we had accidents in the past, but with today’s technology, we can control the reaction so that we can never get a melt-down. I think one of the first thing we should do is educate the mass regarding the new and improved nuclear power plants technologies. If we look around the world, Brazil is one of the country that is doing a great job in developing nuclear power infrastructure and the waste is minimal. Unless we have break-through in fusion development, the next cleanest thing is nuclear power.
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/H2-PV/message/30
TXU Coal Power Customers for sale at $18,750 for each baaaing sheeple head.

TXU has 2.4 million customers forced to buy power from them alone.
That’s all it’s got plus some aging coal plants. Oh yeah, it also has
$12,300,000,000 of debt too. Some gang is willing to pay
$45,000,000,000 to buy that mess and the only profit can come from the
sheeple with the electric noose around their necks.

Do the math and explain how each customer has to pay out of their
pockets $18,750 so that their new owners just break even on the
purchase price of themselves. (Oh yeah, there’s still that $12.3
billion debt the sheeple have to pay, plus interest too.) Did somebody
say PV was going down in price?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/02/24/ap/business/mainD8NFP8480.shtml
TXU also has about $12.3 billion in debt that likely would be assumed
by a buyer.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/24/business/24dealweb.html?hp
$45 Billion Bid for a Texas Utility in Biggest Buyout Ever
Published: February 24, 2007