The Obama administration believes carbon capture works. How else to explain yesterday’s news that the Department of Energy would commit $1 billion to support the FutureGen Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project in southern Illinois.
“Today’s milestone will help ensure the U.S. remains competitive in a carbon constrained economy, creating jobs while reducing greenhouse gas pollution,” says Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a prepared statement. He adds: “Developing innovative, cost effective carbon capture and storage technologies is critical to the country’s transition to a clean energy future.”
The funding is actually not a surprise. Despite growing doubts on whether “clean coal” even works, the Obama administration has been a steadfast supporter of CCS and specifically, FutureGen, which is expected to cost more than $2 billion to develop.
While attractive on paper, CCS remains largely unproven technology. The major issue is that so far no one knows what happen over the long-term when you bury large quantities of CO2 deep inside the earth’s crust.
Companies involved in the FutureGen project include, Ameren Energy Resources, engineering firm Babcock & Wilcox, and Air Liquide Process & Construction. The companies are working to repower Ameren’s 200 megawatts Unit 4 Meredosia power plant, in southern Illinois. If certain environmental hurdles are passed Ameren expects construction on the CCS facility to start in 2012 and end in 2015.
By. Green Energy Reporter