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Proposed CO2 sequestration plant

by asdf Wed Aug 16th, 2006 at 11:09:01 PM EST

The "clean coal" approach to electricity generation is moving ahead.

Xcel Energy is proposing to build the nation's first clean-coal power plant in Colorado that will capture carbon emissions--a move hailed as a breakthrough with major national implications.

The plant would use a system known as integrated gasification combined cycle, or IGCC, in which coal is baked under high pressure and temperature to produce a gas that burns more cleanly and efficiently than raw coal.



And as things develop, the environmental movement will have to start taking sides. In this case, at least one such group is supporting the idea.

Even one of Xcel's traditional critics - the Boulder-based environmental research firm Western Resource Advocates - lauded the new power-plant plan. "It's a landmark proposal," said John Nielsen, energy program director of the firm. "This is a major step forward in how the West and the rest of the country can produce electricity from coal while reducing greenhouse gases from the power sector."

Xcel's plant would be the first to use the carbon-capture technology and to use lower-energy-content coal. The carbon dioxide then would be injected underground, possibly in declining oil and natural-gas wells to help push the last bits of petroleum out.

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_4187912

I suppose it's better than a nuclear plant, but this proposal does seem to support my conjecture that the United States will "solve" her energy problems by burning her huge coal reserves, come Hell or High Water.

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How do you get a positive return?  

Won't corporations make more money pretending they are sequestering and then not doing it?

this proposal does seem to support my conjecture that the United States will "solve" her energy problems by burning her huge coal reserves, come Hell or High Water.
 

And I thought I was a pessimist.  My worst scenerios keep being surpassed.  

The US is like a drunk who uses alcohol to cut the liver pain caused by cirrhosis.  

I don't think we can imagine how bad things are going to be.  North America will not only be depopulated, it will be uninhabitable.  Even without nuclear war.  


The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 01:34:41 AM EST
The US is like a drunk who uses alcohol to cut the liver pain caused by cirrhosis.

Is that not what I was supposed to do?...

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 10:27:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Won't corporations make more money pretending they are sequestering and then not doing it?
No.
by wchurchill on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 04:29:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more likely corporations will do it and then pretend they are making money.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 04:52:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the power plant - costing at least $500 million and possibly up to $1 billion [...] would generate 300 to 350 megawatts

Now, nuclear power plants are notoriosly capital intensive. They cost about $2 billlion for 1000 MW. This plant would cost $1,5-3 billion for the same capacity. And then you'll have to buy coal on top of that (uranium is almost free).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 05:02:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uranium is far from free.  Business Week commented that the spot price was $45 per pound on the spot market versus $10 in 2003.  It would be more correct to say that uranium is a very small part of the cost of producing energy in nuclear reactors.
by wchurchill on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 05:27:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very small looks like negligible. It's still 10-15% of the busbar cost (because of processing, enrichment & transportation).

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Fri Aug 18th, 2006 at 05:31:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of which only a third is the cost of uranium, with the other two thirds being enrichment and fuel element manufacture.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Aug 18th, 2006 at 09:03:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I assume this is snark.  If not, and you knew companies that did this, you would be a wealthy person from short selling, and not making such spurious comments on a website.
by wchurchill on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 05:29:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, with "uranium is almost free" I of course meant that it will always be a very small part of the cost of nuclear power, no matter how much it will cost per pound.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 05:39:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes I agree, and I think it makes investing in uranium mining a good long term investment,,,IMHO.

Hopefully you noted that the comment you responded to was a comment attached to your statement on companies pretending to make money--not to the uranium is free.  (hopefully that made sense.)  -:)

by wchurchill on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 06:01:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aha! I see what you mean. I still haven't understood completely how this commenting system works.

But yes, that comment was a snark, pointing at the high costs of sequestration.

Letting the coal stay in the ground is still the gold standard for sequestraion, IMHO. :)

 

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 06:09:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The basic, thermodynamic energy-cost of sequestration is a small fraction of the energy produced by burning. As for dollar costs, I don't know.

Words and ideas I offer here may be used freely and without attribution.
by technopolitical on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 at 06:16:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wchurchill, I'm beginning to get really tired of your assumption that everyone has the financial wherewithal to make leveraged bets on the financial markets based on their opinions. Short-selling? Don't make me laugh.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 18th, 2006 at 05:59:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow. Another thing I didn't know about. And to think I though the "normal" stock market was abstract ...


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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Aug 18th, 2006 at 09:06:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I so didn't know that I didn't realize this was an economical term. thx for the link.

Rien n'est gratuit en ce bas monde. Tout s'expie, le bien comme le mal, se paie tot ou tard. Le bien c'est beaucoup plus cher, forcement. Celine
by UnEstranAvecVueSurMer (holopherne ahem gmail) on Fri Aug 18th, 2006 at 09:31:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The carbon dioxide then would be injected underground, possibly in declining oil and natural-gas wells to help push the last bits of petroleum out.

IANAG, but as I understand it, the sequestration zone would have to be both geologically stable and gas-tight for underground sequestration to make sense. Just on the face of it, I would question whether an oil or (especially) natural gas field would meet that latter requirement.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Fri Aug 18th, 2006 at 05:08:59 AM EST
I believe that oil and gas fields do actually meet the requirements, since they held the oil or gas for eons. Generally they are anticlines with an impermeable layer above the reservoir.
by asdf on Fri Aug 18th, 2006 at 08:48:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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