The Coal Utilization Research Council (CURC) and Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) today released a study titled “Analysis of Options for Funding Large Pilot Scale Testing of Advanced Fossil-Based Power Generation Technologies with Carbon Capture.”

The paper is the product of the continuing collaboration between CURC, NEDO of Japan, and the US Department of Energy (DOE). Other participants to the study include Natural Resources Canada and the Korean Institute of Energy Research of the Republic of Korea. The paper describes the challenges the US is facing and also emphasizes the need for international cooperation and collaboration if it is to accelerate efforts in time to meet US and global climate goals.

“This study draws attention to the fact that abundant and inexpensive natural gas, regulatory uncertainty facing the coal industry, and flat electricity demand have combined all at once to greatly soften interest in technology development in the US,” according to Shannon Angielski, Executive Director of CURC.

Much of the urgency behind the need to fund technology development for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is the wish for countries to meet the goal, recently established at COP21 in Paris, to keep global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius. (See: Two Degrees Below: The Role of Industrial Gases in Hitting the COP21 Target, CryoGas International, March 2016, page 24).

The study finds government and industry efforts to develop CCS technology to be waning, citing only three on-going coal related CCS demonstrations underway, all being pursued in North America. Scores of other CCS projects around the world that had been announced have been slowed or abandoned. Significantly, the report found that the cost of fossil-based power integrated with CCS must be reduced and the technology proven cost-effective at scale to be deployable world-wide.

Without the successful development and widespread use of CCS globally, and given the world’s continued reliance upon coal for affordable energy, the chance for containing global temperature rise is doubtful. Better fossil-based power technologies and CCS technologies at reduced costs will be a key factor in meeting climate change goals. (For a story on monetizing CCS see: “The Economics of Carbon Capture,” CryoGas International, May 2016, page 34).