Real World CCS Projects Offer Reason to Believe
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) still seems like a distant “if-only” dream to most of us. But, two pilot projects exploring the viability of this process with a twist, could ultimately bring this important technology to reality.
According to Judi Greenwald, vice president for technology for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, “CCS is a critical technology for reconciling our continued dependence on fossil fuels with the imperative to protect the global environment. And our best hope at the moment for CCS advancement is carbon capture, utilization and storage,” which takes captured carbon and uses it for enhanced oil recovery.
Supported by U.S. Department of Energy, an Air Products’ CCS project started in late 2012, captures carbon dioxide from a refinery and then uses it to enhance oil recovery. A similar project is also under way at Southern Co.’s Kemper power plant in Mississippi.
Greenwald testified before a House energy panel recently pointing out that coal, oil and natural gas fuel 80% of the world’s energy use. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects fossil fuels to continue providing at least 65% of this country’s electricity consumption in 2040, with 35% coming from coal.
- Experts have divergent views on the economic and technical feasibility of commercial-scale CCS, but everyone agrees that it won’t be cheap: up to 40% of a power station’s energy could end up being used to run the CCS scrubbing and transport systems, and estimates for retro-fitting Britain’s aged power stations are as high as £1bn each. (theguardian.com)
- Well stimulation has been practiced in drilling oil and natural gas wells in the U.S. since 1949, without a reported incident of groundwater contamination. A 2009 study by the Groundwater Protection Council, a non-profit organization of state groundwater regulators, found the chance for contamination of drinking water sources from the well stimulation process to be one in 200 million.(pioga.org)
- Light-Emitting Diodes—LEDs will last up to 25 years (based upon usage of 3hr/day) and save 75%, or more, in energy costs—but they cost more to buy than the other choices. Even though LEDs today cost around $25 per bulb, they’ll still save around $150 over their 25-year lifetime. As they become more common, their
prices are expected to go way down. (opuc.texas.gov)
- The average first named storm typically arrives around July 9th, however this has occurred as early as April and as late as middle August. The average first hurricane forms in early August, however the season’s first hurricane has formed as early as the first week in June and as late as early September. (weather.com)
- 28% of beach and ocean debris is cigarette butts. (guymonadams.com)