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Coal-Fired Carbon Capture Tops 238 MW

The total installed capacity of global coal-fired carbon capture and storage (CCS) was 238 MW at the end of 2011, according to a new report by Global Information, Inc.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) for Coal-Fired Plants – Opportunity Assessment and Key Country Analysis to 2025 says the 238 MW includes pilot demonstration projects only, as there are not yet any large-scale coal power CCS projects online.

But according to GII, carbon capture and storage can potentially play a major role in the energy mix of many nations. It forecasts the value of the CCS market will reach $7.78 billion in 2013.

Countries including the UK are already planning and implementing projects such as an online database to gauge how much offshore carbon dioxide storage space is realistically available, the report says. In Australia, the $208 million Callide Oxyfuel Project has entered the demonstration phase and is the country’s first carbon capture plant.

Policies including carbon taxes, carbon emission trading schemes and government funding for carbon capture and storage could all encourage industries to adopt carbon capture and storage technologies, GII says.

In related news, a new DOE publication says the US has at least 2.4 trillion metric tons of possible CO2 storage resources in saline formations, oil and gas reservoirs, and unmineable coal seams. The 2012 edition of the Carbon Utilization and Storage Atlas (Atlas IV) says this resource could potentially store hundreds of years’ worth of industrial GHG emissions, and notes that more than 225 billion metric tons of storage capacity has been identified in depleted oil and gas fields.

DOE’s Carbon Storage Program (see chart) focuses on three technology areas — geologic storage, carbon use and reuse, and monitoring, verification, accounting and assessment — to reduce GHG emissions from energy producers and other industries.

A report published earlier this year said North American geological formations have the capacity to store 500 years of carbon dioxide, and an Illinois project aimed at demonstrating the commercial viability of carbon capture and storage technology has injected 317,000 metric tons of CO2 in its first year, from an industrial plant into a subterranean reservoir.

Meanwhile, ArcelorMittal has pulled out of the European Union’s subsidy program for carbon capture and storage projects, and the EU’s $1.9 billion initiative won’t finance any carbon capture and storage projects in its first round of funding. Last month, the UK government learned it would not receive any EU funding in the first round.

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