Release Date: July 3, 2001
|Energy Department to Study New Ways To Capture,
Store Greenhouse Gases
New Projects Follow President Bush's Endorsement Of Carbon Sequestration in Climate Change Policy
WASHINGTON, DC - With President Bush citing the promise of new cutting-edge technology as a way to counter the buildup of greenhouse gases, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy will help co-fund eight new exploratory projects to study ways to capture and store carbon gases.
The eight projects emerged from a nationwide competition that attracted 62 proposals from private companies, universities, local governments, and environmental organizations. The winning proposals came from BP, Alstom Power, Praxair, Consol, Dakota Gasification, Advanced Resources International, The Nature Conservancy, and Yolo County, California.
Each offers an approach to "carbon sequestration," a promising class of technologies that remove global warming gases from the exhausts of power plants or from the atmosphere itself, and securely store them.
"Carbon sequestration is an important option to study because it offers a way to address the global warming issue without having to make radical overhauls of our existing energy systems," said Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. "This becomes especially significant as we craft energy and environmental strategies that draw upon all of our available energy resources, sustain economic growth, and, at the same time, respond to concerns about the long-term health of our planet."
Last month President Bush cited carbon sequestration as a key part of his strategy for addressing climate change concerns. "We all believe technology offers great promise to significantly reduce emissions - especially carbon capture, storage and sequestration technologies," the President said.
Projects announced today will study ways to capture the gases and store them in underground geologic formations or in terrestrial vegetation such as forests. Most of the projects will focus on carbon dioxide, but one will collect natural gas from a landfill before it seeps into the air.
The Energy Department's Office of Fossil Energy, which will oversee the research, has set a goal of developing sequestration approaches that cost $10 or less per ton of carbon - equivalent to adding only 0.2 cents per kilowatt-hour to the average cost of electricity. Currently, only a limited number of sequestration options are available, and most can cost as much as 30 times more than the department's goal.
Private sector response to the Energy Department's efforts to develop an expanded menu of environmentally safe and affordable sequestration options has been overwhelming. Prior to the 62 proposals received in the recent competition, the Energy Department had evaluated a similar number of proposals in an earlier round of competition, eventually selecting13 projects.
Also, the private sector proposers have offered to fund an average of 40% of total project costs, well above the 20% minimum cost-sharing that the Energy Department required.
"Government research should be focused on those areas that industry tells us are worth pursuing," Abraham said. "Clearly, the large response and significant cost-sharing from the private sector is a clear message that carbon sequestration is an option worth examining."
The new projects added today were in the following categories and were submitted by:
Separation and Capture
Sequestration in Geological Formations
|Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646|