Release Date: February 17, 2004
|DOE Launches Competition for Cutting Edge Coal Technologies
Round II Reaffirms President's Commitment to Reduce Power Plant Emissions
WASHINGTON, DC - Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham today announced the release of a solicitation for the second round of proposals under President Bush's Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI), and DOE's plans to provide approximately $280 million in federal matching funds for demonstrating barrier-breaking technologies that sharply reduce and ultimately eliminate pollution in coal-based power plants.
"Clean coal is a crucial element of our overall energy policy and its goals of a balanced, diverse energy portfolio that will provide Americans with energy and economic security and continued environmental improvement," Secretary Abraham said. "The technologies we seek to foster through Round II will help make it possible for coal to remain a cornerstone of our domestic energy portfolio, particularly for power generation, and to continue that role into the long-term future." Coal generates more than 50 percent of America's electric power and constitutes more than 90 percent of proved fossil fuel reserves.
The call for proposals requires that prospective projects must ensure coal is used for at least 75 percent of the fuel energy input to the process, while electricity is at least 50 percent of the energy-equivalent output from the technology demonstrated. Additionally, proposals must show the potential for rapid market penetration upon successful demonstration of the technology concept.
Round II projects will support the President's Clear Skies Initiative to reduce power plant emissions, particularly mercury, by about 70 percent by 2018, and the Global Climate Change Initiative to reduce carbon emissions growth over the next ten years. The CCPI projects will also provide the technical foundation for the FutureGen Initiative to create the world's first zero-emissions, coal-based power and hydrogen production plant, which will include carbon dioxide removal and sequestration.
DOE is encouraging proposals for coal gasification system advances that enhance efficiency, environmental performance, and reliability as well as expand the gasifier's flexibility to process a variety of feedstocks (including biomass, municipal and industrial waste co-fired with coal). Advances in gasification-based systems are required to successfully commercialize technologies that will attain the near-zero emissions goals of the Clean Coal Technology Roadmap.
Technologies that permit better management of carbon emissions are also being strongly encouraged. Roughly one third of the United States' carbon emissions come from power plants. Recently, as part of his National Climate Change Policy, President Bush placed a high priority on encouraging new technologies that can reduce these emissions while keeping energy at reasonably prices.
For each project selected by the Energy Department, industrial sponsors must be willing to at least match the federal funding share. There will also be a requirement for repayment from commercially successful technologies, which will be used to underwrite future clean coal research.
Industry has until June 15, 2004 to submit proposals, and DOE anticipates selection of winning projects by the end of the calendar year.