SES: Feds to support “Clean Coal”

SES: Feds to support “Clean Coal”

Postby Oscar » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:44 pm

EXCERPT from SES Newsletter March/April 2008

Feds to support “Clean Coal” By Ann Coxworth

Several months ago SaskPower decided not to pursue the option of building a new coal-burning power station using innovative technology that would minimize carbon emissions. The main reason for the decision
was cost. Now, with the announcement of the availability of $240 million dollars of federal support, plans are developing to retrofit one of the existing coal-burning plants and to “capture and store” its carbon dioxide emissions. The costs to SaskPower will still be huge – which doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad decision. But it does mean that we need to carefully examine the different options we have available for meeting our electricity demand. Is this the best use of over a billion dollars of public money?

One problem with the carbon capture and storage system is that it uses a lot of energy. So about a quarter of the energy produced by the power station will be used to operate the Carbon Capture and Storage system, thus severely reducing the effective efficiency of the facility. SES suggests that Saskatchewan could make a much more meaningful contribution to carbon control by shifting to distributed electricity production based on safe renewable sources, using the rapidly improving systems for storage of intermittently produced energy to enable renewables to be used as baseload supply.
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