Researched by Krisden Kidd
Coal and power companies are exploiting the notion of “clean coal” from so-called “capture ready” power plants to justify building new coal-fired power stations with no guarantee that carbon capture and storage (CCS) can ever be retrofitted. Coal-fired power stations are the largest single source of CO2 emissions and the greatest threat to the climate. A comprehensive report released by Greenpeace in May 2008 explains that CCS is not expected to be technically feasible until decades too late and, if ever implemented, would be the largest hazardous waste disposal project that humans have ever undertaken, and among the most dangerous – in terms of massive explosions. Capturing carbon dioxide will furthermore consume 10% to 40% of the energy produced by a power plant. This means that, on average, CCS would require construction of a fifth power plant for every 4 new power plants that use CCS. Thus CCS requires, on average, 25% more coal mining, transportation, and waste disposal than non-CCS power plants. CCS would also increase the water requirements of power plants by 90%. CCS will thus double the cost of a power plant and increase the cost of electricity somewhere between 21% and 91%, according to US government figures.
“New Greenpeace report labels ‘carbon capture and storage’ a ‘scam’” Emily Rochon,
“The Carbon Capture Juggernaut Rolls On” Peter Montague of Rachel’s Democracy & Health News May 15, 2008