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Coal - Apr 3

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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage


Seeking clean coal science 'only option'

AAP, The Age
Australia has no alternative to seeking "clean coal" technology, says Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson.

"Australia's coal resources alone - assuming the advent of successful clean coal technologies - are so large that they could be significant in the global energy mix for several hundred years," said Mr Ferguson.

Coal and other fossil fuels will continue to provide much of the world's energy for the foreseeable future, Mr Ferguson told about 100 spectators in a windswept paddock near Nirranda South, 240km west of Melbourne.

The minister opened the world's largest demonstration of the deep geological storage of carbon dioxide, the Otway Basin pilot project - partly funded by the New Zealand government and state-owned miner Solid Energy - which will inject 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide 2km deep over the next two years.

... Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas contributing to global warming, and companies selling and burning coal want to be able to literally bury the unwanted carbon from the process.

Solid Energy chief executive Don Elder told NZPA that it is likely that only tiny, almost negligible, amount of the carbon dioxide pumped underground will escape.
(2 April 2008)
Contributor SP writes:
"Mr Ferguson predicted that the success of the programme..."

And if it is not successful? It is after all still only a trial. But not if you just read the headlines. If you saw this headline at BBC: Newsyou could be forgiven for thinking that this was a full scale implementation of CCS: Australia to begin carbon capture

Australia's first underground carbon storage facility has opened in the southern state of Victoria.

The geo-sequestration plant, the only one in the Southern hemisphere, will capture CO2 from a power station and store it 2km below the surface

(the rest of the BBC article is more balanced). Union friendly technology... or at least the minister is. No alternative indeed.


Coal power policy under attack from top scientists

David Adam, Guardian
Britain's leading scientists have told ministers that plans for a new generation of coal power stations pose an unacceptable climate risk, unless greater efforts are made to trap and store the carbon pollution they produce.

In a letter to John Hutton, business and enterprise secretary, the Royal Society said new coal-fired power stations that fail to capture 90% of their carbon emissions by 2020 should be closed down. The move came as Hutton considers whether to approve Britain's first coal power station for 20 years, at Kingsnorth in Kent.

The scientists said the government must do more to encourage the energy industry to develop carbon capture and storage techniques, and work more closely with other European countries on the technology.
(3 April 2008)

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