Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Clean coal breakthroughs heartening news

Clean coal breakthroughs heartening news for climate and Kiwis worried about energy security

Major new clean coal technology breakthroughs in the US and Norway are heartening news for New Zealand which has 400 years of coal reserves buried beneath the South Island alone.

The emergence of the promising new technology means New Zealand may have a low-emission and secure long-term energy source by the time our known renewable energy options are used within the next 10 to 15 years.

The Norwegian technology will be economic with a carbon price of US$20 per tonne, indicating new carbon trading regimes, which put a price on emissions, are likely to encourage investment in clean coal technology.

The breakthroughs are at hand at a time when many might be feeling overwhelmed by the latest UN climate change scientists' warnings of the need for urgent world action, the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development says.

"The heartening and quickening pace of clean coal development shows the wisdom of not ruling out coal energy options for the longer term," says Business Council Chief Executive Peter Neilson. "It also shows there can be options for reducing emissions that will work with a relatively modest price on carbon determined by an emissions trading system.

"Our major energy future research report in 2005 said clean coal technology would probably be viable in 2050. Now it could arrive decades earlier and in time to secure our energy future."

The two significant technology announcements include:

  • The first commercial scale application of Powerspan ECO2 clean coal technology in the US. The technology strips 90% of incoming C02 from coal being used to generate electricity. The technology can be retrofitted to existing coal fired power stations, paving the way for many of the world's power plants to adopt a clean coal option, and
  • Successful testing of new Sargas technology in Norway, cutting greenhouse gases 95%, which says a competitive coal-fired power plant with carbon dioxide capture could be built today with this technology and produce energy at competitive costs.

Both technologies result in emissions being re buried in oil fields boosting field pressure and oil recovery.

The Business Council says the technology breakthroughs could provide the "big fix" for countries like the US, China, India and Australia which rely heavily on coal-fueled power stations for energy. China in particular is planning major coal fired energy expansion.

"It means the chances of a new Kyoto agreement from 2012, including commitments from all the major emitters, is greatly improved," Mr Neilson says.

The International Energy Agency's head of research, Fatih Birol, says if governments do not take further action the world's temperature could rise by six degrees Centigrade beyond 2030.

Mr Neilson says the coming price on carbon in 27 US states and in other markets worldwide, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, mean technologies like that being trialed by Sargas and Powerspan could help New Zealand and the world meet emissions reduction targets and avoid what the European Union's Environment Commissioner describes as "catastrophic consequences".

It would also give hope to New Zealanders, 96% of whom think the country has a problem in sourcing its future energy. Some 64% also say "no" when asked if New Zealand has a secure energy supply, according to the latest ShapeNZ survey of 3581 people nationwide. Only 24% think the country has a secure energy supply.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Embrace Falling Home Affordability, Says NZIER

Despair over the inability to afford a house is misplaced and should be embraced as an opportunity to invest in more wealth-creating activity, says the principal economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Shamubeel Eaqub. More>>

Productivity Commission: NZ Regulation Not Keeping Pace

New Zealand regulators often have to work with out-of-date legislation, quality checks are under strain, and regulatory workers need better training and development. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news