Saturday, December 02, 2006

But does carbon capture and storage really work?

The Australian Government, and its coal industry (Or with the industry greenhouse mafiosos writing the Government's energy policy, is it the other way round?) has decided that future technologies preserving non-renewable energy sources are going to be the way to fight against climate change. By that they mean carbon capture technology, oxymoronically called 'clean-coal'.

And nuclear.  But the only way we are going to make nuclear cheap, is if we make coal expensive; i.e. if we burn clean coal. That's the theory we are bring sold, so what's the real plan? :::[SMH: Slow burn for carbon capture technology]

TECHNOLOGY to capture and store carbon pollution from a coal-fired power station on a large scale will be operating at only a handful of sites around the world by 2020, a coal industry report says.

There are nine large carbon capture and storage experiments under way, according to an international coal lobby group, the World Coal Institute. But even if they all stay on schedule, they will only be able to dispose of carbon generated from the equivalent of about four large coal-fired power plants.

"The race is on to have the first coal-fired carbon capture and storage demonstration project operating at a commercial scale," said the institute in a report issued on Tuesday. "A number of projects are vying for the honours in Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK and the USA."

The plan is scaring me, Mr Howard. When you can cut your lighting energy by 75% today by srewing in energy efficient bulbs, it's absurd that you can only give me four large power station being able to carbon geo-sequester in the whole world, and by 2020. How much of the Western Arctic Iceshelf would have bumped into New Zealand by then while your plan is still trying to get off the ground?

If we don't soon move past the stage where the more things change -- like the climate -- the more they stay the same -- like politics -- we're in trouble. Howard needs to consider people other than the coal and uranium industries in charting our energy future.

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