Nearly half of the $2.66 billion spent by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) since 2010 to develop superior fossil vitality applied sciences was devoted to 9 carbon seize and storage (CCS) demonstration tasks—however solely three have been energetic on the finish of 2017, and just one was at an influence plant.

In a report ready for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources that was launched on October 1, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that the DOE offered $2.66 billion in funding or obligations to 794 fossil vitality analysis and growth (R&D) tasks. Of the whole $2.66 billion it spent since 2010 (the yr that the DOE’s present knowledge administration system got here into use), about $1.12 billion was offered—in quantities starting from $13 million to $284 million—to 9 “later-stage, giant demonstration tasks that have been to evaluate the readiness for industrial viability of CCS applied sciences.” Six of those tasks used coal, and the opposite three used methane, ethanol, and pet coke. Industry paid an extra $610 million in cost-share for these tasks, the GAO discovered.

But out of those 9 tasks, the DOE withdrew its help for 4 tasks (costing the DOE $475 million):

  • Two giant demonstrations related to FutureGen, which it started in 2011 and scrapped in 2015, after the DOE spent $200 million. “DOE directed the suspension of FutureGen mission growth actions in February 2015 as a result of DOE concluded that there was inadequate time to finish the tasks earlier than the closure of the Recovery Act appropriations account on September 30, 2015,” the report notes.
  • Hydrogen Energy California, a proposed built-in gasification mixed cycle (IGCC) plant and fertilizer plant with CCS, which was deserted in July 2015, after the DOE spent $154 million.
  • Summit Texas Clean Energy, one other IGCC mission with CCS in Penwell, Texas, however which was formally useless in 2017, regardless of $120 million in DOE funding. In 2016, the DOE Office of Inspector General issued a report about its viability, the GAO famous, and a full audit report issued later in 2018 expressed considerations in regards to the DOE’s administration of its monetary elements.

Two different tasks have been withdrawn by the recipient (costing the DOE $30 million):

  • American Electric Power’s Mountaineer mission to seize CO2 from a coal plant close to New Haven, West Virginia. AEP froze the mission in 2011 for uncertainty in U.S. local weather coverage and the weak financial system. The DOE offered $17 million.
  • Lecadia Energy’s CO2seize from a pet coke-to-chemicals gasification plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The DOE offered $13 million.

Only three main tasks—solely one among which was at an influence plant—remained energetic on the finish of FY2017 and value the DOE a mixed $615 million:

  • Petra Nova (POWER’s 2017 Plant of the Year), a mission that started capturing 90% of CO2 emitted from a flue gasoline stream from NRG Energy’s three.7-GW W.A. Parish energy plant in Texas in November 2016.  The DOE shall be concerned within the mission till December 2019 and offered $190 million between 2010 and 2017. NRG spokesperson David Knox informed POWER on October 9, “While the economics of carbon seize and Petra Nova stay difficult, the plant is working as designed and has captured greater than two million tons of CO2.

The mission stays solely one among two power-related operational CCS tasks on the earth. The second is Boundary Dam in Canada (POWER’s 2015 Plant of the Year). Southern Co.’s Kemper County, Mississippi, IGCC mission would have been the third, nevertheless it was scrapped in June 2017 after delays prompted value overruns that put the whole price ticket at $7.5 billion. As NRG spokesperson David Knox famous on October 9. “While the economics of carbon seize and Petra Nova stay difficult, the plant is working as designed and has captured greater than two million tons of CO2.


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