UKCCSC News 2 November 2007

Hi Folks,

Here’s a other feast of CCS facts (or not).

The first article gets the Wilkinson award for subtle communication:

“Without carbon capture and sequestration, we are all toast.”

(Jiang Lin, a scientist with the China Sustainable Energy Program with Lawrence Berkeley Lab)

In the same article:

“Beginning in the fall, SECARB scientists will start to inject a million tons of carbon dioxide a year into a brine reservoir near Natchez, Mississippi. The brine is up to 10,000 feet below the surface.”

There’s probably a more official website somewhere but this is from:

Sadly, the article also gets the award for bad science:

“the U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of gaping holes… there is lots of empty space underground, according to Chevron’s CTO Don Paul”

There is of course, no empty space, as someone who works for an oil company should know.

2) In the name of balanced coverage, the antidote to the above from the Hindustani Times:

“The Western propaganda of carbon capturing and storage (CSS) to check carbon emission from thermal plants has not convinced the government. “Only if the technology is utilized in large-scale power plants everywhere in the world can we consider it,” said Surya P Sethi, principal advisor of the Planning Commission, when asked about the future of CCS in India.”

2) The results of a conference on Climate Change held in Canada in late October:

“CO2 capturing one key to climate control, conference told”

“Semans hosted a panel on carbon capture and geological storage Thursday that invited top academic and business leaders in the field to explain where the technology is at and what challenges lie ahead. All of them said the technology is ready, but governments need to move quickly on legislation and funding to get large-scale carbon sequestering projects underway in the relatively near future if they are to have an impact on climate change. “All indications are that we can do this, we can do it to scale, and we have to get going quickly, ” said Brian Williams, manager of British Petroleum’s CO2 Geological Storage unit.”

3) This one is interesting as it provides numbers for exactly how much a CCS-ready coal–fired power station might cost:

“Clean Coal Gets a Boost in Britain” (the UK bit comes later)

“SaskPower, a public utility in Canada’s Saskatchewan province, recently spent about $17 million on an engineering feasibility study for a new coal power plant.”

“But by the time the utility had to make a final decision last month on the plant, its estimated cost had more than doubled, from $1.5 billion to $3.8 billion, and it was clear that the project couldn’t be done quickly enough to meet rising demand for power. SaskPower decided instead to build new natural gas turbines, at a cost of $525 million.”

4) This one gets the Tourism award, as the page has photos of scenic bits of Norway (and a larger photo of the Mongstad gas power plant for contrast!).

Basically, CCS in the power plant in question is dependant upon EU legislation, as Norway is part of the EEA and hence has a cap on public subsidy of private developments (40 % limit).

“Debate about implementing a CO2 purification facility for the Mongstad gas power plant will likely heat up further – and between the government alliance partners – after European Union skepticism.”

Rueters have a more optimistic article on the same issue:

5) “BP offers Abu Dhabi green solution to chronic gas shortages” Times

“BP is in talks with Abu Dhabi to build a green energy project that would produce hydrogen from natural gas and store carbon dioxide in the Gulf emirate’s oil wells.”

In a nutshell, Abu Dhabi faces a gas shortage as it injects so much gas into the subsurface to support oil production. CO2 will do the job just as well, so why not burn the gas first, and inject the resulting CO2?

What the article doesn’t mention, if the main function of the injected gas is pressure support, do you need to strip the nitrogen and the nasties out of it? Why not inject the lot and save on the capture costs? Answers on a postcard to the usual address, please.

6) And finally, not CCS but perhaps of interest to some, a conference on ‘Climate change: scenarios, impacts and adaptation’ 20th February 2008; Newcastle upon Tyne.

Hosted by the The British Hydrological Society (BHS); the BHS Pennine’s Hydrological Group; and the Royal Meteorological Society. The aim is to present current research on climate change and its impacts in the UK. The new UKCIP08 scenarios, to be released in autumn 2008, will be discussed by Roger Street (UKCIP) and the weather generator tool being developed to aid practitioners in their use of the scenarios will be described and demonstrated by Chris Kilsby (Newcastle University). A series of papers will address the major impacts of climate change in the UK, notably flooding, drought, water resources and heat waves.

That’s all folks.

Consortium and Network