Update on Carbon Capture and Storage (CSS)

Henry Fountain presents a grim picture of limited progress on carbon capture and storage:

“China already burns almost as much coal as all other nations combined, and its appetite keeps expanding. Worldwide, coal consumption in 2020 will be about twice what it was in 2000, according to the United States Energy Information Administration, and will continue to grow for decades.

Even the abundant natural gas unleashed by fracking, while cleaner than coal, is a major source of greenhouse gases. Ultimately, many scientists say, those emissions will need to be trapped and stored, too. …

Though the world has known for decades how to capture carbon dioxide from power plants, scant progress has been made. …

So at a time when many experts say 10 or more projects need to be undertaken to improve the technology and reduce costs, the opposite is happening. Work to modify a coal plant in Texas is expected to start this year, but there are only a few other projects worldwide, all in the planning stage. And as some government subsidies have begun to dry up — notably, federal stimulus funds in the United States — several efforts have been delayed or canceled.”

– Henry Fountain, Corralling Carbon Before It Belches From Stack, NYT, July 22, 2014

Fountain’s article is the latest installment in The Big Fix, a New York Times series on possible climate change solutions. The previous article in the series is A Price Tag on Carbon as a Climate Rescue Plan by Justin Gillis.