Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Clean Energy Experts" Waste C$33 Million "Studying IGCC"

Faux environmentalists and so-called "clean energy experts" are happy to take endless amounts of money to study energy solutions. They will not actually help you to solve your energy problems, but they will study your problems for a price, and tell you why they cannot be solved economically.
"It's a very expensive proposition from our perspective," said Dave Butler, executive director of the Canadian Clean Power Coalition, an association of leading electricity producers that has mandate to research, develop and advance commercially viable technologies that lower power plant emissions.

Butler's association, in conjunction with Edmonton,-based Capital Power Corporation, spent C$33 million over the past couple years studying goal gasification technologies.

"With the technologies we've looked at, it's pretty much cost prohibitive," Butler said.

In 2007, Capital Power Corporation proposed developing North America's first IGCC coal gasification and carbon capture plant in Alberta. The company, in partnership with Butler's association, conducted a front-end engineering and design (FEED) study for the proposed Genesee IGCC Project, which wrapped up last spring. _Source
Do you see the problem? The association was not actually looking at IGCC as such, but was rather looking at IGCC when loaded down with unnecessary and wasteful carbon capture. Anyone could tell you without spending C$33 million that carbon capture is a waste of money. But "clean energy experts" have a lot of expenses, and must be funded at high levels.

In reality, coal IGCC without carbon capture is quite clean and economical in comparison with most forms of energy except for NGCC (natural gas combined cycle). Let's look at a couple of US IGCC power generation plants and compare their costs with what a Canadian IGCC plant would cost when saddled with carbon capture.
Tampa Electric Company's Polk Power Plant, located near Mulberry, Florida, was America's first commercial IGCC plant. Completed in 1996 at a cost of roughly $303 million, the plant is capable of generating 313 megawatts of electricity.

...the Wabash River Coal Gasification Repowering Project in West Terre Haute, Indiana, came online in 1994. The full-size commercial IGCC plant cost $417 million and can produce 296 megawatts of electricity.

...Based on the Canadian Clean Power Coalition's research, a 450-megawatt coal gasification plant with carbon capture facilities would cost about $5 billion to build. _Source
A nuclear fission plant producing about 1,000 megawatts of power would cost between $2 billion and $4 billion to build, according to various estimates. So you can see that the IGCC coal power plant without carbon capture is much cheaper than either a nuclear plant or an IGCC plant with carbon capture.

The nuclear plant saves money in operations due to lower fuel costs, however. And if one is soft-headed enough to fall for carbon hysteria, nuclear power is carbon-free without expensive carbon scrubbers or carbon capture.

So if you are thinking about paying "clean energy experts" to study plans for IGCC, save your money. As good "carbon hysterics", they will be looking at the most expensive and irrational possible choices.

You will come out ahead in the long run by educating the public to elect officials who are not carbon hysterics or members of the politicised quasi-religion and pseudo-science of CAGW.



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