Is clean coal hope for the future, or just misleading marketing jargon? Panelists weigh in on the possibilities and opportunities.
Coal-fired power plants are the largest U.S. emitters of CO2 and human-generated mercury, yet our nation is poised to build many new coal plants in the future. Panelists discuss new technologies for carbon capture and storage and IGCC, and the implications of energy policy decisions on the health of our economy and our planet.
Julio Freidman is Director of the Carbon Sequestration Project at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Jeff Goodell is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Our Story: 77 Hours That Tested Our Friendship and Our Faith, based on the terrifying hours nine Quecreek miners spent trapped underground; he appeared on Oprah to talk with the miners about their experience.
Goodell's first book, The Cyberthief and the Samurai, was about the hunt for the notorious computer hacker Kevin Mitnick. His memoir, Sunnyvale: The Rise and Fall of a Silicon Valley Family, was a New York Times Notable Book. His most recent book is titled Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future.
Ray Lane is a Managing Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, focused on helping entrepreneurs with technological and market insight, organizational development, team building, selling and managing growth. Since joining KPCB, Ray has sponsored several investments for the firm in enterprise and consumer technology, as well as clean and alternative energy.
These companies include Ausra (solar concentrator), GreatPoint Energy (coal to gas conversion), Fisker Automotive (plug-in hybrid car), Th!nk NA (electric car), Luca Technologies (biologically enhanced gas recovery from fossilized hydrocarbons), Xsigo Systems (virtual I/O switch for datacenters), SpikeSource (open source platform for integration and testing), MEVIO (social media network), Virsa (compliance for large enterprises) and Elance (marketplace for services). He also serves on the board of Quest Software.
Joe Lucas is the Vice President of the Americans for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE).
Bruce Nilles joined the Sierra Club in 2002 and currently directs its National Coal Campaign, the largest component of Sierra Club's new Climate Recovery Campaign. The national coal campaign is working to reduce America's over reliance on coal, slash coal's contribution to global warming and other pollution woes, end destructive mining, and secure massive investments in clean energy alternatives. Bruce previously worked as a staff attorney for Earthjustice's San Francisco office, and during the Clinton Administration as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division in Washington D.C. He received his J.D. and B.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin.
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Encyclopædia Britannica Article
Most abundant form of coal. It is dark brown to black and has a relatively high heat value. Widely abundant and with the broadest range of commercial uses, it has long been used for steam generation in electric power plants and industrial boiler plants. Certain varieties are also used to make coke, a hard substance of almost pure carbon that is important for smelting iron ore. One major problem is that burning large quantities of bituminous coal that has a medium to high sulfur content contributes to air pollution and produces acid rain. See alsosubbituminous coal.
The other real myth is that solar and/or wind are good solutions to CO2 emissions and providing cost effective demand following and base load electric energy. These are supplemental sources at best because of their intermittent nature and schemes to use these for base load and demand following energy require wide distribution, storage or back-up generation. For the same generation, the costs are estimated to be 20 times greater than what nuclear generation would cost, emit more CO2 than nuclear, have a much bigger foot print than nuclear and are either fantasies or technology that are not mature unlike nuclear, etc.
Nuclear generation is safe (big misperception and a big PR issue in the US), nuclear waste is small and storage is very safe and they now recycle wastes, there are no real proliferation issues, nuclear reactors are CO2 emission free, fuel is virtually unlimited (despite what one hears) and cheap, plants can be large or small like garage-size plants that produce enough to power towns of 25000 people or drive ships which currently use a lot of fossil fuels. Nuclear has always provided load following base energy. The problem for nuclear is mostly PR.
Watch http://fora.tv/2009/01/16/Saul_Griff...e_Recalculated first. Whole debate on clean coal is set into perspective with Saul's slides at 35:10 and 35:30 . If we could halve Carbon output per kW with clean coal, then we're allowed to double the kW sourced from coal, and let's just add that to our consumption as icing on the cake.
I'm all for capturing carbon from the burning of coal, but then where does all that carbon go? If not into the atmosphere it has to go somewhere. And what about all the other pollutants from coal burning?