Monday, October 05, 2009

A Copenhagen Interpretation

It appears that there will be no anti-plant food (CO2) bill from Congress in time for the anti-plant food summit in Copenhagen this December. Carol Browner, head of the EPA, says so.

"Obviously, we'd like to be through the process, but that's not going to happen," Browner said. "I think we would all agree the likelihood you would have a bill signed by the president on comprehensive energy by the time we go early in December is not likely."
Why not? Well the bills would require cutting America's CO2 production by about 20% in ten years.

Something that is logistically impossible. So is Congress giving in to logistics? Of course not. They are giving in to those who do not want to see drastic rises in their electric, gas, and oil bills and those who do not want to see rolling electrical black outs.

Carol does get a good whine in about the situation.
Browner said the U.S. could still take a leading role at the Copenhagen talks, even without a new climate law.

"We will go to Copenhagen and manage with whatever we have," she said.
Which is nothing. Which corresponds exactly to what she should have.

What should believers in CO2 catastrophe be doing? Working on energy sources that produce no CO2 output. And not just working on them. They have to get the costs below the costs of our current sources of energy. Once that happens no laws or subsidies will be required to make the transition happen. Profit will make it happen. You know. Markets and capitalism.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Alex Green said...

Just capture all the CO2 from coal fired power stations. That wasn't hard, was it?

LarryD said...

Yes it is hard, or did you miss the part about being below current cost of energy?

See Levelized Cost of New Electricity Generating Technologies (summary of Energy Information Administration's 2009 National Energy Modeling System 2009 forecast).

Natural Gas (Advanced Combined Cycle) comes out the cheapest, but add Carbon Capture & Sequestration (CCS) and it's now more expensive than Advanced Nuclear, Geothermal and Hydro. Though that's still cheaper than Wind and Solar.

Adding CCS to coal likewise kicks it up above Hydro.

Of course the NEMS is focused on new generation facilities, both to replace retiring plants and to increase capacity. It doesn't address retrofits.

M. Simon said...

Alex is just pulling your leg. He doesn't know of any commercial coal fired power plants that capture the CO2 emissions.

The wiki says there is one that is turning CO2 into baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

Although the processes involved in CCS have been demonstrated in other industrial applications, no commercial scale projects which integrate these processes exist, the costs therefore are somewhat uncertain. However, some recent credible estimates indicate that a carbon price of US$60 per US-ton is required to make capture and storage competitive[52], corresponding to an increase in electricity prices of about US 6c per kWh (based on typical coal fired power plant emissions of 2.13 pounds CO2 per kWh). This would double the typical US industrial electricity price (now at around 6c per kWh) and increase the typical retail residential electricity price by about 50% (assuming 100% of power is from coal, which may not neccesarily be the case, as this varies from state to state). However similar (approximate) price increases would likely be expected in coal dependent countries such as Australia, because the capture technology and chemistry, transport and injection costs from such power plants would not, in an overall sense, vary significantly from country to country.

And of course if the computer programs showing that CO2 is a cause of significant (catastrophic) global warming are wrong it is all a waste.

All this is especially problematic if using electricity to power autos is contemplated. Not counting the extra costs (in a plug in hybrid) for the electrical portion of the power train, a ten cent per KWh cost of electricity is roughly equivalent to $1 a gallon for gasoline.

Alex Green said...

Ash from burning coal + CO2 + patented magic = building material + profit

A company in Chicago owns the patents...

M. Simon said...

Sure Alex. And companies are lining up for this magic technology.


A wallboard panel is made of a paper liner wrapped around an inner core made primarily from gypsum plaster, the semi-hydrous form of calcium sulfate (CaSO4·½ H2O). The raw gypsum, CaSO4·2 H2O, (mined or obtained from flue gas desulfurization (FGD)) must be calcined before use. Kettle or Flash calciners typically use natural gas today.

Now all the Chicago company has to do is to get the CO2 into the wall board cheaper than current methods for making wall board.

There may be a very good reason no one has heard of this new process. And with housing and commercial construction tanked. It may be a while before this new process (if it is even economical) gets adopted.

BTW you have a patent number?

Alex Green said...

There's more than one patent, but check out WO/2009/070273.