Does carbon capture and storage work???
Patrick Moore, ex-founder of Greenpeace, says no...and that requiring it will just push producers to nuclear...
Carbon capture and storage (CCS), which coal-miners worldwide hope will guarantee a future for coal as an energy source, may not be viable, technically, economically, and in terms of liability.
This is the view of Canadian scientist, environmentalist, and a former director of Greenpeace International, Dr Patrick Moore.
“It’s a huge technical problem. It’s massive volumes we’re talking about here – millions of tons of gas. All the feasible approaches that I have seen would end up using a very large portion of the energy from the power plant just to do the sequestration,” he says.
Once the carbon dioxide has been captured, it must be sequestrated. This involves transporting it, whether in gaseous, liquid, or supercritical form, by pipeline and/or road tanker and/or ship, through storage sites, to the sequestration location. The catch is that this sequestration has to endure for a very long time indeed – at least centuries, if not millennia. In theory – and, currently, in limited practice – the carbon dioxide can be injected into permeable geological formations, surrounded by impermeable rocks, such as deep saline formations, exhausted oil and gas reservoirs, unminable coal seams, and even abandoned coal mines.
“I do not believe that it is economically or technically feasible, compared to other technologies,” affirms Moore. “In other words, if the coal-fired power industry was required to sequester its carbon, I think they would stop building coal plants and build nuclear plants instead, where you don’t have this problem.” Moore is a strong supporter of nuclear power and hydroelectric power as the most environment-friendly options for baseline power generation.