No such thing as Clean Coal
Our Federal government seems to have found themselves a new buzzword "Clean Coal"
Unfortunately, there is no such thing. What they are referring to has been called "Cleaner Coal" and referrs to several technologies that can be used to (a) increase the efficiency of burning coal, (b) Capture the carbon emissions for later burial.
Sounds good until you look under the hood.
Higher efficiency generator can be up to 50% more efficient than older generators but this can only be achieved with expensive alloys that can withstand the extreme tempratures required. They are still dirty, they can just generate more energy for the same amount of pollution.
High efficiency means a theoretical maximum 50% increase in energy extracted and can only be achived by using expensive alloys that can handle the extreme heat
Carbon capture is an unproven technology. It has never been made to work on a commercial scale.
Of the 22 demonstration projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy since 2003, none are in operation as of February 2017, having been abandoned or delayed due to capital budget overruns or discontinued because of excessive operating expenses. Wikipedia
A trial was run in 2015 at CS Energy plant in Queensland. They successfully captured and stored carbon emmissions, but it was discontinued because it was too expensive to be viable.
"It's possible to retrofit this to existing coal-fired plants but commercially the numbers don't stack up"
For a goverment that claims to be 100% in favour of developing futureistc technologies and industries, they seem verey determined so stick with the old poluting ways.
Why would the government behave in this inexplicable way ?
Money of course ! They have two choices:
- Invest AU $1 billion in Adani coal mine
- Get billions in mining royalties for years to come
- Destroy the planet starting with the Great Barier Reef
- Get free electricity for years to come
- Zero ongoing revenue
So they can invest in coal and get billions of dollars in royalties which the can spend to buy our votes at the next election, or they can do the right thing and get nothing.
What will happen if they go ahead with this stupid idea ?
When it is safely up and running, the private company that runs it wil quietly turn off the carbon capture to save money and increase profit.
There will then be a huge public outcry, and the government will tell us that it has spent too much money to just turn it off.
When we discovered that asbestos was very bad for humans, we stopped using it and did everything we could to remove it. Coals day is over, time to move on people !