A study prepared for the Department of Energy by ICF International consulting firm expects the nation’s energy landscape to shift away from older and smaller coal-burning power plants, regardless of the implementation of new carbon capture sequestration (CCS) technologies.
State and federal governments are providing incentives for coal-burning power plants to use CCS technologies, but the report warns those efforts won’t be cost-effective. Even if CCS technology is commercialized, it will not be enough to save the coal plants, the report says, casting doubts on the future of not only coal-burning power plants but the future development of CCS.
The lowered natural gas prices and expected increases in national greenhouse gas regulations play into the shift away from approximately 20 percent of the nation’s coal-burning power plants.
With the expected shut down of up 60 gigawatts of coal plants nationwide in the next five years, the report explains the national electric grid will potentially require new capacity and transmission investments to maintain electricity supplies and reliability. The report offers in-depth planning information for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the Eastern Interconnection States’ Planning Council, which is composed of state-level government agencies responsible for siting transmission.
Source: Carbon capture won’t save Midwest, East Coast coal plants, Midwest Energy News