Coal: Contributing to a Sustainable Low-Carbon Energy Strategy

D. Mollot
U.S. Department of Energy, US

Keywords: carbon capture, coal


The task of developing a workable strategy for mobilizing our Nation’s energy resources involves a complex approach that improves our national security, addresses climate change, is sustainable in the long term, and ensures our continued leadership role among the world’s economies. An integrated program is needed that optimizes the use of all sources of electric power, including renewables while retaining the benefits of the continued use of coal. Continued, economical coal use will facilitate the optimal distribution of our domestic natural gas and oil supplies among the many competing demands, including residential home heating, chemical production, transportation, and electric power. In response to concerns of climate change, DOE’s Office of Clean Coal (RD&D) program is developing key technologies that will dramatically lower the cost of carbon capture and storage (CCS) from coal-fuel power plants as well as a range of industrial facilities. Today, eight large-scale demonstration projects are underway, including one operational facility and two under construction. When completed, these projects will prove that integrated CCS systems can be successfully financed, built, operated, and maintained. The technologies being demonstrated by these projects are referred to as 1st Generation. Further improvements in power generation and CCS technology are needed to transform the economics of carbon management in the power sector at home and around the globe. The long-term aim is to reduce the cost of CO2 capture to less than $10/tonne by 2035. The advancements that will occur along this journey in the 2025 timeframe are characterized as 2nd-Generation technologies. The future development of Transformational technologies will facilitate the achievement of the ultimate goal. The improvements CCS technology will transform the economics of carbon management in the power sector at home and around the globe. Technology that provides captured CO2 at a cost of about $40 per tonne in the 2025 timeframe will find strong market opportunities, create jobs, contribute to gross domestic product, provide tax revenues, enable the U.S. to benefit from a significant increase in domestic oil production and provide international marketing opportunities for our industry partners. This presentation will highlight some of the key technologies being developed in the DOE Office of Clean Coal Program.