Report to Congress shoots DOE’s $ 1.1 billion in CSS projects
A recent report from a US Congressional committee with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends that funding for the Department of Energy’s project for carbon capture and storage (CSS) at coal-fired power plants be much more monitored.
Since 2009, the Department of Energy (DOE) has invested $ 1.1 billion in 11 projects to show how carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants and industrial facilities could be captured and stored, but the report of the GAO identified significant risks to the DOE’s management of the coal-fired CCS demonstration. projects
âLargely due to external factors that have affected their economic viability, coal CCS projects are generally less successful than CCS projects in industrial facilities, such as chemical plants,â the GAO committee said. .
The DOE provided nearly $ 684 million to eight coal projects, resulting in an operational facility. Three projects were pulled – two before receiving funding – and one was built and went into operation, but its activities were halted in 2020 due to changing economic conditions. Additionally, the DOE terminated funding agreements with the other four projects prior to construction.
The DOE also provided about $ 438 million to three projects designed to capture and store carbon from industrial facilities, two of which were built and became operational, and the third was canceled.
“Economic factors, including falling natural gas prices and uncertainty over carbon markets, have negatively affected the economic viability of coal-fired power plants and therefore of these projects,” project representatives told the committee. GAO.
The report also identified high-risk selection and negotiation processes and circumvention of cost control measures as reasons why coal projects have failed so badly, specifically citing the rush to start spending the funds quickly. ‘American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as a factor.