Dresden, May 2009
Cleaner use of coal with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an indispensable component in the measures needed to fight global warming according to the IEA Executive Director, Nobuo Tanaka when he spoke at the CCT 2009 conference in Dresden on Monday 18 May. The conference was organised by the IEA Clean Coal Centre, University of Freiberg and Forschungzentrum Juelich on behalf of the German Government. Tanaka’s message was reinforced by Detlef Dauke, Director Energy Policy from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology who pointed out that whilst the world depends on coal for 40% of its electricity, in 2008, hard coal and lignite accounted for 44% of Germany’s electricity production. Fossil fuels (coal+natural gas+oil) account for 58%. With almost one third of total system capacity to be replaced over the next few years it was essential to develop cleaner ways of using this indigenous resource. Heinz Hilbrecht Director of Security of Supply and Energy at the European Commission gave details of the need and way forward for cleaner coal with CCS as a part of a secure and reliable European energy system.
Almost 400 engineers and scientists from over 30 countries, including some from major developing countries such as China, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico and from the other side of the world from Australia and New Zealand spent 3 days at CCT2009 conference exchanging information about latest technological developments on these topics and networking and discussing cooperation about their contribution to solving a global problem.
From around 150 presentations, it is clear that world wide technical development is accelerating as governments and industry in partnership pour more resources into cleaner fossil fuel use, with CCS becoming the centre of efforts. Now much basic research has been done; pilot plants at respectable sizes are appearing – the 30MW Vattenfall owned unit at Schwarze Pumpe is a leading example. What is needed now is world wide large scale demonstrations of a range of technical options. This requires first clear legal and regulatory systems and significant financial support to “kick start” the demonstrations. Most importantly, public acceptance of storage of CO2 in fluid form in geological formations below the land and sea bed is crucial. How to persuade the general public that there is no need to worry about leakage and that the longer the CO2 is “down there” the safer it becomes as it transforms into solid minerals are now major themes amongst the scientists and engineers.
Europe and its leading member states such as Germany are leading in these efforts with German manufacturers and suppliers much involved. It is expected that wide scale commercial deployment of the new advanced technologies will begin about 10 years from now with German companies and German employment expected to benefit significantly as the technology goes global.
Conference papers and presentations are available to registered delegates from the ‘Conference Programme’ button on this website.