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Department of Energy Advances Commercialization of Climate Change Technology

October 31, 2006 - 9:17am


DOE to Provide over $450 million to support the deployment of carbon sequestration technologies in the U.S.

COLUMBUS, OHIO- U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Jeffrey D. Jarrett today discussed the Department's decision to fund $450 million over the next 10 years to support seven tests in the United States designed to advance carbon sequestration technologies.  He discussed the effort while attending the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.  The studies are designed to validate whether the large scale capture, transportation, injection, and long term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be done safely, permanently, and economically.

"Carbon sequestration will play a key role in the United States' effort to mitigate climate change and holds the key to the continued environmentally-responsible use of coal," Assistant Secretary Jarrett said.  "These tests, the next step in demonstrating that sequestration technologies are ready for commercialization, will help us achieve the President's climate change initiative by confirming that the geology of North America is suitable for the permanent and safe storage of CO2 for millennia."

The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate is a unique public-private initiative among government and private sector partners from Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States.  These six countries account for about half of the world's population and more than half of the world's economy and energy use.  The First Ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Partnership took place in Sydney, Australia, in January 2006.  At that meeting, the ministers agreed to a Partnership Communiqué, Charter, and Work Plan that established eight public-private sector Task Forces.

Carbon sequestration technology has been successfully accomplished during smaller scale demonstration projects.  If successful on a large scale, it could play a significant role in achieving President Bush's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 18 percent by 2012 and ensure that sequestration technologies will be ready for broad use in the near future.  As part of this effort, DOE will work with the existing Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships to develop these large volume sequestration tests.  The partnerships have already been working to characterize their regions' opportunities and existing infrastructure for carbon sequestration.

Results obtained from the tests will be crucial to the development of DOE's FutureGen power plant, which will produce both hydrogen and electricity from a highly efficient and technologically sophisticated coal-fired power plant, and do so with virtually no emissions.  The geologic structures that will be tested during these large volume sequestration tests could be candidate sites for FutureGen like plants.

The Partnerships have preliminarily identified sequestration opportunities across the United States and estimate that they have the potential to store more than 600 billion metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of more than 200 years of emissions from energy sources in the United States.  They are currently implementing a number of small field tests designed to validate the estimates.

The network of Regional Partnerships includes more than 300 organizations in 40 U.S. states, three Indian nations, and four Canadian provinces.  The collective data generated by the Partnerships has been integrated into an information gateway called NATCARB, developed by the University of Kansas, to consolidate geologic and terrestrial data on sequestration sites.

More information about the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships selected for the large volume sequestration tests and links to their current activities are listed below:

Partnership Organization
Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership        Battelle Columbus Laboratories, OH
Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Illinois State Geological Survey
West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership California Energy Commission
Big Sky Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Montana State University
Southwest Regional Partnership on Carbon Sequestration New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Southern States Energy Board
Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership University of North Dakota
Energy and Environmental Research Center 

DOE expects to make the official awards to the Partnerships in fall of 2007.  Results from this Phase will identify significant deployment opportunities for carbon sequestration technologies throughout North America.

Additional information about the Partnerships can be found on the Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnerships page.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940