Report Says Clean Coal Tech Not Present-Day Reality

Is clean-coal technology ever going to catch on?

Jan 24, 2014 at 4:11PM

This article was written by -- the leading provider of energy news in the world

A new report compiled in consultation with the White House and a pool of clean-energy experts suggests that clean-coal technology is too embryonic to use as a base for America's new climate change rules for power plants.

The report, released Tuesday, follows the release earlier this month of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA)  proposed new carbon emissions standards for power plants, which would make it impossible for new coal-fired plants to be built without the implementation of carbon capture and sequestration technology, otherwise known as "clean-coal" tech, which is still in its early days.  

If finalized, the new standards will boost the future of natural gas-fueled power plants, which can achieve the new emissions standards more readily, and the new report warns the Obama administration that carbon-capture technology is "only just gaining maturity for power generation."

"We are not saying CCS [carbon capture and sequestration] isn't commercially viable, but it is unproven enough to not bank [greenhouse-gas] targets alone on this target," noted former Colorado governor Bill Ritter (Democrat), who led the report.

Where are we with CCS exactly? It's moving forward, albeit slowly. North America's first two power generating plants to have employed CCS successfully (in Mississippi and Canada) haven't come on line yet, but are expected to do so this year, according to Ritter.

So while there may be an argument that CCS is commercially viable, that hasn't been proven, the report argues, and thus should not serve as a foundation for a new climate change policy.  

This latest report also succeeds another study last week that bolstered earlier EPA findings that power plants fueled by natural gas release some 40% less carbon dioxide than coal-fired plants.

According to the new study conducted by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, combined-cycle natural gas power plants, which use a combination of natural gas and recycled exhaust heat, release significantly less greenhouse gases than their coal-fired counterparts.

Last week, the US Department of Energy approved $1 billion in funding for a carbon capture and sequestration project in Meredosia, Illinois. Dubbed FutureGen 2.0, the project intends to demonstrate the efficacy of capturing greenhouse gas pollution from coal-fired power plants and storing it underground.

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Related article: DOE Funds Carbon Capture Project Amid Fight Over Future of Coal

Related article: Reports of Coal's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Written by Charles Kennedy at

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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