Report Confirms – Carbon Capture and Storage Is Not the Magic Cure for Global Warming

carbon capture
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) – the miracle technology which will supposedly allow us to burn more coal while saving the planet from global warming – is a complete waste of time and energy.

It’s so expensive that it makes even renewables and nuclear look cheap.

These findings – from a report by Professor Gordon Hughes, Professor of Economics at the University of Edinburgh and a former adviser to the World Bank – vindicate a recent call by President Trump to cut the 2018 budget for CCS research by 77 percent.

They also make a mockery of the grandiose schemes proposed by the International Energy Agency and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to decarbonize the global economy in line with the Paris Agreement. Both organizations have made heroic assumptions about the value of CCS technology in helping to meet their CO2 reductions targets.

Here, for example, is the ex-head of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri touting it at the time of the last IPCC Assessment Report in 2014:

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) – the nascent technology which aims to bury CO2 underground – is deemed extremely important by the IPPC. It estimates that the cost of the big emissions cuts required would more than double without CCS. Pachauri said: “With CCS it is entirely possible for fossil fuels to continue to be used on a large scale.”

This, we can now see from Hughes’s detailed report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, is just more of the kind of “harnessing-the-magical-power-of-organic-unicorns”-style nonsense we’ve come to expect from the IPCC. (And the similarly green-compromised IEA, for that matter).

The idea of CCS – capturing carbon-dioxide from industrial processes and then storing it underground where it can never been released – has been around for nearly 40 years. But it has never worked on a commercial scale and now almost certainly never will.

Already very expensive – in the UK, Hughes estimates, it would add around £10 to £15 (around $20) per MWh to the price of electricity, adding between £3.5 billion and £5 billion ($4.5 billion and $6.5 billion) to electricity bills – it has been rendered even more financially unviable by renewables, which are propped up with so much subsidy and which have distorted the market so badly that there simply isn’t any realistic possibility of still more money being found for the white elephant that is CCS.

Up till now the U.S. Energy Department has been spending $200 million a year researching CCS. Trump is proposing to cut this annual spend to $30 million.

When this was announced, Trump inevitably took flak from the usual vested interests.

Since the announcements, coal companies are being deferential to the White House, but quietly shifting their emphasis to Congress to save CCS funding in the budget.

Rick Curtsinger, a spokesman for coal company Cloud Peak Energy, said that Trump has been “extremely supportive of America’s coal miners” and that he “has a difficult task in prioritising issues and balancing the budget.”

But, Curtsinger added in an email: “We are hopeful that Congress will support the further development and commercialisation of the carbon capture technology that we believe is necessary for coal to be able to play a long-term role in providing secure, reliable, and affordable electricity while addressing concerns about CO2 and climate.”

But whoever is advising Trump on energy and climate issues is clearly very well informed. However much coal producers might wish it, Carbon Capture and Storage is not the panacea that is suddenly going to make their product eco-friendly.

Does this mean that Trump is about to renege on his election trail compact with the coal-producing states?

Not necessarily. As the below chart shows, stories about the death of coal have been greatly overdone. They are largely put about by the oil and gas industry, which is now keener than almost anyone to promote the climate change scare because it sees it as a means of stealing coal’s market share.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Green Jobs? Wot Green Jobs? (pt 2/2)

A glimpse inside David Cameron's head

A glimpse inside David Camerons head

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has published a report into the future of “Green Jobs” in Britain. It is damning indeed. Though it doesn’t actually say as much the GWPF is too austere and restrained for such flippancies this Government’s green policies are the equivalent of trying to pay off the national debt by breeding unicorns to sell to Chinese millionaires.

Among the conclusions of The Myth of Green Jobs by Gordon Hughes, Professor of Economics at Edinburgh University, are:

1. “Green jobs” are a chimera. Though diverting taxpayers money into the renewable energy sector may indeed “create” jobs in the renewable energy sector, it will cost many more jobs in the broader economy.

2. Policies to promote renewable energy will add 0.6 to 0.7 per cent per annum to core inflation from now till 2020. This is equivalent to a rise in the same period of the Consumer Price Index by 6.5 per cent. if the Government sticks to its inflation targets and applies restrictions on speed of growth through higher interest rates, then the “sacrifice cost” ie what the economy could have made, but was prevented from doing so by monetary policy is £250 billion.

3. These same policies will, on top of that £250 billion cost, reduce GDP by 2 per cent to 3 per cent for at least ten years. This will cost Britain the equivalent of 60 per cent of the amount the government spends each year on primary and secondary education.

4. Renewable energy will cost £120 billion making it 9 to 10 times more expensive than energy from conventional sources.

5. Claims about “innovation” and the development of “new industries” are a nonsense. “Almost every country in the world wants to claim the same benefit so the numbers do not add up.For the longer term, there is little doubt that the primary beneficiary will be China. That is already apparent from the way the market is developing.”

6. Not only is there no evidence to support lobbyists’ and government ministers’ claims that green “investment” will create green jobs, but also such a policy will result in lower real disposable incomes and higher prices. Little thought appears to have gone into considering the real consequences of this government policy. Indeed, all these claims about green jobs “seem intended to divert attention from the consequences of setting arbitary and poorly considered targets for renewable energy.”

Not, of course, that we didn’t know all this already. I’ve written before about those non-existent “green jobs” here, here (the one where we learned that for every “green job” created in Britain 3.7 jobs are lost in the real economy) and here (my evisceration of the beyond-dismal Climate Change minister Greg Barker). What’s more significant, though, surely, is that for all the overwhelming evidence out there of the environmental and economic damage being done by the Government’s green policies, the Government is making no effort whatsoever to change course.

The story is the same in Obama’s America, as described in this brilliant piece by Walter Russell Mead. HT Chris Horner. The examples he cites of Obama’s green jobs quest what he calls “feeding the masses on unicorn ribs” almost beggar belief.

150 green jobs created in Southern Michigan, at a cost per job of $2 million.

$700,000 city and state investment in Green Vehicles in Salinas, CA, which has failed to produce a single car

Even the New York Times admits that Obama’s Green Jobs aren’t working.

Federal and state efforts to stimulate creation of green jobs have largely failed, government records show. Two years after it was awarded $186 million in federal stimulus money to weatherize drafty homes, California has spent only a little over half that sum and has so far created the equivalent of just 538 full-time jobs in the last quarter, according to the State Department of Community Services and Development.

and

Job training programs intended for the clean economy have also failed to generate big numbers. The Economic Development Department in California reports that $59 million in state, federal and private money dedicated to green jobs training and apprenticeship has led to only 719 job placements — the equivalent of an $82,000 subsidy for each one.

And earlier this week, a US solar company which had received a $535 million government subsidy filed for bankruptcy due to falling panel prices and global demand.

Solyndra is the third U.S. solar manufacturer to fail in a month as falling panel prices and weak global demand are driving a wave of industry consolidation. President Obama visited Solyndra’s factory in May 2010 to promote investments in renewable energy and its closure will provide fuel to critics of his policies.

You bet they will. One of the questions these critics may well be asking Obama is: isn’t squandering half a billion of taxpayers’ money on a failed project a rather cheeky way of funding your election campaigns?

A solar energy company that intends to file for bankruptcy received $535 million in backing from the federal government and has a cozy history with
Democrats and the Obama administration, campaign finance records show.

Shareholders and executives of Solyndra, a green energy company producing solar panels, fundraised for and donated to the Obama administration to
the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tulsa billionaire George Kaiser, a key Obama backer who raised between $50,000 and $100,000 for the president’s election campaign, is one of Solyndra’s primary investors. Kaiser himself donated $53,500 to Obama’s 2008 election campaign, split between the DSCC and Obama For America. Kaiser also made several visits to the White House and appeared at some White House events next to Obama officials.

Campaign finance records show Kaiser and Solyndra executives and board members donated $87,050 total to Obama’s election campaign.

Yep, it seems like there’s one rule for the political class and its cronies and another one for the rest of us. If, say, you’re Sir Reginald Sheffield Bt the father-in-law of the British prime minister you can make getting on for a £1000 a week from the wind farms on your estates; if you’re the wife of the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg you can make hundreds of thousands of pounds as a legal adviser to the Spanish wind farm company whose unsightly bat-chomping eco-crucifixes are going to be wrecking the British countryside.

If on the other, hand you’re an ordinary punter, you’re expected to sit there and take it as the cost of your energy is doubled, your standard of living lowered, the countryside you love is ruined, and the destruction of your ailing economy is accelerated by the policies of a Government which no longer gives a damn what you think about anything.

Related posts:

  1. ‘Green jobs’ and feed-in tariffs: rent-seeking parasites get their just desserts
  2. The real cost of ‘global warming’
  3. What Dave and his chum Barack don’t want you to know about green jobs and green energy
  4. Green Jobs. What Green Jobs?