Economist: "Clean coal" eine Illusion

Das einflussreiche britische Magazin „The Economist“ hat in einem Leitartikel „Clean coal“ aka CCS (Carbon capture and storage) als Illusion bezeichnet. Hier ein Auszug:

(…) CCS is proving easier to talk up than to get going (see article). There are no big power plants using it, just a handful of small demonstration projects. Utilities refuse to make bigger investments because power plants with CCS would be much more expensive to build and run than the ordinary sort. They seem more inclined to invest in other low-carbon power sources, such as nuclear, solar and wind. Inventors and venture capitalists, in the meantime, are striving to create all manner of new technologies-bugs for biofuels, revolutionary solar panels, smart-grid applications-but it is hard to find anyone working on CCS in their garage (…). Several green pressure groups, and even some energy and power company bosses, think that the whole idea is unworkable.

With the private sector sitting on its hands, Western governments are lavishing subsidies on CCS. Some $3.4 billion earmarked for CCS found its way into America’s stimulus bill. The European Union, which already restricts greenhouse-gas emissions through a cap-and-trade scheme, unveiled further incentives for CCS last year. Britain, Australia and others have also vowed to help fund demonstration plants partly because they reckon the private sector is put off by the huge price-tag on a single CCS power plant, and also in the belief that the cost of CCS will fall with experience.
Burning cash

The private sector, however, is reluctant to fork out not just because of the upfront cost of power plants, but also because, tonne for tonne, CCS looks like an expensive way of cutting carbon. The cost of it may fall, but probably not by much, given the familiarity of the technologies it uses.

Mehr zur CCS Debatte u.a. bei Climate Progress.

Weil CCS sicher ein teurer Spass ist, scheint es mir sinnvoller, knappe oeffentliche Mittel in ein europaweites Hochspannungsnetz zu stecken (Super Smart Grid), um erneuerbare Energien im grossen Stil ins Netz einzuspeisen. Doch ausschliessen will ich es nicht, dass wir CCS als eine Option einmal brauchen werden.