Power Engineering International

Welcome to the online version of our Power Engineering International (Pei) print publication. This is where to find archive magazine articles as well as our present edition. For any feedback on the content contact us here or discuss on PEi LinkedIn Group

How about utilising carbon rather than storing it?

Last month's announcement by the UK government's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that it had withdrawn its funding from the carbon capture and storage (CCS) project, due to be implemented at the 2.4 GW Longannet coal fired power plant in Scotland, came as quite a shock to the CCS community and the wider power industry.

The government's reason behind pulling the plug on the project was a simple one – money. According to the government, the project no longer represented a good investment for public funds. In these fiscally constrained times, it is maybe not surprising to see politicians being extremely careful with taxpayers' money.

When E.ON cancelled its plans to build a coal fired station with prototype CCS technology at its Kingsnorth site last year Longannet became UK's most advanced CCS project.

Thus the decision to cancel the project does beg the question: What now for the commercialisation of CCS in the UK, and, arguably more important, its desire to lead the world in CCS technology?

On the plus-side, the government was quick to confirm that the £1 billion ($1.6 billion) earmarked for CCS demonstration would be used to pursue other projects, and DECC representatives were due to meet with industry leaders earlier this month.

The outcome of that discussion has not been made public, but certainly the opinion of many in the UK power sector is that any CCS demo project is likely to be conducted at a gas fired rather than a coal fired power plant.

In recent years, utilities and suppliers to the power industry have made significant investments in pilot carbon capture projects right across the globe, which are demonstrating the effectiveness of capturing the carbon dioxide (CO2) from a power plant's stack. So are the cost concerns in relation to the commercialization of CCS more to do with the required transportation network investment, as well as identifying suitable storage sites?

If this is the case, could there be an alternative to storage? Could we see CO2 transformed from a much-maligned waste product that costs power plant operators money into a desirable byproduct that could generate cash?

We are all familiar with the concept of enhanced oil recovery, where CO2 from industrial processes are injected into essentially depleted oil reserves, enabling the recovery of oil that cannot be recovered by either primary production or secondary water flooding. Countries such as the US and Norway are actively demonstrating this, and if the economics work it can create a win-win situation for all.

But how about some 'blue sky thinking'? One organisation that is doing just that is the Advanced Concepts Group at Lotus Engineering, based in the UK. Speaking recently at 'The Future of Carbon Capture & Storage Technology' seminar in London, Dr. Richard Pearson, who is a senior technical specialist at Lotus' Advanced Research Concepts Group, explained how in the not too distant future we could be replacing the oil-based fuels in our vehicles for one synthesized from carbon dioxide. With transportation being the fastest growing sector in terms of carbon emissions, this conversion technology, in one fell swoop, would turn our cars carbon neutral!

Obviously, it is not quite as straightforward as that, and the commercialisation of such a conversion process is still some way off, but wouldn't it be great to think that potentially one day the carbon emissions captured from your power station could be ultimately fuelling your journey to and from work.

Finally, I would like to address a remiss of mine. In the October issue, you may have noticed a new name appeared. What I did not do was introduce that person to you. I am delighted to do so now.

The new deputy editor of Power Engineering International is Kelvin Ross, who previously was news editor at the UK online news site, Energy Live News. Please join me in welcoming him onboard.

Kind regards,

Heather Johnstone
Chief Editor

More Power Engineering International Issue Articles
Power Engineering International Archives
View Power Generation Articles on PennEnergy.com

Follow Power Engineering International on Twitter




Editor's Picks

Dr James Watson of Solar Power Europe

The Ideal Future Power Generation Mix - Solar Power Perspective

This latest Power Engineering International Google Hangout features a conversation with Dr James Watson, CEO of Solar Powe...
Joe Kaeser

Bild outlines extent of struggle for power generators

Germany’s biggest selling newspapers have this week provided a telling description of the difficulties associated with the...

RWE in management overhaul of UK arm npower

German utility RWE has initiated a management shake-up at its UK subsidiary RWE npower following dismal half year results.

RWE launches power-to-gas plant in Germany

RWE has today launched a state-of-the-art power-to-gas plant in Germany.

Latest Articles


Editorial Guides

Lubrication Challenges for the Biogas Industry in 2015

The biogas industry is growing in importance as the world continues to look for alternative, clean energy sources. However...

Maximising Power Plant Efficiency

The need for power plants to operate at maximum efficiency and flexibility while cutting emissions is greater than ever be...

How to cut your OPEX

How to cut your OPEX In a constantly evolving electricity market, factors such as over capacity and low coal costs can pu...

Buyers Guide Companies

Rolls Royce Energy Systems

We supply gas turbines, compressors and diesel power units to customers ...

ATG Electronics

For more than a decade, ATG Electronics has established itself as a lead...

SWAN Analytical Instruments AG

Is one of the leading manufacturers of online analytical instruments.

Bran & Luebbe, An SPX Brand

Bran & Luebbe, an SPX brand, has been a worldwide leader in metering, an...

Lenox Instrument Co

Lenox Instrument Co is a manufacturer of highly reliable fixed and porta...

Buyers Guide Products

KONREG

Compact voltage regulator, integrates all ...

Excitation System

Our excitation systems are recognized worl...

MHT410 Moisture, Hydrogen and Temperature Transmitter

The Vaisala Moisture, Hydrogen and Tempera...

DMT340 Series Dewpoint and Temperature Transmitters for Very Dry Conditions

The Vaisala DRYCAP® Dewpoint and Temperatu...

Control Servo Motor SMR

A Voith control servo motor is a linear el...

Power Engineering International

Whitepapers

Bridging the Power Gap in Africa: Testing options to manage constrained short to medium term system operations

Around the world, existing power systems face increasingly constrained operations in the short to medium term with available ageing generation capacity.  In this paper, PLEXOS® has been used t...

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New challenges and opportunities are continually appearing thanks to dramatic developments in technology...

The bottom line: engine oil impact on engine reliability

A reliable and well-maintained gas-powered engine performs consistently and continuously, which can lead to a healthier bottom line for plant operators. There is a raised awareness around the need ...

Understanding Moisture Dynamics in Power Transformers

In this webinar recording "Moisture Dynamics in Power Transformers" (held originally in September 23, 2014) you will have a chance to learn about the phenomena and its importance to your ...

Latest Digital Edition

  Power
  Engineering
  International
Look Inside >
Cover
Current Issue

Article Archives for Power Engineering International Magazine