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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

09 Nov 2007 05:11:36

Investment urgently needed for carbon storage

The technology required to remove large amounts of carbon-dioxide from coal-burning power plants is at least ten years away from becoming a commercially viable reality at the current rate of investment, United States experts have claimed.

At a Senate subcommittee hearing on carbon storage this week, Howard Herzog, from MIT''s Laboratory for Energy and the Environment, said that the theory behind the process was sound, but that its implementation was being held back by severe underinvestment.

"While geologic sequestration is scientifically feasible, it is not technologically or institutionally ready," the Environmental News Service reported him as saying. "The number one impediment to moving ahead is a lack of funding.

"The goal should be to achieve technological readiness by the time climate legislation creates market opportunities for carbon capture and storage technologies. Unfortunately we are currently not on that path," he added.

In the US, the energy department spends $300 million (£145 million) on carbon capture and storage technology research every year, but Mr Herzog said that this figure would need to be increased by $1 billion (£477 million) if the technology was to be available within 10 years.

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