December 7, 2006
The Daily Journal of Commerce is reporting that some environmental groups are not buying into the idea that "coal gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants" are a good idea. Apparently a couple of these plants are on the boards in Washington State.
How clean is coal?
IGCC plants – based on a new energy technology that produces and burns a synthetic natural gas made from coal – emit less mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides than traditional pulverized coal plants and provide for the possibility of carbon capture and storage to reduce global warming pollution.
But the environmental groups are not so sure:
“From the Northwest’s perspective we think that energy efficiency and renewable energy are the resources that should be developed first in meeting the local communities’ needs,” said Nancy Hirsh, policy director for the Northwest Energy Coalition.
December 7, 2006 3:36 AM
I agree. There are just too many holes in the IGCC platform. The carbon sequestering method is only theoretical. The people working on it aren't even sure how to do it yet.
This hasn't stopped the coal industry from touting it as the "be-all, end-all" to our energy needs by buying up TV ads touting it's benefits. The reality is that burning coal will always produce carbon derivatives as well as churn some pollutants into the air.
And of course, there is the disgraceful environmental destruction caused by mountaintop mining.
December 7, 2006 7:47 AM
Ron Swaren Says:
Why doesn't Washington State look into the possibility of micro-hydro power? All it takes is a reliable water source and a steep dropoff. The North Cascades and the Mt. St.Helens-Rainier area both have numerous sites. There's no need to block fish migration, either. Perhaps this could spawn some small high tech industries, analogous to Google locating in The Dalles, OR.
So it's cold in the winter in the mountains.... Radiant electric heat has been proven to be a highly efficient form of heating with virtually no maintenance or pollution, either. Modern building methods are insulated to the extreme, too. Proximity to winter sports, fishing...actually they're not that far from Redmond, WA.
Ther have been a number of micro-hydro projects installed in the Port Alberni, BC area, jointly by the provincial government and the Indian tribes: