"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard P. Feynman

Monday, December 17, 2012

Another quarter billion dollars down the gurgler

 The struggling Sydney Morning Herald has, I kid you not , a Carbon Economy Editor which probably goes some way to explain why the paper is going down the tubes. With the staff levels now cut to the bone only those vital to the the paper now remain including the above position.It would obviously  be impossible for a newspaper to operate without a Carbon Economy Editor . This must be a board decision - the same board which wants the richest woman in the world before she invests to sign a declaration that she will not change the editorial policies that have sent the paper broke.
Anyway the Carbon Economy Editor has the story of the "clean coal" project  at the old Callide Power station which has racked up close to a  quarter billion dollars trying to capture CO2 and stuff it into a hole in the ground where it is supposed to stay in this looney-tunes plan.
It seems that the main fuel that the trial plant burns is taxpayer dollars !

If there is a future to clean coal, it may well be found in Banana Shire in central Queensland.
There, amid open-cut coalmines and the odd Queensland bottle tree, federal and state governments and the coal industry over the weekend unveiled the Callide Oxyfuel Demonstration Project.
Dubbed a ''vitally important step towards low-emission coal technology'', the 30-megawatt power plant was handed another $27 million to reach 10,000 hours of operations to prove the processes work.
By November 2014, funding for the formerly mothballed 43-year-old plant will exceed $230 million. Governments, federal and state, will supply almost 40 per cent, with about a third coming from a voluntary levy on the coal industry, and the balance from Japanese companies and Tokyo.
The plant in recent days began trapping about 85 per cent of the carbon dioxide produced from burning coal using a mix of oxygen and flue gases.
Its proponents say that by proving the ''capture'' component of carbon capture and storage (CCS), the Callide plant may serve as a model to retrofit coal and gas-fired power plants around the world.
As typically the ''dirtiest'' fossil fuel source because of the high greenhouse gas it emits when burnt, coal is a key target of environmental groups campaigning to combat climate change.

Meanwhile in the real world even the UK government has scrapped the Longannet CCS plant  and Canada has binned a planned billion dollar CCS plant.


  1. The New York Times in America leads the way with similar trash.

    It too would have went bust if it wasn't for Mexican business tycoon and massive energy consumer Carlos Slim.

    Oh the irony of these shameless journalists / editors. The begging bowl in the paper industry is always put in front of fossil fuel businesses that generate energy and wealth. Surely, a carbon editor would be happy to see the demise of the paper industry given it's own high carbon footprint. Oh yes he needs to spread the word and line his slimy overpaid pockets in the process.

    Why cant Greenpiss step in and save these green bible pushers? It's not like they don't have the money.

    Rinehart should let them go bust and pick up the news rag for pennies in the liquidation sale.

  2. I tend to concentrate on the costs side, rather than the technical side of these matters.
    If cost will be $230m by Nov 2014 what are the proportions of R&D, capital investment and operating costs? From your figures, most seems to be operating costs. So, even if this project is technically successful, implementation will mean massively increasing the cost of coal-fired generation. By such means renewables become "cost effective".
    However, it will probably not be technically successful, given that others have failed and there are no loud proclamations made here in Britain.

  3. The clean coal project must be pushed and implemented. Imagining all the dirt materials that were produced and can be inhaled by many is extremely dangerous to the health. With this clean coal project, air monitoring services must be included to ensure safety and hazard to the place.