Geosequestration

Discussion

Geosequestration, or carbon capture and storage (CCS), involves capturing the carbon dioxide from coal burning power stations (or other significant, points sources of CO2), and burying it securly underground so that it does not escape into the atmosphere.

Geosequestration, where available, converts coal from a high greenhouse energy source to a low greenhouse one.

Coal is a relatively cheap energy source in some regions of the world. So even with the extra cost of capturing the CO2 and pumping it underground, the low-emission electricity produced may still be cost competitive with other low-emission electricity sources such as wind and solar power.

The geological locations suitable for storing CO2 underground in significant quantities are limited, and so the amount of coal that burned without CO2 release into the atmosphere may only be a small fraction of the coal available. But the transition to a low or zero emissions economy will require all available, practical means for decarbonising energy supplies.

Unfortunately, much of the technology required to allow for CO2 capture, and storage in various geological locations, has not been fully developed, and may not be available for commercial application for 10 or 20 years.

Library

Can the Coal Industry Bury Its Greenhouse Problem? Institute for Sustainable Futures.

Carbon Capture and Storage. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2005

CO2 Underground: The Answer to Climate Change or Part of the Problem? ABC - Earthbeat. 2003.2.15

Coal 21 National Action Plan. Earthbeat. ABC. 2004.3.27

Cutting Australia's Greenhouse Gas by Half. CSIRO. 2003.9

Energy options and greenhouse consequences. Peter Cook. ATSE.

Geosequestration. Michael Quinion. World Wide Words

Geosequestration: an option for greenhouse emissions. WasteStreams

Money for Geosequestration but None for Renewables. Australian Democrats. 2003.10

Pipe Dreams (Geosequestration). ABC - Catalyst. 2004.9.9

Underground Sites May Store Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Deborah Smith. Sydney Morning Herald. 2003.4.22

Links

CO2CRC - Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies

2007.7.9