Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Technology

While worries about the stock market, the auto industry, and just about everything to do with the economy are making the front pages of every daily newspaper, worries about global warming have never left the front of our minds. According to most scientists, the Earth is getting warmer, and the environment is already suffering for it. And those same scientists mostly agree that the problem has been created by the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.

While reducing carbon emissions and conserving energy are considered by most to be hugely important steps in reducing or reversing global warming, scientists and researchers have also been considering other ideas. And one new idea that you may not have heard of is CO2 capture plants.

Carbon Capture and Storage

This new idea, called Carbon Capture and Storage (or CCS for short) is a new project that has been widely supported by Britain's Gordon Brown. Europe's plan? To build ten or so carbon capture plants around the European Union by 2015. These plants will be built next to energy production plants (such as coal burning power stations) and will capture and store CO2 as it's created by the burning of coal.

These specialized power stations will cost anywhere from two to three times as much as traditional coal-burning plants. Funding the project will cost the European Union a fortune, requiring subsidies of up to ten billion euros. And most are in agreement that the extra cost is well worth it.

What CCS Does

Like any new technology, there are positives and negatives to Carbon Capture and Storage. While using these plants alongside traditional coal power plants may hugely reduce European carbon emissions, some environmentalists worry about storage issues with CCS. The general plan of the EU is to capture carbon emissions, compacting the carbon dioxide, and permanently storing it in unused sites - almost like another kind of waste (like landfills).

While the idea of permanently storing CO2 may seem to be less progressive than simply reducing carbon emissions, CCS technology may be an approachable, practical solution for a world which is not yet ready to give up on fossil fuels. Though different parts of the world use different fuels to create most of their power, the EU will be getting about 60% of their power from coal burning by 2030, and this energy source is widely used throughout Asia and in much of the Americas, as well. With coal use spreading, the installation of Carbon Capture and Storage plants will help to hugely reduce the amount of damage these power stations can do to the environment.

According to researchers, the ten to twelve plants being planned in the European Union alone may reduce carbon emissions by 400 million tons per year by the year 2030. This reduction in CO2 makes up about a fifth of the entire CO2 reduction planned in the EU during the next couple of decades. Making CCS technology a large step towards a very important goal.

For now, funding is under discussion, and not all European leaders are in agreement about how to implement CCS. But while the fate of Carbon Capture and Storage in the European Union is still undecided, the fact that this technology is being implemented is like a ray of hope to Europe and the rest of the world. This sort of practical solution may be just what the world needs during the transition to a greener lifestyle. Hopefully, we will eventually be able to meet our energy needs without polluting our atmosphere at all. In the meantime, Carbon Capture and Storage isn't a bad start.

This article was written by a Shawn Wilson, a member of the customer support team at Datepad, where internet dating is always free., a free internet dating site.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment