Reposted from MasterResource
By Robert Bradley Jr. — October 13, 2021
“Goodbye and good riddance to the most expensive, and the most useless clean coal facility ever built.” (Angus Harvey, beneath)
The fast repair of coal gasification and CO2 storage is all however useless. Projects will proceed, and the subsidies will circulate if Biden will get his means. But it's greenwashing and greenwasting.
The shiny star to be, Plant Ratcliffe, higher referred to as the Kemper Project, a $6.7 billion built-in gasification energy plant, was an experimental boondoggle from the beginning (mid-2010). The dream actually ended years in the past, with The Guardian reporting in March 2018:
“This was the flagship project that was going to lead the way for a whole new generation of coal power plants,” mentioned Richard Heinberg, senior fellow on the Post Carbon Institute. “If the initial project doesn’t work then who’s going to invest in any more like it?”
Company officers have blamed the failure on elements starting from competitors from tumbling pure fuel costs to unhealthy climate, unhealthy timing and plain previous unhealthy luck.
BOOM! Mississippi Power’s Kemper Project (Southern Company) was blown up by a “controlled implosion.” Amid the ruins is the know-how of changing the state’s ample lignite into artificial fuel (syngas) to feed a 582-megawatt energy plant. Politics outlined the mission, with Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour presiding.
“If it had become operational with coal,” Wiki famous, “the Kemper Project would have been a first-of-its-kind electricity plant to employ gasification and carbon capture technologies at this scale.”
The Left Reacts
Political economist Angus Harvey described the futile dream that solely the US Department of Energy et al. may have dreamed up:
This is the wonderful footage of the Kemper coal plant in Mississippi – one of many fossil gas trade’s largest ever scams – being destroyed yesterday (to some beautiful backing music).
A decade in the past, this supposed technological surprise was being marketed because the coal trade’s moonshot, a $7.5 billion mission to provide power from ‘clean coal.’ It by no means labored, however did handle to burn an enormous quantity of carbon and taxpayer cash within the course of. The ratepayers of one of many poorest states in America coughed up $2.8 billion for this fuckup, after which an extra $1 billion in 2012 after the state’s governor used his energy to pressure Mississippi Power to pay for it in bonds owned by clients.
Just to place this into context: the funds for the principle company within the United States that handles substance abuse and psychological well being, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is round $4.1 billion. Instead of spending this cash on a coal plant that by no means labored, that company’s funding may have been doubled for a yr. Choices huh?
Last summer time the plant’s proprietor introduced it was abandoning building after years of blown-out budgets and missed building deadlines.
Goodbye and good riddance to the costliest, and essentially the most ineffective clear coal facility ever constructed.
Susan Krumdieck, a self-described “author and thought leader in Energy Transition Engineering,” added:
What a large number. But at the very least we will use the proof, and by no means contemplate doing this “clean coal” nonsense once more.
Today some economists gained the Nobel Prize for utilizing “natural experiments” – which apparently means what occurs in the true world and utilizing actual knowledge. Brilliant.
This is a pure experiment in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. When pressures are constructing, the flexibility to undertake nonsense as a “solution” to the issue can tackle gargantuan scale.
To which the critic can say: This is what you get if you attempt to invert actuality with dilute, intermittent energies substituting for dense, dependable ones–for wind/photo voltaic substituting for pure fuel/coal.
To finish politics, Ms. Krumdieck, rethink the futile, wasteful campaign in opposition to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. End the battle in opposition to inexpensive, dependable, utilitarian mineral energies.