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Department of Energy advances commercialization of climate change technology

DOE to provide over $450 million to support the deployment of carbon sequestration technologies in North America



U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Jeffrey D. Jarrett today announced the Department's support of seven tests in North America to advance carbon sequestration technologies while attending the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate. DOE will provide more than $450 million over the next 10 years to validate that the capture, transportation, injection, and long term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be done safely, permanently, and economically.

"Carbon sequestration will play a key role in the United States' effort to mitigate climate change and holds the key to the continued environmentally-responsible use of coal," Assistant Secretary Jarrett said. "These tests, the next step in demonstrating that sequestration technologies are ready for commercialization, will help us achieve the President's climate change initiative by confirming that the geology of North America is suitable for the permanent and safe storage of CO2 for millennia."

This technology has been demonstrated at a few locations around the world with great success. It will play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent by 2012 and ensure that sequestration technologies will be ready for future deployment. DOE will work with the existing Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships and over 300 partners from industry, academia, federal and state governments, and national laboratories to develop these large volume sequestration tests. These Partnerships have been working to characterize their regions' opportunities and existing infrastructure for carbon sequestration.

Results obtained from these large volume sequestration tests will be crucial to the development of DOE's FutureGen power plant, which will produce both hydrogen and electricity from a highly efficient and technologically sophisticated coal-fired power plant, and do so without emissions. The geologic structures that will be tested during these large volume sequestration tests could be candidate sites for FutureGen-like plants.

The Partnerships have identified sequestration opportunities across the United States that have the potential to store more than 600 billion metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of more than 200 years of emissions from energy sources in the United States. They are currently implementing a number of small field tests designed to validate the estimates of capacity and availability determined during the Characterization Phase.

The Partnerships receiving the awards will, over the next ten years, develop and implement these large volume sequestration tests in geologic formations which hold substantial storage capacity. Over that period the Partnerships will select and characterize the test sites, inject CO2 from various sources,, and model and monitor the fate of the CO2. They will also obtain the necessary permits, conduct public outreach, and continue to characterize their regions for sequestration opportunities. The results and experience gained from these large volume field tests will help the United States take advantage of those opportunities to mitigate CO2 emissions.

The network of Regional Partnerships includes more than 300 organizations in 40 U.S. states, three Indian nations, and four Canadian provinces. The collective data generated by the Partnerships has been integrated into an information gateway called NatCarb, developed by the University of Kansas, to consolidate geologic and terrestrial data on sequestration sites.

DOE expects to make the official awards to the Partnerships in fall of 2007. Results from this Phase will identify significant deployment opportunities for carbon sequestration technologies throughout North America.

The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate is a unique public-private initiative among government and private sector partners from Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States. These six countries account for about half of the world's population and more than half of the world's economy and energy use. The First Ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Partnership took place in Sydney, Australia, in January 2006. At that meeting, the ministers agreed to a Partnership Communique, Charter, and Work Plan that established eight public-private sector Task Forces.

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