Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) will be the key technology for reducing carbon dioxide in the future while meeting the world’s coal needs, according to a study released by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.The study, The Future of Coal: Options for a Carbon Constrained World, examines how the world can continue to use coal without adding to global warming, and suggests the U.S. assume leadership by adopting policies that are environmentally friendly.
The study found that coal use is projected to increase due to its low cost per BTU; however the increased use will further aggravate climate changes unless coal plants utilize high efficiency and large-scale CCS systems, which offer a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
The U.S. government should provide assistance only to coal projects with carbon dioxide capture in order to demonstrate technical, economic and environmental performance, the group said.
The study findings also suggest Congress should remove any expectation that construction of new coal plants without carbon dioxide capture will be "grandfathered" and granted emission allowances in the event of future regulation. China and India are unlikely to adopt carbon constraints unless the United States does so and leads the way in the development of CCS technology.
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