Clean coal plants mired by cost and delays

December 27th, 2007 in Earth / Environment

Clean coal-fired plants offer a cleaner fuel source but construction costs and increased greenhouse gas standards in the United States hamper their production.

Regulators canceled, suspended or refused several plans to develop clean coal-fired plants citing construction costs, technological pitfalls and regulation regarding greenhouse gas emissions, USA Today said Thursday.

Clean coal-fired plants cost 20 percent more to build than standard plants but long-term expenses are 20 percent less than standard plants, Ed Rubin, an environmental engineering scientist with Carnegie Mellon University, told USA Today.

Only two clean coal-fired plants operate in the United States but that number may increase because the newer plants are more readily retrofitted to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the newspaper said.

The Ohio-based electric utility American Electric Power is proposing two new clean coal-fired plants in Ohio and West Virginia.

"I think it's essential that we as a nation take advantage of one of the indigenous fuel sources we have," said Michael Morris with AEP.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

"Clean coal plants mired by cost and delays." December 27th, 2007. http://phys.org/news117976281.html