Submitted by New Energy News Blog

Define Irony: The carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project Canada’s conservative government claims is the answer to global climate change will be (partially) financed by oil field operators who will recoup their investment by pumping the captured gases into aging oil wells to enhance oil recovery (EOR). That oil, of course, will be burned and produce more greenhouse gas (GhG) emissions, thereby worsening global climate change.

The cost for building a tiny 100-megawatt facility equipped with CCS technology will be $1.4 billion. The previous government’s plans to build a 300-megawatt facility were canceled when projected costs ran to $3.8 billion. The province of Saskatchewan alone generates 3,500 megawatts. That’s a lot of billions going into CCS technology.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall: “Imagine the commercialization opportunities for that technology around the world…Imagine the interest in India, China and the United States, who, by the way, are forecasting a greater reliance on coal, not less.”

Imagine that somebody in Premier Wall’s constituency owns stock in a CCS manufacturing company…

Environmentalists have suggested the money might be better spent on clean New Energy projects. You think?

Where the multibillion dollar action will be. (click to enlarge)

PM highlights carbon capture in climate change plans
Tim Cook, March 26, (The Canadian Press via CNews)

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, SaskPower

SaskPower’s plan. (click to enlarge)

Harper talked about the short term costs and long term benefits of investing Canadian resources in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology, also known as “clean coal.”

Canada’s first CCS project, the SaskPower Boundary Dam project, is expected to go online in 2015.

SaskPower’s network and power mix. (click to enlarge)

The Boundary Dam power station is in southeastern Saskatchewan.

– CCS is a key plank in the Harper-led Conservative Party plan to address global climate change.
– Saskatchewan relies heavily on coal-fired power plants and therefore is the Canadian province with the highest rate of greenhouse gas emissions.
– The SaskPower Boundary Dam project will have the capacity to capture for sequestration 100 megawatts of coal-fired power. It wil cost $1.4 billion. Canada will pay $240 million, Saskatchewan will pay $758 million and the balance will come from private sector investment.
– The private sector money will come from nearby oil field operators who will use the captured CO2 gases to enhance oil production.

The captured CO2 gas will go to enhance oil recovery which, of course, results in more fossil fuel burning and more emissions. “Clean” coal = more oil. A perfect solution for the 1950s. (click to enlarge)

– Harper, on the cost of CCS: “All the cost pressures on energy, including admittedly cost pressures around environmental regulation, are likely to lead to upward pressure on power prices across this country in years to come…Canadians have to understand that there is a price to this.”
– Harper, on the cost again: “These remain expensive technologies…The federal government doesn’t have plans to fund cost overruns…Obviously the province and the other partners will be watching those very closely.”

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