Thursday, March 11, 2021

Senate Environmental Committee Hears About Using Carbon Capture Technology To Reduce PA’s Carbon Footprint

On March 10, the
Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held an information meeting on the deployment and utilization of carbon dioxide capture and management technologies.

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Committee, underlined the importance of carbon collection for both the environment and industry. He explained that carbon emissions not only come from energy production, but from various places, which compounds the difficulty of reducing Pennsylvania's carbon footprint.

Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester), Minority Chair of the Committee, noted the need for all aspects of energy technology to evolve in order to stop climate change.

She also made the Committee aware that Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) is planning to introduce legislation that will make carbon capture part of Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards.  Read more here.

Dr. Brian Anderson, director, National Energy Technology Laboratory, said the Department of Energy  has been tasked with a critical role-- to serve the Biden Administration’s bold climate agenda. It has been asked to develop innovative, cutting-edge carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies from the bench scale at the laboratory into commercially deployable solutions.

Anderson said decarbonized fossil-based solutions are necessary as a bridge to carbon-free technologies.

He said a further stage may focus on “blue hydrogen,” derived from fossil fuels in a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative manner, enroute to the eventual goal of using renewables-powered electrolysis to get hydrogen from water. 

The International Energy Agency estimates that a changeover to green hydrogen could be feasible on a global scale around 2050, leaving us with at least 30 years of continued dependence on fossil energy sources.

Andersen said one way to keep costs down is to leverage existing infrastructure for transport and storage. Adaptation of natural gas infrastructure to accommodate hydrogen will require advanced technology and code development; NETL is well positioned to lead that type of research.

Adaptation of existing plants and development of technologies for new fossil power plants to increase their flexible use has been a chief R&D objective at NETL for the past several years.

Dr. Gale Blackmer, Director of DCNR’s Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey and State Geologist, and Kristin Carter, Assistant State Geologist, provided the Committee with an overview of DCNR’s involvement with various initiatives related to storing carbon.  Read more here.

Denise Brinley, Executive Director of DCED’s Pennsylvania Office Of Energy, outlined the status of carbon capture initiatives in Pennsylvania which she said have been slow to develop because of the costs involved.

Jacquie Fidler, Vice President Of Environmental & Sustainability for Consol Energy, said here company plans to open a new waste coal and biomass-fueled plant equipped with carbon capture technology and storage that includes water reuse strategies.

Perry Babb, Chairman & CEO Of KeyState Natural Gas Synthesis and Carbon Storage, described his company’s work in Clinton County to capture carbon dioxide emissions to create “blue hydrogen” and low-carbon ammonia from diesel and factory emissions.

He detailed the process which he said would remove about 90 percent of the carbon dioxide and sequester the remaining 10 percent underground at the site.

Click Here to watch a video of the hearing and for written testimony.

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-3280 or sending email to:   Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-5709 or sending email to:

[Posted: March 11, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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