Australia’s Senate has voted to repeal the country’s carbon tax. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said that he will seek to replace the carbon tax with an AUS$2.55-billion taxpayer-funded plan that will pay industries to reduce emissions and employ clean energy.
Bangladesh’s government has approved the country’s first coal-fired power plant, which will be a 1200-MW ultra-supercritical station that will receive support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Wu Xinxiong, president of the China National Energy Administration, provided insight into the planning of the 13th Five-Year Plan as it relates to coal use in China. The percentage of coal used for power generation will be increased, while coal consumption intensity and emissions will be reduced. For instance, efficiency improvements will be required so that coal consumption for a new power station and any existing plant larger than 600 MW must be less than 300 gsce/kWh within five years.
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry has cut tariffs for solar power by one fifth in the two years since an ambitious plan began to ramp up solar production. Lower-than-projected solar installations—only 13% of approved projects have been installed and are operating—may pave the way for restarting more nuclear stations.
Japan recently announced that it will be increasing financial support to coal-fired power plants being built in other countries. The increased funding is aimed at ensuring that newly built plants will be able to operate with higher efficiencies and have the latest clean coal technologies applied than what might be possible without support.
The European Commission recently confirmed that funding for the €300-million White Rose CCS project in Yorkshire will be provided through the NER300 program.
The combined-cycle unit at Mississippi Power’s Kemper IGCC plant was successfully placed into commercial operation in August. The next milestone will be the heat up of the lignite-fueled gasifier; commercial operation using the gasifier is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2015.
The U.S. EPA has approved permits for the FutureGen clean coal project to store CO2 underground, representing an important milestone for the project.
The U.S. Department of Energy announced that construction has begun on the commercial-scale Petra Nova CCUS project, sited in Texas. Once operational, the 240-MW project will capture 90% of the CO2 from an existing coal-fired power plant and use the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery.
The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy has requested support from China’s National Energy Administration to increase collaboration on the Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP). The Export-Import Bank of China has already agreed to provide some financing for the project while the Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation, a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation, will provide engineering services. In addition, it has been proposed that the TCEP be a counter-facing project for the Huaneng GreenGen Phase 2 Project. Under the proposal the two projects would share non-proprietary information for the benefit of both projects. In addition, under the proposed collaboration Huaneng will provide assistance to TCEP during commissioning.