This week’s coal-sucks update
I just realized it’s been almost a week since I’ve published a coal-bashing post! This cannot stand.
I’ll have to dig back a bit … ah, here we go: a new study from the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center (CEIC) concludes that investing in plug-in hybrids would be much more sensible, in terms of both GHG emissions and energy security, than commensurate investments in liquid coal. Notes the study, "duh." No, wait, that was me. Here’s a juicy pull quote (emphasis mine):
It can be seen that gasoline derived from CTL plants with no CCS could increase GHG emissions from vehicles by almost 60%. If CCS is available, then a reduction of less than 6% could be obtained. It is important to note, once again, that in this best-case CTL scenario, not only is there CCS at the CTL plant, but also a low-carbon electricity source is used for CTL production. This might not be a very realistic assumption, but is presented here to show that at best we could only obtain a very small reduction in GHG emissions following a path of increased CTL production.
Plug-in hybrids look more promising as a pathway for reduction of GHG emissions. Even if coal electricity without CCS is used, plug-in hybrids could lead to a GHG emissions reduction of almost 25%. This demonstrates the worst case for plug-in hybrids, as GHGs would be further reduced with a low-carbon electricity portfolio.
Mike at GreenCarCongress has a detailed rundown on the study’s contents.
And finally, via NRDC’s new Switchboard blog, this clever advertisement, which NRDC ran in Roll Call in March (click for PDF):