22 April 2007

Alternative Energy: FutureGen Partnership between Japan, US

from Yomiuri Shimbun
Date: April 22, 2007

The Japanese and U.S. governments will likely agree at a bilateral summit meeting scheduled for Friday on Japan's participation in a U.S. project to develop a coal-fueled, near-zero emission power plant, it was learned Saturday.

Japan will cooperate with the United States in terms of funds and technologies for the FutureGen project, which the U.S. government has been promoting since 2003. South Korea and India have also participated in the project.

The project will spend more than 1 billion dollars on developing technologies to store carbon dioxide from the plant in the ground, making it the world's first thermal power plant not to emit pollutants and CO2 into the air.

CO2 from the plant will be liquefied by applying massive pressure, before being injected into the earth at a depth of more than 1,000 meters. The new technologies currently being studied are also aimed at preventing the liquefied carbon dioxide from leaking from the rock stratum.

In Japan, the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth has been conducting verification tests on a CO2 geological sequestration system at a natural gas field in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture. It is hoped the results of the research will be applicable to the U.S. project, government sources said.

Although the United States is a major emitter of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, it did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol that set country-specific targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions for the period from 2008 to 2012, aimed at preventing global warming.

Through its cooperation with the FutureGen project, Tokyo will try to persuade the U.S. government to join global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, while at the same time promoting U.S. participation in post-Kyoto Protocol negotiations.

Technologies to store CO2 in the ground and sea have recently been attracting attention, being viewed as one of the most promising measures among others aimed at cutting CO2 emissions.

No comments: