So-called CO2-free power stations will be an important topic for the German EU presidency starting in January 2007. The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in Karlsruhe together with the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) has compiled and evaluated the current state of international research. The study conducted for the Federal Environmental Agency provides answers on which methods there are for capturing CO2 from power station emissions, how the gas can be stored below ground and what economic consequences the technology has.
The Fraunhofer ISI concludes that CO2 capture is an interesting bridging technology to significantly reduce the emissions of the greenhouse gas in the next 20 to 50 years until the full portfolio of regenerative energy sources has been developed including photovoltaic and solar thermal electricity. But it is not a miracle solution: power stations with CO2 capture consume one third more coal or gas and thus do not constitute progress towards a sustainable energy supply. According to studies of the BGR, storage possibilities for CO2 are mainly to be found in northern Germany. However, the suitability and capacity of individual underground structures are still unknown.
Whether CO2-free power stations are economic depends on the standard of comparison used. In spite of the complex technology involved, they are currently much cheaper than part of the renewable energy technology portfolio such as photovoltaic and geothermal electricity. If all the costs are taken into account including the costs for capture, transport and storage, avoiding one ton of CO2 costs about 40 Euro and is thus almost double what operators of conventional power stations have to pay for emission allowances under the emissions trading scheme. However, emission certificates will probably become more expensive so that the first large CO2-free power station which RWE plans to put into operation in 2014 could be competitive by then.
It is not certain how residents will react to underground CO2 storage in their vicinity. Legal issues of CO2 capture and storage also require clarification according to Fraunhofer ISI. So far, the laws concerning underground formations such as the Federal Mining Act or the Federal Water Act do not take CO2 storage into account.
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy