Worlds largest vacuum to suck carbon out of the sky (and money out of wallets)

In a world of turmoil, trust the Sydney Morning Herald to ask the key question of the day: Should Australia house a giant vacuum cleaner to suck carbon from the sky?

In May this year, on the flat plains of an Icelandic geothermal reserve, a gigantic vacuum cleaner designed to suck planet-warming carbon dioxide out of the sky was switched on.

The machine, called Mammoth, would not be entirely out of place on a Mad Max set….

The big machine in Iceland and will soon start pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere each year and turning it into calcium carbonate rock underground.

In a world where humans make 37 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually the project will be able to remove 36,000 tons of CO2 each year, which is approximately one millionth of human annual emissions.

Cost estimates are said to be “closer to $1,000 a ton” to remove the CO2. Effectively, we’re spending 36 million dollars US to convert one millionth of human annual emissions of a fertilizing gas into limestone rock we don’t need.

Flagrant Big Government wastage doesn’t get much more pointless than this.

File this away for […]

Carbon Capture fails again: Chevron spends $600 a ton to bury fertilizer under the NW Shelf

Stuffing a useful gas into holes under the ocean is harder than they thought

Chevron spent $3 billion to put just 5 million tons of carbon dioxide under the ocean floor. The project was plagued with delays and problems with sand clogging the machinery. They captured about one fiftyth of the Chevron emissions in a five year period.

CCS is a modern industrial talisman: Chevron concedes CCS failures at Gorgon, seeks deal with WA regulators


Chevron is understood to have spent more than $3 billion building the carbon capture facility, but it took several years after the start of gas production for the Gorgon CCS project even to begin operation due to delays and technical difficulties. The first CO2 was injected into an undersea deposit in 2019.

It is understood regulators may ask Chevron to offset the emissions it failed to store by purchasing offsets from either local or international carbon markets. If Chevron is made to buy Australian Carbon Credit Units, which currently trade at above $20 per tonne, the cost to the company could easily exceed $200 million.

So they could have done it all 30 times cheaper. (Or, if they […]

EU blows £520m on carbon capture project that stored no carbon

It takes a really big government to waste money on a scale like this

Carbon capture aims to stuff a harmless fertilizer underground in order to change the weather. With CCS, the hard part is deciding which obstacle is the most stupidly unachievable. One ton of solid coal generates nearly three tons of CO2 in a puffy, fluffy, expanded gas form. It doesn’t take a genius to know it won’t fit back into the same hole. And even if you get it down there, it may not stay there. The gas has to be compressed, or refrigerated (or both). Underground holes are hot. Not surprisingly, this takes a lot of energy, so that to build a coal plant with the capability to “store CO2” we must spend 60% more dollars, and then throw away 40% of the electricity as well.

You, I, global business, practically no one would spend their own money on it. The geniuses planning it thought the carbon price would rise from 30 euros to 100 euros which would make it a goer. Instead the carbon credit price feel to seven. (And that’s only after the EU propped it up.)

EUObserver spotted this CCS bonfire. I read […]

UK government blew £168m on Cancelled Carbon Capture Projects

How fast can we burn millions of dollars trying to stuff a perfectly good fertilizer down a sinkhole? This fast…

Carbon capture must rank as one of the most flagrantly ridiculous ways to spend money (even more pointless than desal). To capture and bury the CO2 of a coal fired plant we have to spend around 60% more to build every new power station and then throw away 40% the electricity it makes. (See TonyfromOz’s calculations in the link below).

Sputnik News reports on the second collapse of UK funding for Carbon Capture:

The UK Government has wasted US$123 million on a competition to develop technology that will capture carbon emissions. The project was cancelled according to a report, after the Energy Department failed to agree the long-term costs of the competition with the Treasury.

Concerns over the price to consumers led to the competitions demise, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).

The report, which was produced by the NAO, warned that it was “currently inconceivable” that the CCS projects would be developed with government support, and that the competition costs did not achieve value for money.

This is not the first time a competition run by the government […]

Fracturing in the ranks — Myles Allen, IPCC scientist, tosses renewables under the bus

Kudos to Myles Allen. He might think CO2 is a problem, but at least he is being honest and slightly practical about dealing with it. That’s a big step up from those who urge us to panic about CO2, but then choose the most useless and expensive options to reduce it. Allen effectively gives Abbott’s Direct Action plan a big tick. Finally (indirectly) Tony Abbott gets some credit for out-greening the EU, and offering a more effective and cheaper way to achieve what the Greens said they want. Like I said, Abbott got reductions for $14 a ton, the Greens should have loved him.

Anyway, Myles Allen’s done a study, published in Nature Climate Change, suggesting that there is no point in a few western nations driving in their economies into the dust to reduce their emissions when the rest of the world isn’t. So here’s one of the IPCC team repeating an argument that skeptics have said so many times: if we make ourselves a third world nation, we won’t be able to afford to look after the environment. Our children will have to burn the environment for breakfast.

In the end though Allen thinks the answer is to […]

Carbon capture, clean coal plant goes bankrupt, only $4.4b over budget

TonyfromOz explained how fatal the numbers on “carbon capture” are. (It’s like the GFC of engineering). The new coal plants cost 60% more to build and waste something like 40% of the entire energy they generate to “catch” a beneficial fertilizer and and stuff it in a small hot hole underground.

It’s hard being first, but hey, the plant is only 2 years behind and $4.4 billion over budget. Part of the costs are due to delays because of wet weather. (Apparently the climate models did not see that coming…)

Obama has set aside $6 billion since 2009 for lab research and “commercial deployment” of clean coal. In response to the abject failure he’s doing what most people do when spending other people’s money — “Despite these troubles, the White House says it will continue to support clean coal.”

News last week:

America’s First Clean Coal Plant Put Mississippi Power ‘on the Brink of Bankruptcy’

[Link may not work, try “cached copy“.]

Stephen Lacey

Last week, state regulators approved an emergency rate increase for Mississippi Power in order to keep the company afloat as it completes the increasingly-expensive Kemper plant. Mississippi Power customers will […]

Wait ’til you see these numbers on Carbon Capture and Storage

Did you know CCS (carbon capture and storage) requires an industrial plant almost as large as the coal fired power station it is supposed to clean up? Or that it uses fully 40% of the energy of the entire output of the same station? It turns out to be such an onerous, costly pursuit it could only have been dreamed up by an enemy of coal.

The central problem is that under conditions we humans like to be in, the CO2 molecule emphatically wants to be a huge voluminous gas. To make it more compact and storable back in the small hole it came from, we either have to change it chemically, or forcibly stuff it in under some combination of extreme pressure or extreme cold. And there aren’t many cold sealed rock vaults in Earth’s thin crust, which rests on a 1000 degree C ball of magma. Any form of chemical, temperature or pressure change uses monster amounts of energy, and there is just no getting around it without fiddling with laws of chemistry. The whole idea of CCS is so insanely unfeasible that in order to stuff a beneficial fertilizer underground it […]

$22 billion wasted on carbon capture which increases cost of electricity by 70%

Three things everyone needs to know about carbon capture.

Coal supplies 29% of the worlds total energy (and oil supplies 31%). In the last five years governments world-wide promised to spend $22 billion on carbon capture and storage (CCS). $5b in the US. CCS increases the cost of electricity by 70%. (Yes, you read that correctly, seventy percent). That’s about $60/ton of carbon reduction.

TonyfromOz has been sending me gobsmacking details and statistics on this bizarre practice for months, and I must post them in their full glory as soon as possible. Historians of the future will gape at this strange religious ritual and ask how much we gave up in order to stuff a plant fertilizer down a deep hole in an effort to change the weather. – Jo


Carbon capture and storage—the Edsel of energy policies

By Steve Goreham

Originally published in The Washington Times

The war on climate change has produced many dubious “innovations.” Intermittent wind and solar energy sources, carbon markets that buy and sell “hot air,” and biofuels that burn food as we drive are just a few examples. But carbon capture and storage is the Edsel of energy policies.


Green Hit list: Wasted money and brain power

TWAWKI found something he calls a green hit list.

The “Carbon Capture report” tucks away more meaningless data about you than you could hope to (not) have to read: Factoids you didn’t know existed, don’t want to understand and never cared to compare.

There is so much money sloshing around in The Big Scare Campaign, someone at the University of Illinois has created a massive database with an amazing array of superficial-to-the-point-of-meaningless data. Have you ever wondered what the NewsTone of was — and if I told you it to the second decimal place, does that change anything about the weather? Apparently, “0.36” and slightly “green”, whatever that means. The crew-with-too-much-money have created some autobot crawlers (presumably) that check language on tweets and posts and rate it all for polarization, activity, personalization, blah blah and to the nth blah.

Look closely and you can see part of the GNP of the West evaporating. Pfft.

The entry for someone called Joanne Nova is here.

Could this be your tax dollars at work?

I can’t be bothered trying to figure out what these indicators mean. None of it is obvious, the numbers don’t match up with the […]