Coal Key to Meeting World Energy Needs


Preston Chiaro

    Preston Chiaro, Chief Executive of Rio Tinto Energy and Coal Industry Advisory Board (CIAB) Chairman, stated there was wide participation from government and industry at the International Energy Agency / Coal Industry Advisory Board meeting recently. The workshop was to inform the CIAB members of the work program, particularly in its response to the International Energy Agency (lEA) Ministerial and G8 agendas. 
    Chiaro identified energy efficiency and best practice as important, alongside the demonstration of advanced clean coal technologies and commercialization of CO2 capture and storage. 
    Chiaro called for complementary and collaborative solutions, involving all in the coal supply chain on policy and technology development initiatives, and to maximize the coal industry's effort.
    Noe VanHulst, International Energy Agency, Director, Long-term Cooperation & Policy Analysis, noted coal's importance in the energy mix, especially for electricity generation, and said he could not imagine a world without coal. However, he pointed to challenges ahead. 
    By the early 2020s, non-Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members' CO2 emissions will be greater than from OECD countries, with coal-fired power plants remaining a large source. VanHulst saw energy efficiency and the cleaner utilization of fossil fuels as important responses. He suggested that the coal industry grasp the opportunity afforded by the G8 meeting agenda, and present itself as part of the solution to the challenges.

Presenters, panelists, CIAB Members and invited guests took part in a lively and informed debate covering: 
-- Coal's contribution to global energy supply; the environmental performance of coal-fired plants,

-- Improving Clean Coal Technologies (CCTs) through collaborative RD&D, and, 
-- Transferring CCTs into the marketplace. There was a divided view on the urgency of adopting CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS), some believing that commercialization before 2020 was not possible, with others calling for earlier deployment, all agreed that improving coal-fired power plant efficiency was an essential first step that could and should be taken around the world. 
    There was the pragmatic view that commercial CCTs could be widely employed now, to stem the rise in global CO2 emissions, against a more optimistic view that, CCS would be viable to make deeper CO2 reductions in just a few years.
    In the case of the latter, governments need the pro-active support of industry to develop, demonstrate, and deploy the low-emission technology options that are needed quickly to show that coal can have a sustainable future. 
    The role of lEA implementing agreements was noted and the reward for engagement, a sympathetic policy framework towards coal, will be increasingly important for energy security and affordability as governments negotiate post-Kyoto measures to deal with the inexorable rise in CO2 emissions.
    It seemed inconceivable that the business-as-usual strategy proposed by a few, with its moderate effort to address CO2 emissions, could survive the growing political pressures for a clean, clever and competitive energy future. 
    Overall, despite some shared frustrations on technology deployment timescales, the coal industry acknowledged the imperative and the challenges ahead, and was able to report on the many positive initiatives already underway. cl


Jarrett New Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy



Jeffrey D. Jarrett

    Jeffrey D. Jarrett was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy. The 10th person to hold the

 post, Mr. Jarrett was recently confirmed by the Senate.
    "I want to personally welcome Jeffrey to the Department of Energy," Secretary Bodman said. "Today, he takes on the challenging role of promoting and managing some of the most important work that we do at the department. The Office of Fossil Energy is on the cutting edge of great technology that can change the world, and is also intimately involved in initiatives that further enhance our nation's energy security. During the hurricanes this past summer, we all saw how important it was to have qualified, experienced, and committed public servants available to make critical decisions. His past experience, both in government and corporate leadership positions, will make him a valuable member of our team."
    As Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Mr. Jarrett will serve as the primary policy advisor to the Secretary and the department on issues involving federal coal, oil, and natural gas programs, including extensive research and development efforts in those areas. His responsibilities will include management of the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Home Heating Oil Reserve, coordinating and implementing elements of the National Energy Policy Act of 2005, managing the FutureGen initiative, and overseeing the Fossil Energy organization of about 1,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and administrative staff throughout the nation.
    Mr. Jarrett, a West Virginia native, has been serving as the Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining (OSM) director since being confirmed in January 2002. He holds a B.S. in Human Resource Management from Pennsylvania's Geneva College and an A.A.S. degree in Land Stabilization and Reclamation from Belmont Technical College of Ohio. 
    The Energy Department's Fossil Energy organization is made up of about 1000 scientists, engineers, technicians and administrative staff. Its headquarters offices are in downtown Washington, DC, and in Germantown, Maryland. 
    The organization also has field offices in Morgantown, West Virginia; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Tulsa, Oklahoma; New Orleans, Louisiana; Casper, Wyoming; and Albany, Oregon.
    The Office of Fossil Energy is responsible for several high-priority Presidential initiatives including implementation of the Administration's $2 billion, 10-year initiative to develop a new generation of environmentally sound clean coal technologies, the $1 billion FutureGen project to develop a pollution-free plant to co-produce electricity and hydrogen, and the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve and Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, both key emergency response tools available to the President to protect Americans from energy supply disruptions. 



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