U.S. and South Korea Sign
Agreement on FutureGen Project
U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman and South Korean Minister of Commerce, Industry & Energy, Sye Kyun Chung, signed an agreement making South Korea the second country, after India, to join the United States in the FutureGen International Partnership. Korea has pledged $10 million to help build and operate the world's first zero-emissions coal-fired power plant and will sit on a government steering committee to oversee this initiative. Once operational, this plant will remove and sequester carbon dioxide while producing electricity and hydrogen, making it the environmentally cleanest fossil fuel fired power plant in the world.
"This agreement signifies our collective commitment to global technological leadership on climate change and future energy needs," Secretary Bodman said. "This bold and revolutionary initiative known as FutureGen will ensure that clean coal continues to globally supply our energy needs in ways that are environmentally sustainable and responsible."
The $1 billion FutureGen initiative is a ten-year effort announced by President Bush in 2003 to integrate advanced coal gasification technology, hydrogen from coal, power generation, and carbon dioxide capture and geologic storage. FutureGen will initiate operations in 2012 and will be the first plant in the world to produce both electricity and commercial-grade hydrogen from coal, simultaneously. Virtually every aspect of the 275 megawatt prototype plant will be based on cutting-edge technology.
Twelve sites in seven states have been named as candidates to host the $1 billion FutureGen power plant. The FutureGen Alliance plans to deliver a list of finalist sites to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) this summer following a rigorous evaluation based on criteria developed jointly by the Alliance and DOE. The department will review the candidate sites in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act and select a final site in the fall of 2007.
The initiative is a response to President Bush's directive to draw upon the best scientific research to address the issue of global climate change and revolutionize the way we power our cars, homes, and businesses as part of the President's Advanced Energy Initiative. The hydrogen component of the initiative supports the President's call to create a hydrogen economy and fuel pollution-free vehicles; and the use of coal will help ensure America's energy security by developing technologies that utilize a plentiful domestic resource.
Secretary Bodman has also invited government members of the international Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) to become active participants in the FutureGen project. The CSLF is a voluntary climate initiative that includes 20 developed and developing nations (including India and Korea) plus the European Commission. CSLF members are engaged in cooperative technology development aimed at enabling the early reduction and steady elimination of the carbon dioxide. The project will be led by an industrial consortium representing the coal and power industries, with the project results being shared among all participants, and industry as a whole.
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