Projects and energy: The carbon harbour
On 9 September, 2008, a new coal-fired power plant at Schwarze Pumpe in northeast Germany was commissioned. The plant is small compared with most commercial power plants, producing only 12 megawatts (MW) of electrical output and 30 MW of thermal power for local heating (a conventional power plant produces 1,600 MW of electrical output). Apart from its size, Schwarze Pumpe is unusual because it is designed to capture the carbon dioxide (CO2) it produces. In a process heralded as a major technological step forward in the fight to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, the CO2 will then be transported to and injected into a depleted gas field, where it will be stored permanently.This is the first demonstration of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology involving electricity generation. Although it is worth noting that there are several existing projects around the world which involve the storage of CO2 produced by industrial processes, some of which have been in operation for a number of years.
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