TEMPO.CO, Reykjavik – Para ilmuwan di Islandia berhasil mengubah gas karbondioksida (CO2) menjadi batu. Mereka menawarkan cara baru yang revolusioner untuk mengatasi perubahan iklim. Mereka sebagaimana dilaporkan Channel News Asia, Jumat, 10 Juni 2016, memompa campuran gas itu jauh ke dalam tanah.
Karbon dioksida diketahui adalah faktor kunci dalam pemanasan global, dan para ahli telah lama menyerukan solusi “penangkapan dan penyimpanan karbon” (CCS). “Kita berurusan dengan meningkatnya emisi karbon. Ini teknik penyimpanan permanen–mengubah mereka menjadi batu,” kata Juerg Matter, penulis utama studi itu.
Penemuan yang diterbitkan dalam jurnal Science itu menjadi proyek Carbfix di Hellisheidi Islandia–fasilitas energi panas bumi terbesar di dunia, penghasil energi bagi kota Reykjavik–yang berusaha memantapkan dan menyempurnakan usaha -usaha sebelumnya untuk memadatkan CO2.
Dikatakan bahwa awalnya karbon dioksida disuntikkan ke dalam tanah berpasir atau garam akuifer. Namun percobaan itu gagal. Media dikatakan masih mengandalkan batu untuk menahan gas dari bawah, yang memicu kekhawatiran akan timbulnya kebocoran.
Channel News Asian melaporkan dalam percobaan perdana, gas CO2 dicampur air lantas dipompa ratusan meter ke bawah tanah hingga di lapisan batu basalt vulkanik. Di sanalah campuran itu dengan cepat berubah menjadi padat. Pabrik ini diketahui hanya memproduksi 40 ribu ton CO2 per tahun.
Pada 2012, perusahaan mulai memompa 250 ton CO2 dicampur dengan air ke dalam tanah. Dan 95 persen dari campuran yang disuntikkan ditemukan telah menjadi batu putih seperti kapur dalam waktu dua tahun. “Kejutan yang sangat menyenangkan,” kata Edda Aradottir, yang mengepalai proyek Energi Reykjavik.
Didorong oleh keberhasilan, perusahaan telah meningkatkan proyek dan dari musim panas ini akan mengubur sekitar 10 ribu ton CO2 setiap tahun, kata Aradottir. “Ini berarti kita dapat memompa turun CO2 dalam jumlah besar dan menyimpannya dalam cara yang sangat aman,” kata rekan penulis untuk studi Martin Stute, ahli hidrologi di Columbia University Earth Observatory.
“Ke depan, kita bisa memikirkan bagaiman menggunakan ini untuk pembangkit listrik di tempat-tempat lain,” ujar Stute.
CHANNEL NEWS ASIA | MECHOS DE LAROCHA
bbc.com: Scientists think they have found a smart way to constrain carbon dioxide emissions – just turn them to stone.
The researchers report an experiment in Iceland where they have pumped CO2 and water underground into volcanic rock.
Reactions with the minerals in the deep basalts convert the carbon dioxide to a stable, immobile chalky solid.
Even more encouraging, the team writes in Science magazine, is the speed at which this process occurs: on the order of months.
“Of our 220 tonnes of injected CO2, 95% was converted to limestone in less than two years,” said lead author Juerg Matter from Southampton University, UK.
“It was a huge surprise to all the scientists involved in the project, and we thought, ‘Wow! This is really fast’,” he recalled on the BBC’s Science In Action programme.
With carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere marching ever upwards and warming the planet, researchers are keen to investigate so called “carbon capture and storage” (CCS) solutions.
Previous experiments have seen pure CO2 injected into sandstone, or deep, salty aquifers. Chosen sites – which have included disused oil and gas wells – have relied on layers of impermeable capping rocks to hold down the carbon dioxide. But the fear is always that the CO2 could find a way to leak back out into the atmosphere.
The Carbfix project on Iceland, on the other hand, seeks to solidify the unwanted carbon in place.
Working with the Hellisheidi geothermal power plant outside Reykjavik, it combined the waste CO2 with water to make a slightly acidic liquid that was then sent hundreds of metres down into the volcanic basalts that make up so much of the North Atlantic island.
The low pH water (3.2) worked to dissolve the calcium and magnesium ions in the basalts, which then reacted with the carbon dioxide to make calcium and magnesium carbonates. Cores drilled into the experimental site pulled up rock with the tell-tale white carbonates occupying the pore spaces.
The researchers also tagged the CO2 with carbon-14, a radioactive form of the element. In this way, they were able to tell if any of the injected CO2 was leaking back to the surface or finding its way out through a distant watercourse. No such escape was detected.
“This means that we can pump down large amounts of CO2 and store it in a very safe way over a very short period of time,” said study co-author Martin Stute from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, US.
“In the future, we could think of using this for power plants in places where there’s a lot of basalt – and there are many such places.”
Dr Matter added: “You can find basalts on every continent and, certainly, you can find them offshore because all the oceanic crust – so below the seafloor – is all basaltic rocks. In terms of the availability of basaltic rocks to take care of CO2 emissions globally – no problem.”
There is, however, the issue of cost. Capture of the CO2 at power stations and other industrial complexes is expensive, and without incentives it is currently deemed to be uneconomic. The infrastructure needed to pump the gas to the burial site also has to be considered.
And in the case of the Carbfix approach, a substantial amount of water is required. Only something like 5% of the mass sent underground is CO2.
Christopher Rochelle is an expert on CCS at the British Geological Survey and was not involved in the Iceland experiment.
He said Carbfix underlined the importance of moving beyond modelling and lab studies to real-world demonstrations. Only by doing this can the technology readiness be properly assessed.
“We need to do more field-scale tests, like this one in Iceland, to better understand the types of processes that are ongoing and how fast they work,” he told BBC News.
“Here, they injected into reactive rocks and the minerals precipitated relatively quickly and are then unable to migrate anywhere. That’s great, but the rocks under Iceland are different to those under the North Sea, for example. So the approach that is taken is going to have to vary depending on where you are. We are going to need a portfolio of techniques.”
The Hellisheidi geothermal power station has now moved beyond the experiment reported in Science magazine and is routinely injecting CO2 into the subsurface in larger quantities. The company is also burying hydrogen sulphide – another byproduct from the plant. This benefits the locals who have had to suffer the occasional waft of rotten eggs coming over their properties.
Can Coal Ever Be Clean?
It’s the dirtiest of fossil fuels. We burn eight billion tons
of it a year, with growing consequences.
The world must face the question.
Coal provides 40 percent of the world’s electricity. It produces 39 percent of global CO₂ emissions. It kills thousands a year in mines, many more with polluted air.
Environmentalists say that clean coal is a myth. Of course it is: Just look at West Virginia, where whole Appalachian peaks have been knocked into valleys to get at the coal underneath and streams run orange with acidic water. Or look at downtown Beijing, where the air these days is often thicker than in an airport smoking lounge. Air pollution in China, much of it from burning coal, is blamed for more than a million premature deaths a year. That’s on top of the thousands who die in mining accidents, in China and elsewhere.
These problems aren’t new. In the late 17th century, when coal from Wales and Northumberland was lighting the first fires of the industrial revolution in Britain, the English writer John Evelyn was already complaining about the “stink and darknesse” of the smoke that wreathed London. Three centuries later, in December 1952, a thick layer of coal-laden smog descended on London and lingered for a long weekend, provoking an epidemic of respiratory ailments that killed as many as 12,000 people in the ensuing months. American cities endured their own traumas. On an October weekend in 1948, in the small Pennsylvania town of Donora, spectators at a high school football game realized they could see neither players nor ball: Smog from a nearby coal-fired zinc smelter was obscuring the field. In the days that followed, 20 people died, and 6,000 people—nearly half the town—were sickened.
Coal, to use the economists’ euphemism, is fraught with “externalities”—the heavy costs it imposes on society. It’s the dirtiest, most lethal energy source we have. But by most measures it’s also the cheapest, and we depend on it. So the big question today isn’t whether coal can ever be “clean.” It can’t. It’s whether coal can ever be clean enough—to prevent not only local disasters but also a radical change in global climate.
Last June, on a hot and muggy day in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama gave the climate speech that the American coal and electric power industries had dreaded—and environmentalists had hoped for—since his first inauguration, in 2009. Speaking in his shirt-sleeves and pausing occasionally to mop his brow, Obama announced that by June 2014 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would draft new rules that would “put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants.” The rules would be issued under the Clean Air Act, a law inspired in part by the disaster in Donora. That law has already been used to dramatically reduce the emission of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and soot particles from American power plants. But carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming, is a problem on an entirely different scale.
SOURCE: U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION
In 2012 the world emitted a record 34.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. Coal was the largest contributor. Cheap natural gas has lately reduced the demand for coal in the U.S., but everywhere else, especially in China, demand is surging. During the next two decades several hundred million people worldwide will get electricity for the first time, and if current trends continue, most will use power produced by coal. Even the most aggressive push for alternative energy sources and conservation could not replace coal—at least not right away.
How fast the Arctic melts, how high the seas rise, how hot the heat waves get—all these elements of our uncertain future depend on what the world does with its coal, and in particular on what the U.S. and China do. Will we continue to burn it and dump the carbon into the air unabated? Or will we find a way to capture carbon, as we do sulfur and nitrogen from fossil fuels, and store it underground?
“We need to push as hard as we can for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and on reducing carbon emissions from coal,” says Stanford University researcher Sally Benson, who specializes in carbon storage. “We’re going to need lots of ‘ands’—this isn’t a time to be focusing on ‘ors.’ ” The carbon problem is just too big.
American Electric Power’s Mountaineer Plant, on the Ohio River in New Haven, West Virginia, inhales a million pounds of Appalachian coal every hour. The coal arrives fresh from the ground, on barges or on a conveyor belt from a mine across the road. Once inside the plant, the golf-ball-size lumps are ground into dust as fine as face powder, then blown into the firebox of one of the largest boilers in the world—a steel box that could easily swallow the Statue of Liberty. The plant’s three steam-powered turbines, painted blue with white stars, supply electricity round the clock to 1.3 million customers in seven states. Those customers pay about a dime per kilowatt-hour, or roughly $113 a month, to power the refrigerators, washers, dryers, flat screens, and smartphones, to say nothing of the lights, of an average household. And as Charlie Powell, Mountaineer’s plant manager, often said, even environmentalists like to keep the lights on.
The customers pay not a cent, however, nor does American Electric Power (AEP), for the privilege of spewing six to seven million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year from Mountaineer’s thousand-foot-high stack. And that’s the problem. Carbon is dumped without limit because in most places it costs nothing to do so and because there is, as yet, no law against it in the U.S. But in 2009 it looked as if there might soon be a law; the House of Representatives had already passed a bill that summer. AEP, to its credit, decided to get ahead of it.
That October, Mountaineer began a pioneering experiment in carbon capture. Powell oversaw it. His father had worked for three decades at a coal-fired power plant in Virginia; Powell himself had spent his career at Mountaineer. The job was simple, he said: “We burn coal, make steam, and run turbines.” During the experiment, though, it got a bit more complicated. AEP attached a chemical plant to the back of its power plant. It chilled about 1.5 percent of Mountaineer’s smoke and diverted it through a solution of ammonium carbonate, which absorbed the CO₂. The CO₂ was then drastically compressed and injected into a porous sandstone formation more than a mile below the banks of the Ohio.
SOURCE: U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION
The system worked. Over the next two years AEP captured and stored more than 37,000 metric tons of pure carbon dioxide. The CO₂ is still underground, not in the atmosphere. It was only a quarter of one percent of the gas coming out the stack, but that was supposed to be just the beginning. AEP planned to scale up the project to capture a quarter of the plant’s emissions, or 1.5 million tons of CO₂ a year. The company had agreed to invest $334 million, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) had agreed to match that. But the deal depended on AEP being able to recoup its investment. And after climate change legislation collapsed in the Senate, state utility regulators told the company that it could not charge its customers for a technology not yet required by law.
In the spring of 2011 AEP ended the project. The maze of pipes and pumps and tanks was dismantled. Though small, the Mountaineer system had been the world’s first to capture and store carbon dioxide directly from a coal-fired electric plant, and it had attracted hundreds of curious visitors from around the world, including China and India. “The process did work, and we educated a lot of people,” said Powell. “But geez-oh-whiz—it’s going to take another breakthrough to make it worth our while.” A regulatory breakthrough above all—such as the one Obama promised last summer—but technical ones would help too.
Capturing carbon dioxide and storing or “sequestering” it underground in porous rock formations sounds to its critics like a techno-fix fantasy. But DOE has spent some $6.5 billion over the past three decades researching and testing the technology. And for more than four decades the oil industry has been injecting compressed carbon dioxide into depleted oil fields, using it to coax trapped oil to the surface. On the Canadian Great Plains this practice has been turned into one of the world’s largest underground carbon-storage operations.
Since 2000 more than 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide have been captured from a North Dakota plant that turns coal into synthetic natural gas, then piped 200 miles north into Saskatchewan. There the Canadian petroleum company Cenovus Energy pushes the CO₂ deep into the Weyburn and Midale fields, a sprawling oil patch that had its heyday in the 1960s. Two to three barrels of oil are dissolved out of the reservoir rock by each ton of CO₂, which is then reinjected into the reservoir for storage. There it sits, nearly a mile underground, trapped under impermeable layers of shale and salt.
For how long? Some natural deposits of carbon dioxide have been in place for millions of years—in fact the CO₂ in some has been mined and sold to oil companies. But large and sudden releases of CO₂ can be lethal to people and animals, particularly when the gas collects and concentrates in a confined space. So far no major leaks have been documented at Weyburn, which is being monitored by the International Energy Agency, or at any of the handful of other large storage sites around the world. Scientists consider the risk of a catastrophic leak to be extremely low.
They worry more about smaller, chronic leaks that would defeat the purpose of the enterprise. Geophysicists Mark Zoback and Steven Gorelick of Stanford University argue that at sites where the rock is brittle and faulted—most sites, in their view—the injection of carbon dioxide might trigger small earthquakes that, even if otherwise harmless, might crack the overlying shale and allow CO₂ to leak. Zoback and Gorelick consider carbon storage “an extremely expensive and risky strategy.” But even they agree that carbon can be stored effectively at some sites—such as the Sleipner gas field in the North Sea, where for the past 17 years the Norwegian oil company Statoil has been injecting about a million tons of CO₂ a year into a brine-saturated sandstone layer half a mile below the seabed. That formation has so much room that all that CO₂ hasn’t increased its internal pressure, and there’s been no sign of quakes or leaks.
SOURCES: EPA; CARBON DIOXIDE INFORMATION ANALYSIS CENTER/OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY; WOODS HOLE RESEARCH CENTER
European researchers estimate that a century’s worth of European power plant emissions could be stored under the North Sea. According to the DOE, similar “deep saline aquifers” under the U.S. could hold more than a thousand years’ worth of emissions from American power plants. Other types of rock also have potential as carbon lockers. In experiments now under way in Iceland and in the Columbia River Basin of Washington State, for example, small amounts of carbon dioxide are being injected into volcanic basalt. There the gas is expected to react with calcium and magnesium to form a carbonate rock—thus eliminating the risk of gas escaping.
The CO₂ that Statoil is injecting at Sleipner doesn’t come from burning; it’s an impurity in the natural gas the company pumps from the seabed. Before it can deliver gas to its customers, Statoil has to separate out the CO₂, and it used to just vent the stuff into the atmosphere. But in 1991 Norway instituted a carbon tax, which now stands at around $65 a metric ton. It costs Statoil only $17 a ton to reinject the CO₂ below the seafloor. So at Sleipner, carbon storage is much cheaper than carbon dumping, which is why Statoil has invested in the technology. Its natural gas operation remains very profitable.
At a coal-fired power plant the situation is different. The CO₂ is part of a complex swirl of stack gases, and the power company has no financial incentive to capture it. As the engineers at Mountaineer learned, capture is the most expensive part of any capture-and-storage project. At Mountaineer the CO₂ absorption system was the size of a ten-story apartment building and occupied 14 acres—and that was just to capture a tiny fraction of the plant’s carbon emissions. The absorbent had to be heated to release the CO₂, which then had to be highly compressed for storage. These energy-intensive steps create what engineers call a “parasitic load,” one that could eat up as much as 30 percent of the total energy output of a coal plant that was capturing all its carbon.
One way to reduce that costly loss is to gasify the coal before burning it. Gasification can make power generation more efficient and allows the carbon dioxide to be separated more easily and cheaply. A new power plant being built in Kemper County, Mississippi, which was designed with carbon capture in mind, will gasify its coal.
Existing plants, which are generally designed to burn pulverized coal, require a different approach. One idea is to burn the coal in pure oxygen instead of air. That produces a simpler flue gas from which it’s easier to pull the CO₂. At the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia, researcher Geo Richards is working on an advanced version of this scheme.
“Come and see our new toy,” he says, hunching his shoulders against a bitter Appalachian winter day and walking briskly toward a large white warehouse. Inside, workers are assembling a five-story scaffold for an experiment in “chemical looping.” Making pure oxygen from air, Richards explains, is costly in itself—so his process uses a metal such as iron to grab oxygen out of the air and deliver it to the coal fire. In principle, chemical looping could radically cut the cost of capturing carbon.
Richards has dedicated more than 25 years of his career to making carbon capture more efficient, and for him the work is largely its own reward. “I’m one of those geeky people who just like seeing basic physics turned into technology,” he says. But after decades of watching politicians and the public tussle over whether climate change is even a problem, he does sometimes wonder if the solution he’s been working on will ever be put to practical use. His experimental carbon-capture system is a tiny fraction of the size that would be required at a real power plant. “In this business,” Richards says, “you have to be an optimist.”
In West Virginia these days, century-old coal mines are closing as American power plants convert to natural gas. With gas prices in the U.S. near record lows, coal can look like yesterday’s fuel, and investing in advanced coal technology can look misguided at best. The view from Yulin, China, is different.
Yulin sits on the eastern edge of Inner Mongolia’s Ordos Basin, 500 dusty miles inland from Beijing. Rust-orange sand dunes surround forests of new, unoccupied apartment buildings, spill over highway retaining walls, and send clouds of grit through the streets. Yulin and its three million residents are short on rain and shade, hot in summer and very cold in winter. But the region is blessed with mineral resources, including some of the country’s richest deposits of coal. “God is fair,” says Yulin deputy mayor Gao Zhongyin. From here coal looks like the fuel of progress.
The sandy plateaus around Yulin are punctuated with the tall smokestacks of coal power plants, and enormous coal-processing plants, with dormitories for live-in workforces, sprawl for miles across the desert. New coal plants, their grids of dirt roads decorated with optimistic red-bannered gateways, bustle with young men and women in coveralls. Coal provides about 80 percent of China’s electric power, but it isn’t just for making electricity. Since coal is such a plentiful domestic fuel, it’s also used for making dozens of industrial chemicals and liquid fuels, a role played by petroleum in most other countries. Here coal is a key ingredient in products ranging from plastic to rayon.
Coal has also made China first among nations in total carbon dioxide emissions, though the U.S. remains far ahead in emissions per capita. China is not retreating from coal, but it’s more than ever aware of the high costs. “In the past ten years,” says Deborah Seligsohn, an environmental policy researcher at the University of California, San Diego, with nearly two decades’ experience in China, “the environment has gone from not on the agenda to near the top of the agenda.” Thanks to public complaints about air quality, official awareness of the risks of climate change, and a desire for energy security and technological advantage, China has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in renewable energy. It’s now a top manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels; enormous solar farms are scattered among the smokestacks around Yulin. But the country is also pushing ultraefficient coal power and simpler, cheaper carbon capture.
These efforts are attracting both investment and immigrants from abroad. At state-owned Shenhua Group, the largest coal company in the world, its National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy was until recently headed by J. Michael Davis, an American who served as assistant U.S. secretary for conservation and renewable energy under the first President Bush and is a past president of the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association. Davis says he was drawn to China by the government’s “durable commitment” to improving air quality and reducing carbon dioxide emissions: “If you want to make the greatest impact on emissions, you go where the greatest source of those emissions happens to be.”
Will Latta, founder of the environmental engineering company LP Amina, is an American expat in Beijing who works closely with Chinese power utilities. “China is openly saying, Hey, coal is cheap, we have lots of it, and alternatives will take decades to scale up,” he says. “At the same time they realize it’s not environmentally sustainable. So they’re making large investments to clean it up.” In Tianjin, about 85 miles from Beijing, China’s first power plant designed from scratch to capture carbon is scheduled to open in 2016. Called GreenGen, it’s eventually supposed to capture 80 percent of its emissions.
Last fall, as world coal consumption and world carbon emissions were headed for new records, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its latest report. For the first time it estimated an emissions budget for the planet—the total amount of carbon we can release if we don’t want the temperature rise to exceed 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), a level many scientists consider a threshold of serious harm. The count started in the 19th century, when the industrial revolution spread. The IPCC concluded that we’ve already emitted more than half our carbon budget. On our current path, we’ll emit the rest in less than 30 years.
Changing that course with carbon capture would take a massive effort. To capture and store just a tenth of the world’s current emissions would require pumping about the same volume of CO₂ underground as the volume of oil we’re now extracting. It would take a lot of pipelines and injection wells. But achieving the same result by replacing coal with zero-emission solar panels would require covering an area almost as big as New Jersey (nearly 8,000 square miles). The solutions are huge because the problem is—and we need them all.
“If we were talking about a problem that could be solved by a 5 or 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, we wouldn’t be talking about carbon capture and storage,” says Edward Rubin of Carnegie Mellon University. “But what we’re talking about is reducing global emissions by roughly 80 percent in the next 30 or 40 years.” Carbon capture has the potential to deliver big emissions cuts quickly: Capturing the CO₂ from a single thousand-megawatt coal plant, for example, would be equivalent to 2.8 million people trading in pickups for Priuses.
The first American power plant designed to capture carbon is scheduled to open at the end of this year. The Kemper County coal-gasification plant in eastern Mississippi will capture more than half its CO₂ emissions and pipe them to nearby oil fields. The project, which is supported in part by a DOE grant, has been plagued with cost overruns and opposition from both environmentalists and government-spending hawks. But Mississippi Power, a division of Southern Company, has pledged to persist. Company leaders say the plant’s use of lignite, a low-grade coal that’s plentiful in Mississippi, along with a ready market for its CO₂, will help offset the heavy cost of pioneering new technology.
The technology won’t spread, however, until governments require it, either by imposing a price on carbon or by regulating emissions directly. “Regulation is what carbon capture needs to get going,” says James Dooley, a researcher at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. If the EPA delivers this year on President Obama’s promise to regulate carbon emissions from both existing and new power plants—and if those rules survive court challenges—then carbon capture will get that long-awaited boost.
China, meanwhile, has begun regional experiments with a more market-friendly approach—one that was pioneered in the U.S. In the 1990s the EPA used the Clean Air Act to impose a cap on total emissions of sulfur dioxide from power plants, allocating tradable pollution permits to individual polluters. At the time, the power industry predicted disastrous economic consequences. Instead the scheme produced innovative, progressively cheaper technologies and significantly cleaner air. Rubin says that carbon-capture systems are at much the same stage that sulfur dioxide systems were in the 1980s. Once emissions limits create a market for them, their cost too could fall dramatically.
If that happens, coal still wouldn’t be clean—but it would be much cleaner than it is today. And the planet would be cooler than it will be if we keep burning coal the dirty old way.
INILAHCOM, Jakarta – Anggota Komisi VII DPR Harry Poernomo mendesak percepatan pembangunan PLTU Batang, Jawa Tengah. Penting untuk merealisasikan kemandirian energi nasional.
Kata Harry, proyek PLTU Batang senilai US$ 4 miliar ini, menciptakan efek berganda, terutama dalam menciptakan lapangan kerja dan mendorong bertumbuhnya ekonomi di wilayah Batang dan Jawa Tengah.
“Percepatan pembangunan PLTU Batang dibutuhkan untuk memenuhi kebutuhan listrik yang terus meningkat. Perekonomian di wilayah sekitar tentunya juga akan bertumbuh sejalan dengan hadirnya pasokan energi yang dibutuhkan oleh pelaku usaha dan investor,” kata Harry di Jakarta, Selasa (5/4/2016).
Terkait masih adanya penolakan terhadap pembangunan PLTU Batang, Harry bilang, proyek PLTU Batang sudah mengikuti ketentuan yang berlaku. Apalagi proyek ini juga mengoptimalkan sumber daya alam nasional yaitu batubara. Menurutnya, ditengah bisnis batubara yang terpuruk dewasa ini, proyek seperti PLTU Batang akan dapat mendorong industri batubara kembali bangkit.
“Optimalisasi sumber daya alam kita perlu dilakukan untuk mengurangi ketergantungan terhadap energi impor. Batubara bisa menjadi solusi bagi penguatan ketersediaan energi di Indonesia,” kata politisi Gerindra ini.
PLTU Batang akan menggunakan teknologi ultra super critical yang dari Jepang dan baru satu-satunya digunakan di Asia Tenggara. Selain itu, proyek yang diperkirakan mampu menyerap tenaga kerja hingga 5.000 orang selama proses kontruksi ini, juga telah lolos uji analisa mengenai dampak lingkungan (Amdal) yang prosesnya melibatkan para ahli dalam bidangnya.
Oleh karena itu masyarakat diminta untuk tidak terlalu khawatir terhadap penggunaan batubara di PLTU Batang. “Proyek ini merupakan proyek padat modal, jadi tidak mungkin mempertaruhkan dana yang besar kalau persyaratan AMDAL tidak lolos dan tidak ramah lingkungan. Jadi mari kita berikan dukungan supaya kita dapat mengatasi krisis pasokan listrik ke depan. Kalau ada yang menolak itu sebagian kecil saja, rencana proyek ini sudah lama. Saya yakin manfaatnya akan lebih besar untuk masyarakat,” kata anak buah Prabowo. [tar]
Analysis: China clean energy plan hinges on coal price
Fri, Aug 27 2010
By Chen Aizhu and Jim Bai
… salah satu alasan gw pegang saham2 tambang batu item adalah harga energinya ini relatif paling murah … energi itu TIDAK MUNGKIN TIDAK DIBUTUHKAN … murah dan sangat dibutuhkan, menjadikan batu item adalah barang komoditas yang paling diburu seglobal … well, nilai investasi china untuk energi terbarukan AMAT FANTASTIS, yaitu sekira 200 Milyar dolar di atas GDP INDONESIA 2010😀 …
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s $736-billion push to harness nuclear, wind, solar and biomass energy hinges on making the cleaner fuels competitive with cheap and CO2-intensive coal without derailing surging industrial growth.
The world’s second-largest economy faces formidable challenges to make the plan work. Beijing must upgrade its rickety electricity grid, open up the network to alternative energy and raise tariffs to make new energy sources competitive with coal-fired power. All that while retaining investor confidence China will remain the low cost factory of the world.
“Parallel policies are essential,” said Wang Yi, deputy head of Institute of Policy and management, China Academy of Science.
“The government must gradually lift fossil fuel prices while granting incentives to non-fossil fuels to establish a long-term price signal.”
The plan is awaiting government approval, and the loans, grants and tax breaks it includes aim to encourage renewables, gas and nuclear use.
Beijing aims to cut carbon intensity as much as 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and increase the share of renewables to 15 percent of primary energy consumption. That is nearly double the current ratio and would make the country a leader in green energy manufacturing and use.
For international firms involved in the sectors expected to receive the spending, the plan is a potential gold mine. They will be sifting the sands of decision making in Beijing that puts the state firmly in control of picking winners and losers.
Companies such as nuclear experts Areva of France, wind power equipment makers Gamesa of Spain, India-listed Suzlon and solar power plays such as U.S.-based First Solar and China’s Yingli are waiting to see if Beijing is ready to use their technologies on a massive scale.
One estimate has China on track to build at least 20 nuclear power plants of 2 GigaWatts (GW) each for the next five years.
Foreign firms would also be watching how state-owned companies fit into the plan.
State energy giant PetroChina, for instance, is leading the foray to develop cleaner burning gas sources to supply nearly 10 percent of China’s total energy needs by 2020, from 4 percent now, to help achieve the CO2 cut target.
State firms could absorb losses, but without changes in tariffs, private firms would have little incentive to invest, analysts said.
“Power price is the key of the keys. (Without a reform) only state firms want to build green facilities as they are the ones who can afford to lose money,” said Lin Boqiang, head of Center of Research on Energy Economics, Xiamen University. “The private sector can’t afford waiting for 5 to 10 years operating at loss.”
BREAKING THE GRIP OF COAL
China has pursued new sources of power generation for decades from the world’s largest hydro power project at Three Gorges on the Yangtze River to a 2007 plan of 2 trillion yuan ($294 billion) that set the 15 percent target for renewables by 2020.
More recent efforts link to heightened local environmental and broader global warming concerns that other countries such as the world’s No. 2 emitter, the United States, also face and attempt to deal with in part through national efforts.
China surpassed the U.S. in 2007 as the world’s top carbon emitter, the International Energy Agency says. The United Nations has called on China to ramp up investment in renewables and energy efficiency to rein in emissions growth as nations try to negotiate a tougher pact to fight climate change.
But China’s ability to build cheap cleaner coal plants makes it hard for the world’s No. 1 coal producer and user to switch to other sources. The generators, known as supercritical plants, produce about 15 percent less CO2, at a third to a half ($500-$600 per kilowatt) of the costs in most OECD countries.
China has largely freed prices of coal, which fires almost 80 percent of its total electricity output.
But it has kept a tight lid on power rates, worried about wider implications for the economy, effectively encouraging generators to cling to low-cost coal to maximize profit.
In recent months Beijing has drummed up support for hydropower, calling for quicker building of dams after recent years had seen plans scaled back due to tighter environmental rules and the costs or relocating the population.
Hydropower would play a big role in making the 15 percent primary consumption target for renewables, an official from China’s National Energy Administration said.
“Hydropower is the key to reaching that target. It will make up 9 to 10 percentage points out of the 15,” the official said.
Beijing has scaled back adding new wind and solar farms in places like the lonesome plains of Inner Mongolia, due to the cost per unit of power and access to the distribution system.
Some projects get subsidies to contribute to the grid, but there has been reluctance to embrace new sources as handling new flows requires an upgrade, industry officials have said.
“It’s like human hands, they won’t function perfectly without one of the ten fingers. If we manage to add wind and solar capacities, but the power grids fail to keep up, they would be wasted efforts,” said an official with the National Energy Administration (NEA), which drafted the plan.
Cross-sector coordination has gained urgency as major Chinese cities choke under a haze of pollution caused by rapid economic growth that has seen auto sales, already the largest in the world, balloon ninefold in the past decade to a forecast 16 million units in 2010.
“Chinese leaders are dead serious about environment, more serious than the outside world thinks,” said Yan Kefeng of Cambridge Energy Research Associates.
“But the challenges are huge.” (Editing by Ed Lane)