November 13, 2023 - “By 2030, coal for electricity generation will lose two-thirds of 2022 U.S. coal sales and losses could be even higher given EPA’s intent to impose more emissions regulations,” said Steve Winberg, CEO, Net-Negative CO2 Baseload Power, Inc, and former Assistant Secretary, Office of Fossil Fuel, DOE. This was stated in a presentation that he called “Don’t Deny the Storm – Chart a Course to Calmer Waters and a Prosperous Future” on 21st Century Coal made last month to the Congressional Coal Caucus.
“In 2022, electricity generation capacity from coal was 197 GW according to EIA and in 2030 this figure will fall to 68 GW as estimated by America’s Power based on announced retirements,” said Winberg. “The coal fleet continues to age and investment capital is focused on maintenance of production. The coal industry needs to protect its market share and technology is the long-term answer.”
The Congressional Coal Caucus comprises an influential group of over 70 mostly Republicans and plays a key role in aiding legislative and policy debates relating to the coal industry. This was an important presentation and the Caucus listened to it intently.
Winberg described his support for advancing the concept of tax credit parity for new electricity generation in Congresswoman Miller’s proposed bill where no tax credits are awarded unless electricity meets minimum standards for “Dependability” and “Carbon Footprint” as well as being fuel neutral. Support is also being given for appropriations for 21st Century Coal technologies, which leverage existing infrastructure.
There are two important technical innovations. One is the nominal 80% coal and 20% biomass co-firing with CCUS on the back end giving net-negative CO2. A second is the Pleasants Plant Power Station in WV, now known as Quantum Pleasants, where pyrolysis-based hydrogen production and use is proposed. This produces graphite and graphene. Thus, electricity is generated from coal with zero emissions and this may be “game changing” for the coal industry, according to Winberg.
The Congressional Coal Caucus has a number of priorities including: grid reliability, oversight on EPA’S power plant agenda, future coal use, rail service reliability, policies to promote coal exports, oversight on the DOI federal coal leasing program and supporting pro-coal tax policies. The Caucus co-chairs are: Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Harriett Hageman (R-WY), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Dan Meuser (R-PA), and Carol Miller (R-WV). The first meeting establishing its priorities took place on May 17 this year.
The complete PowerPoint presentation can be seen here.