Utilities Aiming at Reducing Carbon Pollution- Carbon Sequestration and Capture Technologies Utilized
Large utility companies are making commitments to reduce their impact on climate change and pollution, but still overwhelmingly rely upon fossil fuels for energy production. Carbon can be removed from the air and stored and source-reduction can be achieved through sequestration technologies as well. It is likely that utilities who utilize fossil fuels will continue to do so until renewables take the lion’s share of production and will use carbon capture and sequestration technologies until renewables can fill the gap.
Utilities burn natural gas, oil, and coal to create energy that services their clients. According to the EIA, fossil fuels make up 60% of the sources for electricity in America, with natural gas and coal making up a massive percentage of this total. Renewable energy sources are becoming more utilized for power production, but fossil fuels will be burnt for years to come for power and utilities acknowledge this fact. Current energy infrastructure and the energy-density of fossil fuels make this a reality for utility power production.
Utilities including LG&E and PPL are investing into carbon capture, carbon offset and carbon sequestration technologies to reduce their impact on world climate. Oil and gas that is burned to supply power to customers is efficient and powerful. It is difficult to fully replace the use of fossil fuels that power so much of our nation. Dominion, a large utility provider, was recently affected as the price of fuel rose. As fuel prices rose in 2022, so did utility bills, and large utilities spent billions of extra dollars using fuel to generate electricity for clients. Power companies will pass on the rising cost of fuel to their customers and will also add to their renewable production portfolios in the future.
Carbon offsets and carbon capture and sequestration technologies can reduce carbon dioxide gas at the source or directly from the air. Utilities are adding renewable energy sources to their portfolios including hydroelectric, solar and wind power, but due to the energy-density in fossil fuels they will continue to rely on fuel for the foreseeable future. The need to offset their production of carbon pollution will necessitate their implementation of and investment into sequestration technologies to bind CO2 and offsets.
A willingness of utilities to invest into and utilize carbon capture technologies can be supported by government subsidies. The technologies currently in use will mature to become more effective and cheaper and eventually renewable energy sources will be more widely utilized to provide power.
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