China, a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, is on its way to double CO2 emissions by 2030. The country’s coal-fired power plants cause the bulk of its pollution. International environment experts of the British Geological Survey recently launched a project to slash Chinese coal plants’ CO2 emissions.
The BGS scientists aim to bring down emissions to levels agreed at the September 2005 EU-China Summit. They are collaborating with the China University of Petroleum in Beijing, in Phase 1of the Near Zero Emissions Coal (NZEC) project initially focuses on determining the feasibility of building coal-fired power plants in China fitted with CO2 capture and storage.
This action could reduce emissions per unit of electricity by 85 – 90%, according to project leader Nick Riley:
Large-scale deployment of CO2 capture and storage in China has potential to significantly reduce future greenhouse gas emissions”, he said.”
Riley’s team of geotechnical experts are going to select strategic sedimentary basins first, which they’ll subsequently map for potential regional CO2 storage assessments of coal-fired power stations. After they’ve mapped the best options, they’re making more detailed assessments of sites that show the best potential for a demonstration of CO2 storage and capture.
In an announcement (pdf) explaining the project, the scientists outline that a Geographical Information System will eventually link existing and planned large CO2 point sources to potential geological storage options. This is a process known as source-sink matching (pdf), which is the predominant method in use in the US as well.