Green and cost effective electric vehicles need Clean Coal Technology
It’s modern to talk and write about wind and solar power as it relates to EVs; but whether anyone wants to admit it or not, America’s most abundant, domestically produced fuel is still coal. Think 200 years worth of supply.
This not only affects auto sector product planning like General Motors (NYSE: GM); Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F); Toyota Motors (ADR: TM); even Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) and others, but the coal and energy stocks as well.
Point is, the electrification of the automobile is tied directly to the efficiency and cleanliness of the energy sources that feed the grid; making coal by its sheer magnitude of contribution to the grid with the greatest impact. It’s that simple.
For the record, the term, “clean coal technology” was first coined by Congress in the mid-1980s to address pollution from coal powered, electrical generating plants in addition to coal-powered steel plants. Yet, while early work to develop clean coal technologies focused on efforts to reduce traditional pollutant emissions like sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which are a precursor to smog, later demands have increased to include the capture and safe storage of CO2, the latest pollutant as defined by the EPA.
Now comes the dichotomy
The use of coal to generate electricity has nearly tripled just to meet growing energy demand of America, as it has in China and India. Yet, despite that increase, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports emissions of traditional pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act, have dropped significantly.
Of course, coal is still getting the major blame for global warming by climatologists; yet, those producing the data fail to show the major polluters are no longer from America, but China and India. Likewise, they fail to show these gains that America has made by its increase use of Clean Coal Technology.
For the record, Clean Coal Technology (CCT) refers to technologies that improve the environmental performance of coal-based electricity plants. These technologies include devices that increase the operational efficiency of a power plant, as well as those technologies that reduce emissions.
According to AmericasPower.org, past investments in Clean Coal Technology have provided demonstrable benefits in the form of reduced emissions and cleaner air. For example, an ACCCE-funded study entitled DOE Clean Coal Technology Programs Offer Highest Return on Investment reports that, by 2020, American taxpayers will see a return of $13 for every dollar the government invests in these technologies.
So, with the advent of the electrification of the automobile and its dependence on a cost-effective grid to make the whole process affordable, its need to be fed by clean-green power further implies that coal has to be made clean using modern technology.
In other words, EVs are so dependent on coal-operated, electric generating plants due to their numbers that feed the grid, that makes EV effectiveness and success are subject to the grid’s cost effectiveness, which can only be availed by the extensive use of cheap coal.
Of course, there has been a growth toward more natural gas, but coal is still king for simple economic reasons. For the record, fuel price is a major component in the cost of electricity; and one of the primary advantages of using coal in the first place is its low cost. Furthermore, it is competitive even with all the added pollution control technology.
For example, on a national basis, coal is around one-third the cost of natural gas – the second most widely used fuel to make electricity. So, that factor alone makes it the likely candidate for many years as the cheapest resource to power America’s national grid from which EVs will get their recharging. And now we thankfully have the technology to resolve the pollution factor.
Coal is still a great option because it is both affordable, and now it can be made cleaner than ever. And despite all the arguments about global warming, Clean Coal Technology has the ability along with Clean Coal Storage to, not only mitigate standard pollution, but redirect CO2.
[Image Source: AmericasPower.org)
About the Reporter: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now trades stocks, futures and writes articles, books and ebooks like, "Perfecting Corporate Character," "Awaken Your Speculator Mind", and "Millennial World Order" via authorfrank.com. He may be contacted here by email: [email protected]
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