Squiggles wrote: I don't profess to know much about "clean coal" save for the fact that I imagine the process can be improved. But even if they improve it by 50% it is still BAD, but better than REALLY BAD.
We hear a lot about the CO2 output and the SO2 but you never hear about the huge ash dams that the ash gets pumped into. These have high concentrations of heavy metals and radioactive material, but if we don't mention them they don't exist.
As I understand Peter, he believe that the government can sufficiently audit his power provider to ensure that he recieves only electricity derived from a renewable source.
Laudably, he is willing to pay extra for this facility.
I'm a little sceptical, since such schemes inevitably get redefined and 'exemptions', granted until none of the original integrity remains!
However, Peter has faith in the auditing system and without detailed knowledge to the contrary, Peter's proposition must be accepted. Just deriding the concept on vague grounds, and accusing Peter of believing in Santa, is hardly evidence of anything more than the usual paranoid "I don't care what you say,if it come from the govt or Big Business, I'm agin it!".
I'm not an advocate of coal-fired power generation. However, the problem of power generation in a post oil economy must be faced. It seems to me there are four camps.
1) 'Clean' Coal, LPG, etc
3) Solar, Wind, Geo-Thermal, Tidal, etc
4) Reduce consumption to pre-industrial levels.
I agree with Neil, I don't think Coal can ever be made 'clean'. (However the proponents of this technology should be provided a fair hearing).
The bleating of the puritanical about excessive use for MCG night game usage, air-conditioners on hot days, public lighting, Xmas decorations, etc.. is just irritating! Power rationing is alien to our economy prosperity, and such self-righteous sanctimonious pronouncements have no value except to make the author feel virtuous.
None of the current renewable technologies, seems to have the immediate potential to replace coal. I am not saying these technologies are not worth pursuing, or lack future potential. But, right now?
This would appear to leave Nuclear, which, if you take away the largely moral, philosophic objections, is a practical, available solution in the short term. Especially, as new technologies, such as pebble bed reactors etc, provide more flexible installations.
What we can't do, is sit 'round refusing to accept conventional power generation, while sanctimoniously whining on about idealistic technologies that will never become reality, or dreaming of some pre-industrial utopia.