Raise your hand if you're heard about clean coal. Now keep your hand up if you know what the hell it is. Still up? You're better off than I was before I started digging into this.
It's been all over the news, and in countless political speeches, so we know clean coal is popular. It's in the new economic stimulus package to the tune of $2.4 billion. And its first pilot project was canceled last year after costs accelerated out of control, so we know clean coal is expensive. But what else is it, really...?
After the jump, a short primer in comic form.
At the cusp of a new U.S. presidency, energy issues have been thrust full-force into the spotlight. Candidates talk a lot about alternatives like solar and wind, and even Clean Coal (systems that would capture carbon dioxide from coal plants to keep it out of the atmosphere). But alternative energy doesn't begin and end with these technologies.
Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) are another little-known option. Since early 2007, scientists have been trying to persuade government and industry to start experimenting with this kind of geothermal energy with limited success. But this fall, Google donated $10 million to a few EGS startup projects, and the Department of Energy also set aside more funds for geothermal research. With some pilots in early, early stages, it looks like EGS is finally taking off, albeit slowly.
But what are Enhanced Geothermal Systems, anyway? After the jump, a short primer in comic form.
This spring the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation released the draft environmental impact statement for the Fresh Kills Park Project, their plan to turn the Fresh Kills landfill—hitherto best known as a smelly Staten Island mountain—into a world class public park. The statement will be discussed at an open public hearing on September 4th, 2008, and work begins next year on the project's first small section—wrapping around the landfill's north mound and reaching down to the waterfront. This sliver should be finished within a few years, though the park in its entirety is expected to take around 30 years to complete, with $198 million in initial funding, but much more needed along the line.