Clean Coal

Clean Coal

DOE's Decision to Restructure FutureGen Should Be Based on A Comprehensive Analysis of Costs, Benefits, and Risks : Report to Congressional Requesters

Printed Ephemera - 2009
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Coal-fired power plants generate about one-half of the nation's electricity and about one-third of its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which contribute to climate change. In 2003, the Department of Energy (DOE) initiated FutureGen--a commercial-scale, coal-fired power plant to incorporate integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), an advanced generating technology, with carbon capture and storage (CCS). The plant was to capture and store underground about 90 percent of its CO2 emissions. DOE's cost share was 74 percent, and industry partners agreed to fund the rest. Concerned about escalating costs, DOE restructured FutureGen. GAO was asked to examine (1) the original and restructured programs' goals, (2) similarities and differences between the new FutureGen and other DOE CCS programs, and (3) if the restructuring decision was based on sufficient information. GAO reviewed best practices for making programmatic decisions, FutureGen plans and budgets, and documents on the restructuring of FutureGen. GAO contacted DOE, industry partners, and experts.


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