Clean coal does not add up

Peter Kemp writes: Re. “On clean coal” (yesterday). For heavens’ sake, the job title says it all – it’s his bread and butter to make CSS look OK. Let’s back off and look at the big picture. Some time ago when I worked at Eraring Power Station, one unit at full load (660MW at that time) used 60kg of coal every second. Now 30% of that was ash, so 42 kg of clean coal with some volatiles which result in water or CO2. As a rough figure, say, 40kg of carbon every second.  In round figures (rounded down) this is 100kg of CO2 every second. So (rounded down again) if all four units were on full load this is 1400 tonnes/hour. Even if it was possible to find a place to store this, even if this storage could be guaranteed to be permanent how could the costs be justified? Just guessing, say it took 10% of the output to carry out the processing (CO2 makes up slightly more than 30% of the flue gas): the station’s gross earnings would be reduced by 10% while the cost of plant, maintenance and regulatory oversight would increase significantly. Not to mention the 250MW forgone which politicians would not be able to resist if it prevented a blackout.

Mr Papaspiropoulos finishes with some disingenuous thanks and an unsubstantiated statement. Finally he he uses the grubby trick pulling out the “opinion of experts” and  “authoritative research” probably cherry picked to support his agenda. Please note that he did not say things would be better if CSS was widely adopted.

On super

Lee Tinson writes: Re. “The next stoush on superannuation is coming” (yesterday). Suggestion for the banks: instead of rent-seeking (which is all this is), why not try to actually compete? Or get out of the business, just like you should get out of insurance. Banks are essentially the usurers, the Shylocks, who always unfortunately exist. Let them stick to that.

Superannuation funds should be not-for-profit, with ALL earnings (after costs) going to the contributors. This is not an activity for banks. In fact, banks should be excluded by law from operating in the superannuation industry, as should insurance companies.

Peter Fray

Inoculate yourself against the spin

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today to get your first 12 weeks for $12 and get the journalism you need to navigate the spin.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey