"DOE Risks Wasting ‘Significant Funds’ on CCS — Audit"

"The Department of Energy is at risk of wasting a significant amount of money on carbon capture and storage demonstration projects without greater oversight, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

The report, released yesterday by the watchdog agency, said although DOE has invested $1.1 billion in 11 carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects since 2009, only three of those projects ended up being built, with coal CCS projects “generally less successful” than projects at industrial facilities like chemical plants.

Two of the 11 projects dropped out in the planning phases, according to GAO, and did not receive DOE funding.

The coal CCS project that was built — the Petra Nova carbon capture facility in Texas — was the United States’ only large carbon capture project on a coal plant before it went offline in May 2020. NRG Energy Inc. cited low oil prices for the decision at the time.

GAO highlighted “significant risks” to DOE’s management of coal CCS demonstration projects, citing the department’s decision to fully fund projects in their early stages, as well as taking a larger share of early stage funding than typical at DOE for such projects."

Carlos Anchondo and Jeremy Dillon report for E&E News December 21, 2021.

Source: E&E News, 12/22/2021