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NETL Analysis Presents Independent Assessment of Nation’s Future Energy Systems

A new NETL report provides cost and performance analyses that are important inputs toward meeting the projected demands of future power markets.
The report, “Cost and Performance Baseline for Fossil Energy Plants, Volume 1: Bituminous Coal and Natural Gas to Electricity,” presents an independent assessment of the cost and performance of select fossil energy power systems — integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC), pulverized coal (PC), and natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plants, both with and without 90% carbon capture.

Thirteen power plant configurations are analyzed, including seven IGCC configurations, four PC power plant configurations, and two state-of-the-art turbine-based NGCC power plant configurations.

Robert James, of NETL’s Energy Process Analysis Team, said the report’s analyses provide important information for technology development and decision-making.

“Reference plant configurations found in the report inform technology comparisons and also provide perspective for regulators and policy makers,” James said. “The data is also used to assess goals and metrics and to provide a consistent basis for comparing developing technologies, which is valuable information from a research and development perspective.”  

The report represents one of a series of four volumes. Additional reports assess coal to synthetic natural gas and ammonia, low-rank coal and natural gas to electricity, and bituminous coal to liquid fuels.

NETL’s systems engineering and analysis work includes developing and using advanced models coupled with optimization and uncertainty quantification to support decision-making. Methodologies based in the fundamental disciplines of mathematics, economics, finance, operations research, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science are complemented by experimental capabilities in chemistry and physics. Integration of computational and applied research provides insights to new technology; identifies new energy concepts; and analyzes energy system interaction at plant, regional, national and global scales.

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory that produces technological solutions for America’s energy challenges. From developing creative innovations and efficient energy systems that make coal more competitive, to advancing technologies that enhance oil and natural gas extraction and transmission processes, NETL research is providing breakthroughs and discoveries that support home-grown energy initiatives, stimulate a growing economy, and improve the health, safety, and security of all Americans. Highly skilled men and women at three NETL research sites – Albany, Oregon; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – conduct a broad range of research activities that support DOE’s mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.