Last week,  the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a draft loan guarantee solicitation for “innovative and advanced” fossil energy projects that “substantially reduce greenhouse gas and other air pollution.”

The Advanced Fossil Energy Projects solicitation was authorized by Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 through Section 1703 of the Loan Guarantee Program.

According to the announcement, “The solicitation will support new or significantly improved advanced fossil energy projects and facilities—such as advanced resource development, carbon capture, low-carbon power systems, and efficiency improvements—that reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gas pollution.” The DOE says it will “make available up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority through this solicitation.”

Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz commented: “Fossil fuels currently provide more than 80 percent of our energy, and adopting technologies to use them cleanly and more efficiently is critical to our all-of-the-above approach.”

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorizes the DOE to support innovative clean energy technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. Projects deploying these technologies are typically unable to obtain commercial financing due to high technology risks. Once finalized, this solicitation will be the sixth issued in support of Section 1703, the announcement said.

Within the draft solicitation, the DOE has included a sample list illustrative of potential technologies for consideration. They cover advanced resource development, carbon capture, low-carbon power systems, and energy efficiency improvements. Of the technology areas listed, the following are of most interest to the power generating industry:

  • Methane emissions capture from energy production, transmission, or distribution
  • CO2 capture from synthesis gases in fuel reforming or gasification processes
  • CO2 capture from flue gases in traditional coal or natural gas electricity generation
  • Coal or natural gas oxycombustion
  • Chemical looping processes
  • Hydrogen turbines
  • Synthesis gas, natural gas, or hydrogen based fuel cells
  • Combined heat and power
  • Waste heat recovery on industrial facilities
  • High-efficiency distributed fossil power systems

The DOE said it welcomes public comment “on a range of issues, including technical analysis of the specifications of these as well as other technologies, and their potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” as well as comments that identify other technologies that should be considered.

The draft solicitation will be open for comments from industry, stakeholders, and the public until early September.

Sources: POWERnews, DOE

—Gail Reitenbach, PhD, Managing Editor (@POWERmagazine, @GailReit)

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on July 3