Vattenfall to Abandon R&D into Carbon Capture and Storage

Here’s an interesting announcement from Swedish energy giant Vatenfall via phys.org Vatenfall has announced that they are ending research and development into carbon capture and storage (CCS) in connection with coal-powered electricity generation. Apparently they had a coal power plant slated to go online in 2016 which would have a CCS facility — but this will no longer happen.

The reason Vattenfall gives for the change of plan is that the costs of such an undertaking would be too high.

Vattenfall’s Research and Development head Karl Bergman said. “We are evaluating our research portfolio in order to invest in R&D projects which can contribute more quickly to our business development.”

Those of us who follow news about the E-Cat are familiar with Vattenfall because they have publicly expressed interest in Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat technology as a potential energy source for future use. Vattenfall also contribute to Elforsk — the Swedish R&D institute which carries out research for the benefit of energy companies in Sweden, and which funded last year’s third party testing of the E-Cat.

There is no evidence that this decision to abandon their CCS project is connected with an anticipation of developing carbon-free energy production from E-Cat technology — there maybe none — but this decision does make one wonder. If you were an energy producer aware of the imminent release of a superior carbon-free energy source — would you continue to fund a carbon reduction project that was very expensive and difficult to acccomplish?

  • Freethinker

    Just noticed that Vattenfall is replacing their CEO.

    New leadership with a new roadmap?

    See their news release : http://bit.ly/RvE5Aw

  • Allan Shura
  • Allan Shura

    Beside the rise in temperatures causing extreme weather havoc the primary concern with CO2 is ocean acidification with 35% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere dissolving into oceans.
    You should be worried now with the excess carbonic acid already having wide ranging negative effects on the ecosystem balance in the oceans.

  • Obvious

    Some of these deals are more complicated than they appear on surface also. A favorite of North American auto manufacturers was selling off pieces of manufacturing capability in weak years, to bolster the year end figures. These pieces would be re-named and reorganized and slowly bought back in strong years to avoid taxes based on otherwise high profits.

  • kabel

    Interesting announcement.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/webinar/groundbreaking-smart-polygeneration-microgrid-project-university-campus-of-savona-italy

    Looks like Siemens preparing for big change in energy distribution.

    • GreenWin

      If there is a place for a “smart grid” it is not the intrusive “smart meter” type. It would be a smart microgrid as imagined here by Siemens Energy Automation. When district level LENR units come online, distributing the energy to local demands requires intelligent systems. Looks like Siemens has wisely invested in a new business unit to lead this market. They should do well.

  • Charles

    Hooray for the Swedes. Still, my thoughts return to the fact that 2-3 years ago, Germany announced they were going to end the use of nuclear power. At the time, I thought: They are the first to see the magic hand of the E-Cat writing on the wall, but dare not say so publicly.

    Too, thanks Vattenfall for spitting in Al Gore’s face and stomping on his checkbook. Loverly!

    • GreenWin

      Charles, I would hope that should the mighty Algore choose to purchase a Vattenfall branded E-Cat in the future, they will raise their boot from his checkbook.

      • bachcole

        No mercy!!! Al Gore will eventually buy his own E-Cat, and AGW hysteria will be canceled, but we will not forget that he used anti-science demagoguery to crush his intellectual opponents.

        • GreenWin

          Rog, IMO, the only thing Algore has crushed is human intuition. Of which he has little.

        • Charles

          Algore, of Al-Gorezeera fame, is the leader of the godless Global Warming cult.

  • GreenWin

    Even more interesting than Vattenfall’s interests in E-Cat is the political message this sends to IPCC. Carbon capture has always been outrageously costly – a hail mary tech dreamed up by coal and AGW industries. Another benefit of LENR will be to decelerate carbon gloom and doom.

    LENR-based thermal desalination allows coastal deserts to bloom. Sahara/East Africa, Australia, Atacama (Chile), Namib/Kalhara (South Africa), Sonora, Mojave, Saudi – can all become productive farmland and provide desperately needed fresh water. A far better investment than wringing CO2 from the air or resource-based conflicts.

  • Omega Z

    You don’t discard or discontinue your existing technology until the new is proven & in place.

    Imagine scrapping you existing Space Launch Vehicle before it’s replacement has even been designed, let alone tested & in use.
    That would be so silly. Who would do such a thing? :-)

    Contrary to the timeline that many assume, It will be a slower, more cautious roll out of LENR technology.
    They will need to build a few Plants & collect Operational Data. Determine it’s dependability & actual costs & Fix any engineering problems that arise.

    Everyone should consider this like an electric car. The energy may be cheap, But the car costs as much or more then the gasoline powered car. There will be problems to overcome. People need to become confident in it. This all takes time. It will be adapted overtime. Not Overnight.

    As to Nuclear Power Plants. They can easily take a dozen years to build. I would expect most of the Technical problems with LENR will be known & fixed within about 5 years. Plenty of time to stop building a nuclear facility. In Fact, Up until the Nuclear fuel is loaded, it can always be re-purposed & fitted with LENR technology.

    In the mean time. They continue on & Don’t count their eggs before they’ve hatched. Because, should some issue with LENR arise that can’t be overcome, the conventional power will be needed.

    • friendlyprogrammer

      Just want to add/argue about a LENR car. Electric and Hydrogen cars already exist, but in minimal sizes compared to potential. Costs are weighed against savings, and if mass production ensued, Electric Cars should be cheaper due to simplicity. Less explosions in an Electric Engine.

      The problems I see existing with LENR are lack of understanding, not enough public interest in science anymore (could any of us name an astronaut up there now), The simplicity of the LENR devices themselves (most seem to be just a closed up tube with the right stuff heated inside) which leave them open to mass piracy, no confirmed patent winner (once this is patented then secrecy becomes moot), and finally greed seems to overcome some of the LENR participants (Celani and the High School devices not included).

      It is a good point that power facilities can always be re purposed. I see some time before the grid shrinks to the point LENR ownership becomes required.

      I will disagree that LENR will slowly roll out though. I envision it more like a shark feeding frenzy where people would rather drive their gas guzzlers into a lake than drive them on fossil fuels if conversion was not possible (it will be).

      There will be Thousands upon thousands of solar/wind/fossil energy researchers suddenly looking to convert their own livelihoods. Steven Krivit may need to start building LENR devices in his basement after his website is defunct. I think LENR will come fast and furious once the ball starts rolling, unfortunately its still needing pushes.

  • georgehants

    From Cold Fusion Now

    Revolution-Green’s Mark Dansie On Transition Technology & LENR
    http://coldfusionnow.org/revolution-greens-mark-dansie-on-transition-technology-lenr/

  • Freethinker

    Well…

    It is a bit intriguing, and its easy to take it as a indicatior that Vattenfall will be using ECATs en-masse soon.

    But: Vattenfall has had some problems with their carbon energy tech before, see http://bit.ly/1kKKSyV , and likely problems like this that make the investment in this tech further a delicate matter.

    Still, it does NOT mean that Vattenfall is NOT planning to use ECATs en-masse producing energy in the future.

  • Gerard McEk

    Yes, it may have contributed to their decision, but on the other hand: Cathching CO2, compressing it and liquefy it is so intensely energy intensive that the whole project is a farce! Better use the energy and CO2 to grow trees and crops. Let Mother Nature do the job. What they intended to do was so marginal on World scale (and would always be) that it was a rediculous initiative.

  • Andrew

    The Swedish had always shown an interest in the Ecat (as per matts book). I wouldn’t be suprized that they have already read the report, pre-publication maybe.

  • Daniel Maris

    Nuclear fission will soon be dead as a form of energy generation. Wind and solar are already cheaper. The energy storage problem is going to be solved soon, and that will kill off nuclear finally. That’s whatever happens with LENR.

    • Fortyniner

      The Hinkley C station project will probably end abruptly when Cameron and his cronies move on to their various directorships and EU sinecures, and the completely fallacious basis of the whole project is exposed. That’s assuming that the various financial stitch-ups involved don’t come unstitched in the near future, as the EU commission investigates them.

      I suspect that the focus in the UK will move to tidal power (retention lagoons) if LENR has still not made any formal appearance within the next year or two.

      • GreenWin

        The UK has cornered itself with Hinkley C. IMechE engineers are calling for more storage to accommodate alternatives. LENR microgrids do not need storage except for load leveling. But this applies further pressure on government to prepare for “new technologies.”
        http://bit.ly/1o6FsDE

        • Fortyniner

          Sadly, the UK government doesn’t do rational analysis, only self interest and the interests of their sponsors (like most governments I suppose).

    • Obvious

      I suspect that most LENR reactions are fission.

  • Daniel Maris

    I don’t normally buy these stories about secret influence of the E Cat but this I find a little more persuasive, especially since we know Vattenfall have been watching the E Cat closely. Certainly one to watch.

    • bachcole

      I feel exactly the same way. Great minds think alike.

  • John Littlemist

    It’s Vattenfall, not Vatenfall.

  • Gerald

    I wonder, is it because we e-catworld readers are looking like a spyclass at the news and connect sometimes things to LERN or is it because we see the story unfold and connect the dots easier.

    Personaly I think there to many things over the last 2 years are happening what can be explained as big companies now nowing about the change to the world because of LERN. We will see in a few month.

    Great story to follow!!

    • Ophelia Rump

      People who are looking see more. People who have seen, see even more when they look further. I think you are correct on both counts Gerald.

  • AstralProjectee

    Nothing but speculation.

    • Ophelia Rump

      The Pessimist

      NOTHING to do but work, Nothing to eat but food,Nothing to wear but clothes To keep one from going nude.

      Nothing to breathe but air Quick as a flash ‘t is gone;Nowhere to fall but off, Nowhere to stand but on.

      Nothing to comb but hair, Nowhere to sleep but in bed,Nothing to weep but tears, Nothing to bury but dead.

      Nothing to sing but songs, Ah, well, alas! alack!Nowhere to go but out, Nowhere to come but back.

      Nothing to see but sights, Nothing to quench but thirst,Nothing to have but what we’ve got; Thus thro’ life we are cursed.

      Nothing to strike but a gait; Everything moves that goes.Nothing at all but common sense Can ever withstand these woes.

      Ben King

  • Sandy

    “If you were an energy producer aware of the imminent release of a superior carbon-free energy source — would you continue to fund a carbon reduction project that was very expensive and difficult to accomplish?”

    No. And might we assume that Vattenfall now knows that the soon-to-be-reported E-Cat test results are very positive?

    • Ophelia Rump

      We know for sure that they have something better in mind, something which will achieve their goals more quickly. They have said that much.

      I wonder what it could be?

    • Curbina

      The logic is there. For us LENR followers is could be really easy to come to this conclusion. My good skepticism (true skepticism, not pathological) is struggling to find other causes to take this decision that would not stem of awareness of LENR. If this were any other company, that would be not known for having been closely scrutinying the E-Cat, it would be much harder to make the connection, but in this case it seems that is enough close to home to assume this, at least, a possibility. Now, if it turns out that this decision is really LENR related, it’s very good news!!!

      • Iggy Dalrymple

        “For us LENR followers is could be really easy to come to this conclusion.”

        Hey, Vattenfall is more than a mere ‘follower’. They indirectly backed the fall test with real $. Their vantagepoint is likely much superior to our’s.

        • Omega Z

          Yes, They don’t have just a 30 page report.

          They have all the Original Data.

        • Curbina

          I know, and I was giving my comment somehow “tongue in cheek” . This is great news if we are interpreting it correctly.

    • Omega Z

      Vattenfall’s is AWARE.
      Not just Rossi & the E-cats.
      They are following All the Players.
      Read it in One of their reports.