Fossil Fuel Power Plants & New Proposed EPA Ruling

A rule announced by the Environmental Protection Agency could force power plants to capture smokestack emissions using a technology that has long been promised but is not used widely in the United States.

If finalized, the proposed regulation would mark the first time the federal government has restricted carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, which generate about 25% of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution, second only to the transportation sector. The rule also would apply to future electric plants

Almost all coal plants — along with large, frequently used gas-fired power plants — would have to cut or capture nearly all their carbon dioxide emissions by 2038, the EPA said. Plants that cannot meet the new standards would be forced to retire.

Will the above result in the construction of more nuclear plants? I would think so in addition of more solar & wind power generation. We need a source of constant power generation. We do NOT want to end up in a German type situation.

And there is a cost consideration to the New EPA ruling.

Even if power plants implemented carbon capture, their cost of generation would double, rendering them less competitive against subsidized wind and solar power. There’s also the not-so-small problem of permitting. Thousands of miles of pipelines would have to be built to transport carbon to geologic structures where it can be injected.
The above means higher power costs to the consumer. Just how much will that be?

Natural gas plants might be able to comply with the rule by blending hydrogen into fuel. But almost all hydrogen today is produced from natural gas, so this wouldn’t result in a net reduction in CO2. Hence, EPA wants to make gas plants use “low-greenhouse gas” hydrogen produced from renewable electricity, which is three to four times more expensive.

Then there is the “The proposed rule won’t make an iota of difference to the climate as China and India ramp up coal power.” consideration.