18 January 2007

Coal-to-liquid Myths

An article over on ifenergy.com carries a quote to the effect that
SASOL, a South African energy and chemicals firm, to build two
coal-to-liquid fuel plants in China. These plants, costing $3 billion
each, are reported by the Financial Times to jointly produce 60 million
tons of liquid fuel (440 million barrels) a year.
raw material and capital costs of a barrel of fuel would fall under $10
and other costs would not bring total costs over $15
If these newspaper reports about the SASOL costs and
volumes are correct, they would indicate a breakthrough. The SASOL
costs are also far less than those of current US technology.
As a South African I am not inclined to believe a single word put out by SASOL.  If the figures are so good, why do we South African taxpayers continue to (involuntarily) subsidise these arseholes to the tune we do, year after year after year, despite the high price of oil?

Not to mention that coal-to-liquid tech -- no matter how good, cheap and efficient -- is still going to add to the atmospheric carbon load, continuing to drive global climate change.

The "we can continue live our soccermom-driving-4.8litre-Land-Cruisers lifestyle just by using some magically-more-sustainable energy source" propaganda machine rolls on.

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