(430a) The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy Research and Development Priorities | AIChE

(430a) The U.S. Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy Research and Development Priorities


Winberg, S. - Presenter, US Department of Energy
The Department of Energy’s Fossil Energy Research and Development (R&D) program is geared toward meeting the Administration’s goals of U.S. energy dominance, security, strong domestic energy production, and clean coal technology development.

Coal remains a critical energy source. However, the nation’s aging coal-fired power plants require upgrades to make them more efficient and, therefore, lower emitting; and to ensure that they can operate on a grid that is increasingly accommodating intermittent, renewable generation.

At the same time, to compete with other sources of power generation, future coal-fired power plants will need to be of modular design, highly efficient, flexible, reliable, less expensive to build, and strategically located to provide grid stability; they must also have short start-up times and high turndown.

The Department’s coal R&D is prioritized to meet these challenges under the proposed Advanced Coal Energy Systems (ACE) and Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) program. This program is focused on improving the efficiency and reliability of the existing aging fleet of coal-fired power plants, while developing advanced technologies and processes that will be used in the next generation of coal power plants.

Additionally, the Department continues early-stage R&D on CCUS, as well as research into new value-added products from coal—including rare earth elements from coal and coal by-products.

The phenomenal growth in U.S. oil and gas development is changing the energy landscape domestically and globally. To ensure the continued strong production and development of these resources, the Department’s oil and gas R&D is focused on addressing the challenges associated with the production of resources from low-permeability formations, as well as midstream challenges, such as pipeline infrastructure and product delivery efficiency and flexibility. The Department has several pathways to meet these challenges, including technology development and the expanded use of data analytics, machine learning, and high-performance computing.