The government is looking at underground storage of carbon dioxide from coal-fired power stations as a way of reducing the millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases the plants belch into the country's atmosphere each year.
Speaking at the end of a media briefing on climate change at Cape Point, south of Cape Town, on Wednesday, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk said it is still too early to make a final decision on the matter.
"We are looking at it ... but we have a particular problem with the geological structures in [South Africa], which from a carbon storage point of view may make it a risk. But we don't have enough evidence on the table at the moment to make a decision," he said.
Power utility Eskom's 10 coal-fired power stations are responsible for much of the carbon dioxide -- a major contributor to climate change and global warming -- emitted in South Africa.
According to its annual report, the stations released a total of 203,7-million tonnes of carbon dioxide during the year ending March 2006. The utility is planning to bring three more coal-fired plants on line over the next few years, which will push this figure up considerably.
full story from M&G here
I must say I'm quite curious about the technology behind this. Compressed CO2 is "dry ice", isn't it. Is this the plan?
Also, given that it takes a fair amount of heat to release gaseous CO2 from solid CO2, is a lot of heat released in the comression process? Could that energy also be realised as electricity?