The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

What You Need To Know About Energy

Review of DOE’s Vision 21 Research and Development Program, Phase 1 (2003)

DOE’s Vision 21 program is an ambitious effort for converting fossil fuel into electricity, process heat, fuels and/or chemicals with high efficiency and very low emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. The long-term goal is to use these technologies in future "Vision 21" plants, which would eliminate many of the environmental concerns currently associated with the use of fossil fuels. In 2000, the NRC published a report that reviewed the program in its initial stages. Two years later, the DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coal and Power Systems requested that the NRC review Vision 21’s progress. The current report identifies significant progress that has been made in the program since the last NRC review and makes recommendations for enhancement of the program. In particular, the NRC recommends that the program sharpen its focus, with a concentration primarily on the development of cost-competitive, coal-fueled systems for large-scale (200-500 megawatts) electricity production using gasification technologies that permit the storing, or sequestering, of carbon dioxide, thereby reducing other emissions to near zero.

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