The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Energy

What You Need To Know About Energy

Vision 21: Fossil Fuel Options for the Future (2000)

This report reviews the goals of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Vision 21 Program (DOE’s vision for the future of coal-based power generation) and recommends systems and approaches for moving from concept to reality. Vision 21 is an ambitious, forward-looking program for improving technologies and reducing the environmental impacts of using fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas, and coal) to lead to a new class of technologies to efficiently produce electricity, process heat, transportation fuels, and chemicals. The overall goal of the Vision 21 Program is to develop flexible components and subsystems for modular-designed plants capable of using multiple feedstocks or producing multiple products. The general directions and goals of the Vision 21 Program are intended to ensure that fossil fuels can be used well into the twenty-first century. The committee’s review was based primarily on the Vision 21 Program Plan: Clean Energy Plants for the 21st Century published by DOE in April 1999, as well as on the views and comments of experts from government, industry, and academia on the technical challenges and other issues facing the Vision 21 Program.

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