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Updated 16 September 2005

Vision and Framework for Strategy and Planning
Published August 2005


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Nuclear Power Plant: ©Royalty-Free/CREATAS


Condensers and cooling towers at The Geysers Geothermal power plant in California, Courtesy of DOE/NREL, Credit – David Parsons


Tampa Electric Power Company's Polk Power IGCC Station At Night, U.S. Department of Energy


Ice Harbor Dam and Hydroelectric Plant: Courtesy of DOE/NREL, Credit – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Solar line-concentrator power plant, with troughs built by Luz: Courtesy of DOE/NREL, Credit – Warren Gretz


Corn/Nozzle: composite - Getty Images

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CCTP Goal 2: Reduce Emissions from Energy Supply

Current global energy supplies are dominated by the use of fossil fuels – coal, petroleum products, and natural gas – that emit CO2 when burned. A transition to a low-carbon future would likely require the availability of multiple energy supply technology options characterized by low, near net-zero, or zero CO2 emissions. Many such energy supply technologies are available today or are under development. Others are being implemented now at increasing rates, with encouragement from Federal programs aimed at spurring deployment through various means. When combined with improved energy carriers (e.g., electricity, hydrogen), these advances offer promising prospects for both reducing GHG emissions and improving overall economic efficiency. The following are examples:


Electricity will remain an important energy carrier in the global economy in the future. While substantial improvements in efficiency can offset some of the anticipated growth in electricity demand, increasing electrification, especially in the developing regions of the world, will require significant increases in electricity supply. Reducing GHG emissions from electricity supply could be achieved through further improvements in the efficiency of fossil-based electricity generation technologies, deployment of renewable technologies, increased use of nuclear energy, and development of fusion or other novel power sources.

Hydrogen, Bio-Based and Low-Carbon Fuels

The world economy will have a continuing need for portable, storable energy carriers for heat, power, and transportation. A promising energy carrier is hydrogen, which can be produced in a variety of ways, including carbon-free or low-carbon methods using nuclear, wind, hydroelectric, solar energy, biomass, or fossil fuels combined with carbon capture and sequestration. Hydrogen and other carriers, such as methanol, ethanol, and other low-carbon or bio-based fuels, could serve both as a means for energy storage and as energy carriers in transportation and other applications.


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