Many may be unaware but carbon sequestration will play a very large role in our energy future. Alternative energy companies still have room to grow but realistically there is not enough wind, water, geothermal heat and land available to generate more than 30 or 40% of our total energy needs. Most of our electricity comes from the burning of fossil fuels and this will not change anytime soon. At present oil costs $110 a barrel and the predicted oil peak, if it has not been reached already, is not far off. While we may be running out of oil, there is still enough coal on the planet to provide enough energy for the next few hundred years. Most of this is located in the United States. They possess 28% of the world's coal reserves. They also generate roughly half of their electricity through the burning of coal.
Meanwhile, China produces over 75% of their electricity needs through the burning of coal. Coincidentally this is very close to the percent of carbon emissions from China that burning coal is responsible for. The reality is that coal will have to be burned without producing emissions soon or the world`s temperature will begin to rise uncontrollably. What most don`t realize is that in the arctic, the permafrost holds large amounts of methane that is not released because the permafrost has it trapped underground. If the world`s average temperature rises a couple degrees more, there is a good chance that the permafrost will melt, releasing large amounts of methane, the most destructive greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. If this happens, it will cause a process that will not be able to be stopped as the released methane will continue to make the world`s temperature rise causing more methane to be released from the oceans until there is no way to stop climate change.
The governments of the world are aware of this and will make decisions with this in mind in the near future. For instance, Hillary, Obama and McCain all say that they would introduce a carbon emissions trading scheme as president. This economic tool involves a hard cap being put on emissions and emission permits being used to trade the right to pollute for money. Once implemented, the cap is slowly reduced forcing companies to adjust to the new policy by purchasing permits that annually would rise in expense or implement technology to save them the cost of polluting. This leads to companies adjusting to the policy at the least cost possible, as only companies that can reduce their costs by reducing emissions, will reduce emissions, and companies that find purchasing permits cheaper will continue to do so. This policy has also been proven to pose the least cost in reducing emissions for industrial emitters in the real world. In the early 90`s, traded emission permits were introduced in the United Stated to reduce sulphur dioxide emission to great success. Also, the Kyoto Protocol contains a clause regarding the future use of this form of emissions cap on a global scale.
Generally, governments and individuals alike do not care much about the environment when faced with having to pay a cost to protect it but in this case they will have to act. Greed will also drive the desire for this technology because the captured carbon dioxide can be used to extract a LOT of oil from existing oil fields in a process known as Enhanced Oil Recovery. The United States happens to have 43 billion barrels of extra oil that can be extracted through this process. There is no way that companies will not use this technology to extract more of the most valuable resource ever discovered out of existing oil fields with this technology.
What companies have advanced technology in this area??? Well, HTC Pure energy (HTC.V) is the company developing the cheapest carbon capture systems in the world. They recently did a presentation of the world`s only pre-constructed, stand alone carbon capture unit to the premiers of Australia and Canada and recently signed on to participate in one of the world`s largest carbon capture products to date. They are already planning to build this massive plant in Norway and are also doing a feasibility study on a brown coal burning power plant in Australia. This company only has 12 million publicly traded shares and it doesn`t even advertise to investors. Check out their website: http://www.htcenergy.com/ HTC also has advanced technology in enhanced oil recovery and the creation of biofuels. Buying into the world`s most advanced carbon sequestration company at these prices is theft but barely anyone realizes it`s significance. Maybe it`s because so few people know about this technology... a study showed that less than 10% of Americans knew what carbon sequestration was a few months back. They will soon though because this technology is as important to our energy future as alternative energy. Another company you should check out is Rentech (RTK). They have very advanced technology developing biofuels but unfortunately a much bigger share float than HTC. Here is Rentech's website: http://www.rentechinc.com/ Hope I convinced you of the future of this technology, if I didn`t read more about it because there is a lot of money to be made while investing in a good cause.