FutureGen: A Brief History and Issues for Congress [April 3, 2013]   [open pdf - 721KB]

"FutureGen is a clean-coal technology program managed through a public-private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the FutureGen Industrial Alliance. The FutureGen program as originally conceived in 2003 by the George W. Bush Administration had the intent of constructing a net zero-emission fossil-fueled power plant with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology. CCS is a process envisioned to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from burning fossil fuels and store it in deep underground geologic formations, thus preventing its release into the atmosphere. If widely deployed in the United States, CCS could decrease the amount of U.S.-emitted CO2, a greenhouse gas associated with climate change. In 2008, DOE withdrew from the FutureGen partnership, citing rising costs of construction as its reason. Subsequently, DOE restructured the FutureGen program to instead develop two or three demonstration projects in different power plants around the country. In 2010, the Obama administration announced another change to the program with the introduction of FutureGen 2.0, which would retrofit an existing coal-fueled power plant in Illinois with CCS technology. […] This report briefly summarizes the history of FutureGen, discusses why it has gained interest and support from some Members of Congress and the Administration while remaining in initial stages of development, and offers some policy considerations on barriers that challenge its further development as a model for a CCS program."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43028
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