SLAC Colloquium Series

SLAC Colloquium Series


Colloquium Detail

Reconciling the Rapid Growth of Coal and CO2 Emissions in Global Energy Markets

Date: 3/23/2009

Richard K. Morse
Stanford Program on Energy and Sustainable Development

Coal is both the world's fastest growing fossil fuel and a leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. While in the West coal use is under pressure, much of the developing world is predicating economic growth on cheap, reliable electricity from coal. As a result, the next few decades are likely to witness a massive build out of coal capacity. Morse will explore where coal markets are growing, examine what economic and political variables have the greatest impact on coal use and the global coal trade, and discuss possible leverage points for CO2 mitigation. One mitigation option is a technology called carbon capture and storage, or CCS. Should we place big bets on this expensive and largely unproven option? Morse will discuss whether the current state of CCS deployment for coal-fired power falls short of mitigation levels required by many widely publicized targets and proceed to analyze the potential for commercial deployment of CCS technology at scale.

Stanford's Program on Energy and Sustainable Development draws on the fields of political science, law and economics to investigate how the production and consumption of energy affect sustainable development and human welfare. Morse's work at PESD focuses on global and domestic coal markets. His other research interests include carbon markets, renewable energy markets, and financial markets for energy commodities. Morse received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Rice University, where he was awarded the James Street Fulton Prize for the top graduate in the field. He has worked in commodities markets for oil, natural gas and renewable energy.

Last update: October 03, 2013