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Jim Orchard
Senior Vice President
Marketing and Government Affairs
Cloud Peak Energy

Mark McCullough
Executive Vice President
American Electric Power

Vice Chairmen

Deck Slone
Senior Vice President
Strategy and Public Policy
Arch Coal, Inc.

Barbara Walz
Senior Vice President
Policy & Compliance
Tri-State Generation & Transmission
Association Inc.


Ray Harry
Southern Company


Michael Stroben
Duke Energy

Executive Director

Ben Yamagata
Coal Utilization Research Council

1050 Thomas Jefferson St., NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20007

(202) 298-1850
(202) 338-2416 FAX


* The CURC-EPRI Roadmap is depicted within the long-term program above (blue arrow)

The CURC-EPRI 2012 Coal Technology Roadmap

Released June 2012; Updated August 2012*

This report presents a plan for developing technologies that convert coal to electricity and other useful forms of energy and manufacturing feedstocks. The plan, or “Roadmap,” was a joint effort between the Coal Utilization Research Council (“CURC”, see and the Electric Power Research Institute (“EPRI”, see
An earlier Roadmap was published by CURC and EPRI in 2008. This update includes new data on recent advances in technology; addresses the increased stress on the U.S. economy which has diminished our ability to support technology development; accounts for the potential increased supplies of natural gas; and recognizes the uncertainty of policies with respect to controlling emissions of CO2.

The Roadmap identifies coal technology advancements that will achieve specific cost, performance and environmental goals. The CURC/EPRI Roadmap is a pathway for developing the needed technologies by relying upon collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors.

Supporting document:
CURC-EPRI Technology Roadmap Executive Summary

* The August 2012 Roadmap Update reflects changes made to Figures S1, 4 and 5, Table 1, and the paragraph referencing the costs of needed demonstrations on p. 25.

Interim Report: The CURC/EPRI Roadmap for Coal Technology
November 2011


The Coal Utilization Research Council (CURC) and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are engaged in updating the coal technology roadmap initially drafted by those groups in early 2000 and most recently modified in 2008. The technology roadmap describes technologies needed to acquire a set of benefits from coal that each organization views as important and achievable through advancements in technology.   

In general, those benefits fall into the familiar categories of environmental quality, energy security, and economic prosperity. 

Historically, collaborative RD&D between the public and private sectors has led to major advances in coal-related power plant technologies, and emission control systems, as outlined in the attached white paper. Since the roadmap was modified in 2008, significant changes have occurred both in technology development and in society’s needs, and the updated roadmap will reflect those changes. These changes include diminished expectations that legislation regulating the emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) will be enacted; an effort to regulate GHG emissions based on existing legislative authority; new environmental regulations related to traditional pollutants; a slowdown in the U.S. economy; and additional knowledge about the opportunity for low-cost anthropogenic CO2 to facilitate enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to displace imported oil. This Interim Report describes the findings of the roadmap development group to date. A final report is scheduled for release at the beginning of 2012.

EPRI Comments to House Science and Technology Committee on CURC-EPRI Roadmap and Future of Coal R&D
Submitted November 15, 2011

On Thursday, October 13, 2011, the House Science, Space And Technology Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment held a hearing titled “Advancing Coal Research and Development for a Secure Energy Future.” The purpose of this hearing was to examine current Department of Energy (DOE) coal research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities and identify future coal RD&D opportunities and priorities.

Mr. Stu Dalton, Senior Government Representative-Generation at EPRI testified before the Committee.  His testimony may be viewed here.  Additionally, Mr. Dalton answered and submitted several additional questions for the record, as requested by the Committee.  These questions pertain to the CURC-EPRI Roadmap activities and DOE's coal R&D program.  

CURC-EPRI Roadmap 2008

In a collaborative effort to identify future technologies to effectively use coal, the CURC, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) developed a clean coal technology Roadmap, originally released in 2001. The Roadmap identifies a variety of research, development and demonstration priorities that if adequately funded and pursued, could lead to the successful development of a set of coal-based technologies that will be cost-effective, highly efficient and achieve near zero emissions to our air and water resources.


In mid-2005, the CURC, in cooperation with EPRI, began an update of the Roadmap, including a review of both the programs and technologies identified in the original Roadmap, as well as the costs, performance levels, progress achieved during the last several years and total projected costs to government and industry if the goals of the Roadmap are to be achieved. DOE was consulted on a provisional basis to review the revised document. The CURC-EPRI roadmap, pre-released in September of 2006, defines the steps necessary to achieve near zero emissions from coal use, including the capture and sequestration of CO2, and suggests that the investment necessary to achieve the goals of Roadmap is approximately $17.0 billion between now and 2025. This amount reflects both the federal and industry investment (traditionally, the Federal cost-share is 80% for R&D projects and 50% for demonstration projects).  

The CURC-EPRI Roadmap includes a technology development program for carbon management, defined as the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide. The Roadmap targeted two approaches to carbon management: (1) higher efficiency; and (2) sequestration of CO2 in underground reservoirs. The cost of higher efficiency is contained within the power plant costs for both gasification and combustion based systems. The Roadmap separately identifies the cost of transport and injection (storage) in the carbon sequestration roadmap.

The goal of the CURC-EPRI Roadmap is to have, by 2025, new combustion and gasification based systems operating with carbon capture with an efficiency between 39% to 46% and a cost of electricity between 37 and 39 $/MW-hr. By 2025, the incremental cost to transport and sequester the CO2 is projected to be between 2 and 7 $/MW-hr.

The major finding of the CURC-EPRI Roadmap is that, by 2025, with sufficient and focused RD&D identified in the Roadmap, combustion and gasification-based power generation options can be available commercially - with the ability to capture and sequester CO2 - at a cost of electricity equal to the cost of new power generation (without CO2 capture) today. This includes the current work on FutureGen. In order to achieve this goal, sufficient public and private funding is required. CURCSM believes, however, that current funding for coal R&D is barely adequate and funding for demonstrations is totally inadequate. Reduced government and industry investments will postpone or deny our ability to develop the technologies within the timeframes suggested in the Roadmap. If technology is to be the centerpiece for addressing concerns about climate change, then adequate funding and focus is urgently required and sufficient time to develop innovative CO2 capture technologies is needed.

Click here to review the CURC-EPRI Roadmap.

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Siemens SGT6-5000F Gas Turbine - Photo courtesy of Siemens