Advanced Research and Technology Development. The Advanced Clean Fuels program aims to develop systems that can produce coal-derived transportation fuels, chemicals, and other products at costs competitive with oil-derived products when petroleum prices reach $25/barrel (bbl) or greater in 1991 dollars. Total funding for this program has decreased significantly in recent years, from $59.6 million in FY 1992 to $40.9 million in FY 1994. The FY 1995 budget request of $20.1 million reflects a proposed further decline in DOE activities in this area.
The Advanced Clean/Efficient Power Systems program supports the development of systems based on coal combustion or gasification that will become commercial in different time periods. Program goals for efficiency, levels of emissions, and energy cost to be achieved in 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015 have been established. Some technologies are funded under the FE coal R&D advanced power systems activity, the FE natural gas R&D program, and the CCT program. For example, subsystem and component testing, environmental and economic studies, and pilot plant tests for pressurized fluidized-bed combustion (PFBC) systems are funded under the FE coal R&D program, while demonstrations of first- and second-generation PFBC systems will be conducted under CCT funding. These systems will employ advanced turbines developed in the natural gas R&D program. The advanced power systems program experienced a funding reduction from $187.1 million in FY 1992 to $97.1 million in FY 1994, but this decline is largely the result of completion of the magnetohydrodynamics proof-of-concept program and transfer of the fuel cells activity from the coal program to the natural gas program in FY 1994.
All DOE coal advanced research programs fall within the FE coal R&D budget category, although they are not confined to the Advanced Research and Technology Development program. Advanced research on fuels and power generation is also funded under the Advanced Clean Fuels and Advanced Clean/ Efficient Power Systems budget categories, respectively (see Chapter 9). The advanced research budget for coal declined about 30 percent in real terms between FY 1988 and FY 1994, with a further decrease of approximately 25 percent to $22.4 million proposed for FY 1995.
The development of a strategic plan for coal requires an understanding of the factors likely to influence coal use over the time horizon of interest. As a basis for developing a set of strategic planning scenarios, the committee reviewed markets for coal and coal utilization technologies, major coal uses—notably, electric power generation, the availability of competing energy sources, and the impact of existing and likely future environmental regulations affecting coal use.
The domestic coal resource base is abundant, constituting over 94 percent of proven U.S. fossil fuel reserves. Coal is not projected to be resource limited in the