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Policy drivers and barriers for coal-to-liquids (CtL) technologies in the United States


  • Vallentin, Daniel


Because of a growing dependence on oil imports, powerful industrial, political and societal stakeholders in the United States are trying to enhance national energy security through the conversion of domestic coal into synthetic hydrocarbon liquid fuels--so-called coal-to-liquids (CtL) processes. However, because of the technology's high costs and carbon intensity, its market deployment is strongly affected by the US energy, technology and climate policy setting. This paper analyses and discusses policy drivers and barriers for CtL technologies in the United States and reaches the conclusion that an increasing awareness of global warming among US policy-makers raises the requirements for the technology's environmental performance and, thus, limits its potential to regional niche markets in coal-producing states or strategic markets, such as the military, with specific security and fuel requirements.

Suggested Citation

  • Vallentin, Daniel, 2008. "Policy drivers and barriers for coal-to-liquids (CtL) technologies in the United States," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 3188-3201, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:8:p:3188-3201

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Byrne, John & Hughes, Kristen & Rickerson, Wilson & Kurdgelashvili, Lado, 2007. "American policy conflict in the greenhouse: Divergent trends in federal, regional, state, and local green energy and climate change policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 4555-4573, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mattila, Tuomas & Antikainen, Riina, 2011. "Backcasting sustainable freight transport systems for Europe in 2050," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1241-1248, March.
    2. Rong, Fang & Victor, David G., 2011. "Coal liquefaction policy in China: Explaining the policy reversal since 2006," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 8175-8184.
    3. Höök, Mikael & Tang, Xu, 2013. "Depletion of fossil fuels and anthropogenic climate change—A review," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 797-809.
    4. Majidpour, Mehdi, 2012. "Heavy duty gas turbines in Iran, India and China: Do national energy policies drive the industries?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 723-732.
    5. Umstattd, Ryan J., 2009. "Future energy efficiency improvements within the US department of defense: Incentives and barriers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2870-2880, August.
    6. Liu, Guangrui & Yan, Beibei & Chen, Guanyi, 2013. "Technical review on jet fuel production," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 59-70.
    7. Haarlemmer, Geert & Boissonnet, Guillaume & Peduzzi, Emanuela & Setier, Pierre-Alexandre, 2014. "Investment and production costs of synthetic fuels – A literature survey," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 667-676.
    8. Huo, Jinwei & Yang, Degang & Xia, Fuqiang & Tang, Hong & Zhang, Wenbiao, 2013. "Feasibility analysis and policy recommendations for the development of the coal based SNG industry in Xinjiang," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 3-11.
    9. Zhaoyang Kong & Xiucheng Dong & Bo Xu & Rui Li & Qiang Yin & Cuifang Song, 2015. "EROI Analysis for Direct Coal Liquefaction without and with CCS: The Case of the Shenhua DCL Project in China," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(2), pages 1-22, January.
    10. Closson, Stacy, 2013. "The military and energy: Moving the United States beyond oil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 306-316.

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