There are 14 plants in the United States being planned and engineered, said Lowell Miller, director of the Office of Sequestration, Hydrogen, and Clean Coal Fuels at the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy at the Energy Information Administration's 2007 Annual Energy Outlook Wednesday in Washington.
There are also plants being planned in South Asia, including the only direct liquification plant in China. The only operational coal to liquid plant, he said, is in South Africa.
While coal is still the cheapest form of energy, it makes sense, Miller said, to look at it as an option to provide our fuel needs as well as electricity. The technology has been around since World War II and the U.S. Department of Energy has had a coal liquification program since the oil embargoes in the 1960s. Yet, even with renewed interest in the last 14 months, the process is slow.
"I've been around for a while and I'm not buying any stock in it yet," Miller said.
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