The top climate technology official with the United Nations visited the Kemper County energy facility September 11, to explore how Kemper’s innovative integrated gasification combined cycle technology could be put to use around the world to meet energy needs and protect the environment.
Jukka Uosukainen is the director of the Climate Technology Centre and Network, the operating arm of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change. Uosukainen is looking for innovative technology to help developing countries produce clean, reliable and affordable energy. A day at the Kemper County energy facility left him convinced technology right here in Mississippi will change the world.
“I’m ready to speak loudly for this,” he said. “The world is full of very, very clever people. Meeting you today assures me we can bring the people and the technology to the places that need it.”
As commercial operation draws nearer, world leaders in energy technology are showing more and more interest in the Kemper facility. Uosukainen is passionate about technology and protecting the environment for future generations.
“This gives hope,” Uosukainen said of Kemper’s technology. “We can’t avoid people wanting to improve their lives, we can’t curb their consumption, so we must work on new ways of producing energy,” he said.
Much of the world’s coal supply is low-grade, high moisture coal like the Mississippi lignite which will be turned into a synthesis gas to generate electricity. Along with government and industry partners around the world, CTCN is looking for innovative technology to help developing countries produce energy.
Uosukainen visited the Kemper facility along with members of the Atlantic Council, an international think-tank which focuses on global issues.
Dr. Stephen O. Andersen, a senior fellow in the Energy and Environment Program at the Atlantic Council said he believes Southern Company and Mississippi Power have “experts in the right place at the right time” to help bring energy solutions to the world while also protecting the environment.
“Other companies have built a component of what is being done here. This is the first facility to integrate the best ideas from all of the professions in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the start,” said Andersen. “We need many more projects as big, and bigger, than Kemper in order to solve this problem.”
Mihaela Cartsei, the acting director of the Energy and Environment Program at the Atlantic Council, is from Romania. Officials in her country are looking closely at the technology as a solution for cleaner energy. Her first visit to the Kemper facility impressed her on many levels, from the engineering and construction expertise to the potential of the technology for use by future generations.
“We hope to see this technology advance,” Cartsei said. “This is a solution that can be applied in other countries as well.”
Cartsei, Andersen and Uosukainen are each focused on how to meet the world’s energy needs without harming the environment. The innovations taking place at Kemper will be an important part of their efforts.