New York — A Cold War-era joke has an American economist asking a Soviet peer how the communist economy is progressing. "In a word: good" the Russian responds. "In two words: not good." So it goes this century with the rapidly changing energy industry. Advances are taking place in clean energy, transport and efficiency that may have rightfully been considered miraculous a decade ago. But here’s the catch: as fast as everything is proceeding, it’s still not fast enough. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported last year that a critical technology — capturing carbon dioxide emissions from generators and either burying or otherwise disposing of them — isn’t expanding fast enough. The IEA reported that current carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities are capable of handling just 7.5% of the emissions the world will need eliminated every year by 2025. This is necessary if nations are to meet the goal of keeping any increase in global warming below 2°C.

In China, researcher...

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