The Role of Coal Gasification in Ohio’s Economy and Energy Future

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change commissioned Kleinhenz and Associates to examine how coal gasification (CG) combined with Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technology could play a role in Ohio’s economy and energy future – particularly in Northeast Ohio, a major center of manufacturing in the U.S. This working paper focuses primarily on opportunities for gasification projects to augment Ohio’s economy. It examines economic activity factors related to coal gasification and how the location of a number of key support industries in Ohio could provide the state with a competitive advantage in this area. The study focuses on a polygeneration facility that would supply electricity and some other products as an example of the type of gasification facility that could, if a sufficient number of similar facilities were located in the area, serve as the stimulus for a new or expanded industry cluster.

The potential economic impact of locating a polygeneration gasifier in Northeast Ohio is large. A significant portion of the inputs required for one $1.1+ billion facility can be supplied either within northeastern Ohio or from elsewhere in the state. Operation of the facility is estimated to increase annual statewide personal income by $39 million and Ohio output by $161 million. The Northeast Ohio region will account for 98 percent of the operational benefits.

The report suggests several possible steps to convert this research to an action plan to build support for, and interest in, a coal-gasification industry cluster in Northeast Ohio. Outreach should focus on engaging industry leaders, foundations, and state and regional economic development leaders.