Study finds carbon capture and storage a competitive tool

Wednesday, 02 November, 2011

A study by the Global CCS Institute has found that carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a competitive power sector emissions abatement tool when compared to other low-carbon technologies.

The study, The Costs of CCS and Other Low-Carbon Technologies, released by the Global CCS Institute, finds that hydropower and onshore wind are among the least-cost technologies for reducing emissions from the power sector.

“Once these ‘low hanging fruit’ options are exploited, and in countries where these technologies are not an option, CCS becomes a very competitive option,” said Barry Jones, General Manager for Policy and Membership at the institute.

“CCS is in fact a very important part of a broader portfolio approach to addressing climate change,” he said. “The technology’s role in a global clean energy future cannot be underestimated, given that CCS can reduce emissions from power plants by as much as 90%.”

The study finds that the cost of mitigating, or avoiding, CO2 emissions for a coal-fired power plant fitted with CCS technology ranges from US$23-92 per tonne of CO2.

This is compared to an avoided CO2 cost of US$90-176/tonne for offshore wind, US$139-201/tonne for solar thermal and even more for solar PV.

“It’s important to note that costs of new technologies that have not reached full maturity, such as CCS, will become lower into the future,” Jones said. “Governments are aware of this and are investing significantly in R&D and demonstration for the CCS sector.”

He added: “Our findings are in line with International Energy Agency estimates which say that without CCS, abatement costs in the electricity sector could be higher by more than 70%.”

The full study can be found on the institute's website.

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