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Cost of Carbon Capture Will Drop Sharply in Future, Report Says

The cost of capturing and storing CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants is likely to double the price of electricity in the near-term, but technological advances are expected to significantly reduce the costs of carbon sequestration in the long term, according to a report from Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Existing technologies would allow plants to capture and store underground about 90 percent of C02 emissions at a cost of $100 to $150 per ton of carbon, according to the report. That would add 8 to 12 cents per kilowatt hour to the cost of generating electricity, effectively doubling the current average price of about 9 cents per kilowatt hour. But as the technology matures, the costs will come down. Future generations of CCS — or carbon capture and storage — will cost about $30 to $50 per ton, adding 2 to 5 cents per kilowatt hour. “The range of estimated costs for [future] plants is within the range of plausible future carbon prices,” the researchers concluded, “implying that mature technology would be competitive with conventional fossil fuel plants at prevailing carbon prices.” The report also noted that capturing and storing nearly all of a plant’s CO2 emissions costs little more than capturing only a fraction of emissions.

This article originally appeared on Yale Environment 360

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Comments

ummm hello people... can you not cross post so blindly without having a look yourself?

These costs exclude(!) transport and storage. These costs are mostly only for pre-combustion capture.

Taken from abstract of study: "Based on these considerations a likely representative range of costs of abatement for capture (and excluding transport and storage) appears to be $100-150/tCO2 for first-of-a kind plants and plausibly $30-50/tCO2 for nth-of-a-kind plants."


Posted by: sustainablejohn on 21 Jul 09

Unfortunately, carbon capture is not going to help solve our problems of global warming. At best it will slow it down a little (like putting a band-aid over a severed artery).

What we need to do is switch to renewable forms of energy production (wind, solar, nuclear etc). The technology is here, politicians and corporations need to get with the program and the people need to start demanding it.


Posted by: Odum on 22 Jul 09

Coal-related CCS is a red herring. It does nothing to diminish the other negative aspects of coal (e.g., mountain-top removal and mercury emissions). Stop believing the coal industry's attempts at green-washing!


Posted by: Victor Escobar on 23 Jul 09

Am I missing something? If the kwh price of power generated with fossil fuels will double and the go even higher when storage costs are added, would it make more sense to just switch to solar?


Posted by: rich albertson on 31 Jul 09

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