21 Jul 2009:
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.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.