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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A look at how acidifying oceans could threaten the Dungeness crab, one of the most valuable fisheries on the U.S. West Coast. 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.
An indigenous tribe’s deadly fight to save its ancestral land in the Amazon rainforest from logging. 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.
Residents of the Chocó Rainforest in Ecuador are choosing to plant cacao over logging in an effort to slow deforestation.
Watch the video.
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.