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The Future of Carbon Capture and Storage


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Executive summary for The Future of Carbon Capture and Storage

Chapter 1  Carbon capture and storage: the potential and the challenges
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is recognized as a key technology in the fight to reduce the global emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  The technology, which is well understood, can be used to remove carbon dioxide from the emissions of power plants and a range of industrial plants that burn fossil fuel.  However the development of commercial CCS technology for power plants and industrial facilities remains perilously slow.  Europe, which was expected to drive forward the technology with a series of early demonstration plants has failed to do so because of financial constraints within government and industry, and the USA is now taking the lead.  International organizations such as the IEA are lobbying for greater incentives to develop the technology, which needs to be available commercially by 2020 if it is to play a role in limiting the global temperature rise to 2°C.  Meanwhile the greatest need for CCS is expected to be within developing nations such as China and India.
Chapter 2  Carbon capture technologies and developments
Carbon dioxide is a major product of the combustion of coal, oil and natural gas.  The biggest source is coal and coal-fired power plants offer the single best target for applying carbon capture technologies to reduce global emissions.  There are three primary methods of carbon dioxide capture being developed today, post-combustion capture, pre-combustion capture and oxyfuel combustion.   A fourth, chemical looping, is in an early development stage.  Post combustion capture involves scrubbing flue gases from a power plant to remove carbon dioxide.  This is already carried out industrially and post combustion capture offers the best method of retro-fitting capture to existing plants.  Oxyfuel combustion is another form of post-combustion capture in which the fossil is burnt in oxygen, leading to a carbon dioxide rich fuel gas from which it can easily be separated.  However it has not been tested at the scale of a major power plant.  Pre-combustion capture is based on the gasification of coal followed by removal of carbon dioxide to leave hydrogen which can be used to generate power, often in an integrated gasification combined cycle plant.  All the stages of a pre-combustion plant have been operated but not together.  Demonstration plants to establish all these technologies are now needed urgently to commercialize the technology.
Chapter 3  Carbon dioxide transportation and storage: the options
The transportation and sequestration of carbon dioxide are key elements of any overall strategy for carbon capture and storage (CCS).  The pipeline transportation of carbon dioxide has been carried out extensively in the USA and elsewhere for enhanced oil recovery and the technology is available today.  However underground storage of carbon dioxide has only been demonstrated to a limited extent.  Moreover, the development of carbon storage sites can take five to ten years according to the International Energy Agency so development is necessary now if sites are to be ready for commercialization of CCS in the third decade of the century.  Oil and gas wells can be used for sequestration and these offer the cheapest initial sequestration options but for large scale storage underground brine aquifers are the only geological structure capable of providing the necessary global capacity.  Alongside the development of these storage sites, extensive pipeline networks will be needed.  Business models will be needed to encourage investment in transportation and storage and this will have to be supported by legislation and regulation to ensure both safe and equitable use of networks and storage.
Chapter 4  The cost of carbon capture and storage
The cost of carbon capture and storage can be broken down into elements relating to the capture of carbon dioxide and those related to the transportation and storage of the gas, once isolated.  The breakdown shows that the capital cost of carbon capture is the most significant part of the initial outlay.  The cost of pipelines and to develop storage sites is likely to cost less in initial investment, but overall lifetime costs will be significant and could account for between 10% and 30% of the cost for each tonne of carbon dioxide sequestered based on the technology available today.  The effect of adding carbon capture and storage to a power plant is to increase the cost of electricity from the plant.  Increases are likely to be between 25% for a natural gas-fired plant to 40% for a coal plant according to the International Energy Agency.   Both capital cost and levelized cost of electricity increases represent a significant hurdle preventing the expansion of carbon capture and storage.  Technology development could bring costs down but this depends on the technology being implemented widely.
Chapter 5  The prospects for carbon capture and storage
Carbon capture and storage has the potential to transform the battle to control carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels.  The use of these fuels will continue to expand at least until the middle of the century.  In power generation there will be major growth in the use of coal in developing countries, particularly China and India while natural gas use for power generation will expand in the developed world.   The cost of adding carbon capture and storage to a power plant is an increase in the levelized cost of energy from the plant.  This will make electricity from fossil fuel power plants more expensive than from some other sources such as wind power.  Development can reduce this penalty but today the investment needed to reduce costs is not being made.  If the technology can be brought to commercial viability then there is a massive market for carbon capture and storage technology over the next four decades.  Failure to develop the technology will ultimately reduce demand for coal and natural gas for power generation more quickly as they are replaced by cleaner sources.

Key features of this report 

Analysis of Carbon Capture and Storage technology costs, concepts, drivers and components.
Insight relating to the most innovative technologies and potential areas of opportunity for manufacturers.
Examination of the key Carbon Capture and Storage technologies costs.
Identification of the key trends shaping the market, as well as an evaluation of emerging trends that will drive innovation moving forward.

Key benefits from reading this report

Realize up to date competitive intelligence through a comprehensive cost analysis in Carbon Capture and Storage markets.
Assess Carbon Capture and Storage costs and analysis – including Carbon Capture and Storage rollout costs and Carbon Capture and Storage cost-benefit ratios.
Identify which key trends will offer the greatest growth potential and learn which technology trends are likely to allow greater market impact.
Quantify cost trends and how these vary regionally.

Key findings of this report

1.Average Carbon Capture and Storage roll-out costs.
2.Annual growth value of Carbon Capture and Storage.
3.Forecasts of Carbon Capture and Storage value growth.
4.Carbon Capture and Storage cost breakdown.
5.Past, current and future Carbon Capture and Storage investment requirements.
6.Global and regional investment breakdown.
7.Carbon Capture and Storage investments plans by country.

Key questions answered by this report

1.What are the drivers shaping and influencing power plant development in the electricity industry?
2.What is Carbon Capture and Storage going to cost?
3.Which Carbon Capture and Storage technology types will be the winners and which the losers?
4.Which Carbon Capture and Storage technologies are likely to find favour with manufacturers moving forward?
5.Which emerging technologies are gaining in popularity and why?

Who this report is for

Power utility strategists, energy analysts, research managers, power sector manufacturers, Carbon Capture and Storage power developers, investors in renewables systems and infrastructure, renewable energy developers, energy/power planning managers, energy/power development managers, governmental organisations, system operators, companies investing in renewable power infrastructure and generation, investment banks, infrastructure developers and investors, intergovernmental lenders, energy security analysts.

Why buy it

To utilise in-depth assessment and analysis of the current and future technological and market state of Carbon Capture and Storage, carried out by an industry expert with 30 years in the power generation industry.
Use cutting edge information and data.
Use the highest level of research carried out.
Expert analysis to say what is happening in the market and what will happen next.
Have the 'what if' questions answered about new Carbon Capture and Storage technologies.
Save time and money by having top quality research done for you at a low cost.

Report Details

Report Title
The Future of Carbon Capture and Storage
Report Subtitle
Technology evolution, costs and future outlook
Report Code


Publication Date
September 2014
Report Type
Report Size



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