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9781847559715-00041

9781847559715-00041

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Fossil Power Generation with CarbonCapture and Storage (CCS): PolicyDevelopment for Technology Deployment
JON GIBBINS* AND HANNAH CHALMERS
1 Introduction
In recent years, there has been growing concern that carbon dioxide (and othergreenhouse gas) emissions from fossil fuel use could cause dangerous climatechange, with serious negative impacts on human activities.
1,2
In this context, itis expected that the net CO
2
emissions from fossil fuels must be significantlyreduced within the next 10–20 years and ultimately remain at or near zero,probably indefinitely.
3
Three options can be identified to achieve this goal:
Leave fossil fuels in the ground; and/or
Use the fossil fuels, but capture and safely store the CO
2
produced; and/or
Use the fossil fuels, but ‘offset’ the CO
2
released by removing CO
2
from theatmosphere elsewhere.Although a number of approaches to use alternative energy sources are beingdeveloped to replace fossil fuels, many energy system studies, including the2008 International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook,
4
suggest that fossilfuels will retain at least some of their, currently significant, role in providingenergy for human activities for several decades or more. The CO
2
emissionsassociated with this use of fossil fuels would be unacceptable in the context of the current scientific consensus for limiting further CO
2
additions to theatmosphere, in order to have a reasonable chance of avoiding some of the worst
41
Issues in Environmental Science and Technology, 29Carbon Capture: Sequestration and StorageEdited by R.E. Hester and R.M. Harrison
r
Royal Society of Chemistry 2010Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, www.rsc.org
*
Corresponding author
   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   D   A   D   D   E   C   H   I   L   E  o  n   0   5   N  o  v  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   1   2   P  u   b   l   i  s   h  e   d  o  n   2   2   D  e  c  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   0   9  o  n   h   t   t  p  :   /   /  p  u   b  s .  r  s  c .  o  r  g   |   d  o   i  :   1   0 .   1   0   3   9   /   9   7   8   1   8   4   7   5   5   9   7   1   5  -   0   0   0   4   1
 
potential impacts of dangerous climate change. It is, therefore, likely to benecessary to develop and successfully deploy technologies that allow the CO
2
emissions associated with continued use of fossil fuels to be significantlyreduced. The alternative is an unacceptably risky increase in the stock of CO
2
inthe atmosphere.Carbon capture and storage (CCS) involves the removal of CO
2
from otherstreams produced at a power plant (or other large source of CO
2
,
e.g.
steel orcement works), followed by transport of the captured CO
2
to safe long-termstorage,
e.g.
in a deep geological formation. A number of detailed reviews of CCS technology are available in the literature, including a 2005 special reportby the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
5
Current cost estimates donot give a clear indication of a ‘winning’ technology for CO
2
capture for use inthe most likely applications, since the technology options that are sufficientlyclose to deployment to assess appear to have similar costs, within likelyuncertainty ranges.
6
It is therefore possible that site-specific factors (
e.g
. coaltype, water requirements, electricity market features) may determine the cap-ture technology that would be used in many cases. A brief introduction to thetechnologies for CO
2
capture closest to commercial deployment at the time of writing is provided in Appendix A, and CO
2
storage is discussed in more detailin Chapter 6 of this book.
7
This chapter will focus on a range of policy options that could be used tosupport deployment of power generation technology options that would allowCO
2
to be successfully captured and stored. The power sector is chosen as acase study since CO
2
emissions from power plants made up 41% of the globaltotal in 2006
4
and many studies, including the first report of the UK Committeeon Climate Change,
3
suggest that deep decarbonisation of overall energysupplies could be achieved by widespread use of electricity following a rapidreduction in CO
2
emissions from electricity generation.Although much of the literature and public debate on CCS is currentlydominated by coal, CO
2
capture can be (and probably, eventually, will have tobe) applied to any plant producing CO
2
. The scope of this chapter, therefore,also includes one ‘offset’ option: the combined use of biomass and CCS. Asbiomass grows it removes CO
2
from the atmosphere. If this CO
2
is not re-released to the atmosphere when the biomass is used, then it is possible for netnegative emissions to be obtained, although the overall net benefit dependspartly on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the whole biomasslifecycle, including production and transport to the point of use.Since it is expected that costs for CCS will normally be dominated by capturecosts, this chapter focuses on improving the economic case for installing andoperating CO
2
capture at power plants. It will, of course, also be necessary forall aspects of a CCS project to be economically viable, if operated by separateentities, and to be regulated effectively. Useful reviews of the regulationsrequired for complete CCS projects can be found in the literature.
8,9
Althoughfurther significant work is required to complete the implementation of appro-priate regulatory frameworks, some general principles are beginning to emergeand enter into law in some jurisdictions. For example, the use of an approach to
42
Jon Gibbins and Hannah Chalmers
   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   D   A   D   D   E   C   H   I   L   E  o  n   0   5   N  o  v  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   1   2   P  u   b   l   i  s   h  e   d  o  n   2   2   D  e  c  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   0   9  o  n   h   t   t  p  :   /   /  p  u   b  s .  r  s  c .  o  r  g   |   d  o   i  :   1   0 .   1   0   3   9   /   9   7   8   1   8   4   7   5   5   9   7   1   5  -   0   0   0   4   1
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CO
2
storage site operation, closure and transfer of liability to the state that isbased on an ongoing assessment of site-specific risks, is likely to be crucial fordeveloping a reasonable operating environment that is acceptable to bothregulators and investors. A detailed review of regulatory issues is beyond thescope of this chapter, however, partly due to rapid ongoing developments inthis area at the time of writing.
2 Reasons for Incentivising CCS Capture Projects
Implementing CCS will generally increase the costs of power generation, sinceadditional equipment is required, in addition to energy for operation. Someregulators expect that, in the medium to longer term, CCS projects will besupported by carbon price alone, so driven entirely, for example, by the EUEmissions Trading Scheme.
10
It is likely, however, that most CCS options willrequire additional support for initial integrated, commercial-scale demonstra-tion and deployment, as illustrated in Figure 1. It is also worth noting thatwhile other mechanisms, currently typically to support renewables, are in placethey can be expected to significantly distort a carbon market and make it moredifficult for prices to rise to a level where a range of technologies can competeeffectively.It should, of course, be noted that the schematic illustration of Figure 1 omitsmany likely additional features in the actual future development of both CCScosts and CO
2
prices. For example, some volatility in CO
2
prices can beexpected, although a general upward trend is likely to occur if serious global (orlocal) action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been agreed and is suc-cessfully implemented. Also CCS costs are, in practice, likely to vary across a
Need for additional supportmeasures before CO
2
price aloneis sufficient introducesadditional uncertainty onoperating constraints
Time
   C  a  r   b  o  n   P  r   i  c  e   (   $   /   t   C   O
   2
   )
CCS Viable
Due to uncertainties likely to need CO
2
price to behigher than break-even for CCS investment to beviable; then CCS sets the CO
2
price for a while?
Carbon priceCCS cost
Figure 1
Schematic diagram of CCS cost and general CO
2
price development overtime.43
Fossil Power Generation with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   D   A   D   D   E   C   H   I   L   E  o  n   0   5   N  o  v  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   1   2   P  u   b   l   i  s   h  e   d  o  n   2   2   D  e  c  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   0   9  o  n   h   t   t  p  :   /   /  p  u   b  s .  r  s  c .  o  r  g   |   d  o   i  :   1   0 .   1   0   3   9   /   9   7   8   1   8   4   7   5   5   9   7   1   5  -   0   0   0   4   1
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