Power plants fitted with equipment to trap and bury emissions can be cost competitive with nuclear power and renewables in the next decade, a report said.
Carbon capture and storage power projects will be able to generate electricity at about 100 pounds ($159) a megawatt-hour in the early 2020s with costs predicted to fall further, research by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, U.K. seabed owner the Crown Estate and the Carbon Capture and Storage Association said today.
That compares with about 82 pounds a megawatt-hour for gas without CCS, 88 pounds for onshore wind, 89 pounds for nuclear and 140 pounds for offshore wind in 2020, according to the Committee on Climate Change, the government’s climate adviser.
Reductions will come through investment in infrastructure that CCS projects can share such as carbon dioxide storage sites and pipelines, as well as projects with technology to pump more oil from depleted oil fields used as storage sites. The government must ensure CCS is encouraged with policy and financial support, as well as a planning process geared to CCS, to ensure those measures occur, the report said.
Britain is promoting CCS, which gathers emissions from power plants and industry for burial underground, as key to meeting a goal to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The government has a 1 billion-pound program for the technology and today separately announced awards of 20 million pounds from a 125 million-pound CCS research fund to 13 projects that reduce its costs.
“By bringing its costs down, CCS can be cost competitive with other low carbon technologies as early as the 2020s,” Energy Secretary Ed Davey said in a statement. “Deployment at scale will bring investment and jobs, not just to the power sector but across the whole supply chain, including our offshore oil and gas industries,” he said.