8. How cost-effective are different CO2 capture and storage options?
The Esbjerg Power Station, a CO2
capture site in
Denmark. Source: DONG Energy
Estimates for current and future costs of
capture and storage have considerable uncertainties. While some
CO2 capture and storage components are already
deployed in mature markets for certain industrial applications,
the technology has still not been used in large-scale power
plants, the application with most potential.
In a fully integrated system, the cost of capture and
compression would normally be the largest cost component.
Generally, geological storage is estimated to be more economical
than ocean storage, the most expensive storage option being
Overall costs will depend not only on the capture system used,
the type of storage and the transport distance, but also on
variables such as plant design, operation, financing, size,
location, fuel type as well as fuel and electricity
Under current conditions, producing electricity costs about
US$0.04 – 0.06/kWh. Adopting today’s
capture and storage technologies would raise this cost by an
estimated US$0.01 – 0.05/kWh. This could be reduced by about
US$0.01 – 0.02/kWh if the revenues from
Enhanced Oil Recovery
partly compensated for the costs.
capture and storage is compared to other technical options for
reducing CO2 emissions, it must be kept in mind that
10-40% more energy is needed for producing the same amount of
electricity. The costs per tonne of CO2 avoided show
a large range. A significant part of the technology’s potential
is available at costs that are higher than those of many other
options for improving energy efficiency, but lower than those of
most solar power options.
When planning the construction of a new plant, calculating the
cost implications of adding a
capture and storage system could influence the type of plant
chosen. The technology can be applied to current generation
technologies such as
pulverized coal or
natural gas combined cycle (NGCC).
However, the additional costs will be lower when CO2
capture and storage is integrated into emerging technologies
such as integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) and
pre-combustion hydrogen production facilities. While most
existing facilities could be retrofitted to accommodate CCS
systems, the costs will be significantly higher than for new
plants with CCS.
The future costs of
capture and storage could decline as technology advances and
once it is used on a large scale– perhaps by 20 - 30% over the
next decade. However, rising
fossil fuel prices could
push costs up. Because
biomass plants are
currently small in size, the costs of CO2 capture and
storage would be relatively high. Costs for CO2
capture and storage from industrial processes other than power
generation can be lower than those for electricity plants,
particularly for process such as hydrogen or ammonia production
that already separate CO2.