The Role of Fossil Carbon Capture and Storage in the Transformation Towards a Low-carbon Energy System

Krey, V. ORCID:, McCollum, D., & Riahi, K. ORCID: (2015). The Role of Fossil Carbon Capture and Storage in the Transformation Towards a Low-carbon Energy System. In: Systems Analysis 2015 - A Conference in Celebration of Howard Raiffa, 11 -13 November, 2015, Laxenburg, Austria.

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Over the past few years, the role of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in limiting global mean temperature increase to 2°C has been explored by a number of model intercomparison projects as well as individual modeling studies. A central conclusion highlighted in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report is that CCS could be one of the most valuable technology options for keeping the door for the 2°C target open.

The current analysis with the MESSAGE integrated assessment model is part of a study that aimed at developing a CCS road map for China, but many of the insights hold true universally. Based on a set of climate policy scenarios with varying levels of stringency, we systematically vary key parameters relevant for the deployment of fossil CCS technologies in the context of the entire energy system.

The scale of CCS deployment in China depends importantly on future costs of CCS technologies, as well as on costs of its low-carbon competitors. In particular nuclear power can be regarded as a competitor to coal CCS in electricity generation because it is also low in carbon and provides base-load electricity. Beyond the relevance of costs, we find that capture efficiency of fossil CCS technologies as well as the ability to control supply chain emissions of fossil fuels—most notably methane emissions for coal mining or natural gas extraction—are a crucial determinant for their deployment potential. This has important implications for choosing among different CCS technology routes, including post- and pre-combustion and oxyfuel technologies for power plants as they offer different perspectives for increasing capture efficiencies beyond the typically assumed 90%. A key technology and policy insight deriving from this finding is that under stringent climate policy, pushing the technology frontier with respect to CO2 capture efficiencies may be equally important, or even more important, than reducing the costs of CCS technologies further.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Research Programs: Energy (ENE)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2016 15:00
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2023 13:23

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