Killing two birds with one stone: a negative emissions strategy for a soft landing of the US coal sector

Patrizio, P., Leduc, S., Kraxner, F., Fuß, S., Kindermann, G. ORCID:, Spokas, K., Wetterlund, E., Lundgren, J., et al. (2019). Killing two birds with one stone: a negative emissions strategy for a soft landing of the US coal sector. In: Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage. Eds. Pires, J.C. & da Cunha Goncalves, A.L., pp. 219-236 Academic Press. ISBN 9780128166000 10.1016/B978-0-12-816229-3.00011-9.

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In a modeling study, optimizing the transformation of the US coal sector to achieve emissions reductions consistent with the 2°C target, we include all current coal-fired power plants of the US fleet, a large part of which will need to be replaced due to their high age. Coal-fired power plants can either be (1) replaced by higher efficiency coal plants or (2) natural gas plants while units are not yet at the end of their lifetime and can be (3) retrofitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) or (4) retrofitted to cofire coal and biomass coupled with CCS (BECCS) thereby achieving negative emissions. Our results show that if the 2°C emissions mitigation target should be achieved, the cost-optimal way of doing so is through an early implementation of BECCS. This strategy also helps to address the US Administrations’ concern for coal workers: there is a more gradual phaseout of coal, which allows to retain 40,000 jobs that would be loss due to the fleet retirement for aging. In addition, 22,000 new workers would be permanently employed in the coal sector by the end of midcentury, especially in areas where the deployments of BECCS would start already by 2030. Our modeling results indicate the Great Lakes area and the southeast United States as the greatest winners of this negative emissions strategy. If planned in an integrated and forward-looking way, climate change mitigation can boost employment and competitiveness.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2019 05:58
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:32

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