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23 Jul 2009 01:07:00

CCS cost could exceed $150 per ton of CO2



CCS cost could exceed $150 per ton of CO2
The cost of deploying carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology could prohibit it from being used on an industrial scale, a new report has indicated.

CCS is being touted as a key part of low-carbon strategies in the UK and US, among other countries, with UK energy secretary Ed Miliband claiming recently that clean coal will be vital for future energy security.

However, a new study from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, has warned that it could initially cost $150 (£90) per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) to deploy on a large scale.

That figure could eventually fall to between $35 and $70 (£20 and £42) for every ton of CO2 avoided as technology advances and becomes cheaper, although this would still represent a significant outlay for power generation companies.

"Cost reductions are expected from increasing scale, learning on individual components and technological innovation including improved plant integration," the authors of the Realistic Cost of Carbon Capture report said.

The UK has been an early proponent of CCS and estimates that it will be able to sequester 90 percent of the emissions produced by coal-burning power plants.

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