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CCS is feasible in the short-term. Empirical examples from other industry supports this.
Cohen et. al 2009 Armond Cohen, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), a U.S. nonprofit organization founded in 1996 and dedicated to reducing the human impactontheEarth’satmosphereand the systems that depend on it. He is a member of the Keystone Energy Board and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, et al., Mike Fowler is Technology Coordinator for the Coal Transition Project at the CATF, Kurt Waltzer is Carbon Storage Development Coordinator for the CATF’s Coal Transition Project, 5-09, [“NowGen’’: Getting Real about Coal Carbon Capture and Sequestration,” May 2009, Vol. 22, Issue 4 1040-6190, ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jelect/v22y2009i4p25-42.html] E. Liu
C. History suggests that rapid scale-up to a gigatonne-scale CCS industry is well within our capabilities For a typical 500 MW coal- fueled power plant, CCS involves separating, transporting, and storing about 4 million tonnes of CO2each year.20Compressed to a dense, supercritical state this mass of CO2would occupy a space roughly 500 meters on each side and 33 meters thick.21Applying the same technology at hundreds of plants represents the central challenge of CCS: the existing fleet of coal plants in the U.S.—at 320 GW combined capacity— produces more than 2 Gt of CO2each year. F ortunately, analogues from other industries suggest that this sort of scale-up is feasible over the next two decades. In a single 20-year period between 1950 and 1970, for example, installed electric-generating capacity in the U.S. more than quadrupled, from 69 GW to 316 GW. This matches the scale of the global CCS build-out that some studies suggest is necessary by 2030 to meet some climate targets. And it is significantly less capacity than China is expected to add over the same time period.22Similarly, approximately 150,000 miles of natural gas pipeline were built in the U.S. between 1960 and 1980.23 The CO2pipeline network needed to support several hundred GW of CCS-equipped power plants could be much smaller, perhaps less than 30,000 miles in some scenarios.24 Assuming 35 CO2injection wells per GW implies roughly 10,000 wells would be needed for sequestration in this scenario—a large number, but well below the number of oilfield brine injection wells currently operating in the U.S. (150,00025) and equivalent to just six months of natural gas drilling activity in the Alberta Basin (20,000 wells per year26). Figure 2 compares the CCS infrastructure ‘‘lift’’ to comparable energy-system scale-ups in the past.27 In sum, experience suggests that large-scale CCS can be achieved over the next several decades. It also suggests that an entirely new, specialized industry with CO2as its central, fungible commodity will need to emerge. Similar to the major energy industries that came before, this evolution may occur from the bottom up—as capture systems at individualplantscombinetoform regional systems with multiple CO2sources, pipeline networks, and sequestration sites. Moreover, this new industry may need to be organized and governed as a regulated system in its own right.
U.S. action can lead the way by demonstrating technological and economic feasibility of CCS. The plan is key to get China and India on-board
MIT News Release, 3/14/2007 (MIT Panel Provides Policy Blueprint for Future of Use of Coal as Policymakers Work to Reverse Global Warming, p. http://web.mit.edu/coal/)
Leading academics from an interdisciplinary Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) panel issued a report today that examines how the world can continue to use coal, an abundant and inexpensive fuel, in a way that mitigates, instead of worsens, the global warming crisis. The study, "The Future of Coal – Options for a Carbon Constrained World," advocates the U.S. assume global leadership on this issue through adoption of significant policy actions. Led by co-chairs Professor John Deutch, Institute Professor, Department of Chemistry, and Ernest J. Moniz, Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems, the report states that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is the critical enabling technology to help reduce CO2 emissions significantly while also allowing coal to meet the world's pressing energy needs. According to Dr. Deutch, "As the world's leading energy user and greenhouse gas emitter, the U.S. must take the lead in showing the world CCS can work. Demonstration of technical, economic, and institutional features of CCS at commercial scale coal combustion and conversion plants will give policymakers and the public confidence that a practical carbon mitigation control option exists, will reduce cost of CCS should carbon emission controls be adopted, and will maintain the low-cost coal option in an environmentally acceptable manner." Dr. Moniz added, "There are many opportunities for enhancing the performance of coal plants in a carbon-constrained world – higher efficiency generation, perhaps through new materials; novel approaches to gasification, CO2 capture, and oxygen separation; and advanced system concepts, perhaps guided by a new generation of simulation tools. An aggressive R&D effort in the near term will yield significant dividends down the road, and should be undertaken immediately to help meet this urgent scientific challenge." Key findings in this study: • Coal is a low-cost, per BTU, mainstay of both the developed and developing world, and its use is projected to increase. Because of coal's high carbon content, increasing use will exacerbate the problem of climate change unless coal plants are deployed with very high efficiency and large scale CCS is implemented. • CCS is the critical enabling technology because it allows significant reduction in CO2 emissions while allowing coal to meet future energy needs. • A significant charge on carbon emissions is needed in the relatively near term to increase the economic attractiveness of new technologies that avoid carbon emissions and specifically to lead to large-scale CCS in the coming decades. We need large-scale demonstration projects of the technical, economic and environmental performance of an integrated CCS system. We should proceed with carbon sequestration projects as soon as possible. Several integrated large-scale demonstrations with appropriate measurement, monitoring and verification are needed in the United States over the next decade with government support. This is important for establishing public confidence for the very large-scale sequestration program anticipated in the future. The regulatory regime for large-scale commercial sequestration should be developed with a greater sense of urgency, with the Executive Office of the President leading an interagency process. • The U.S. government should provide assistance only to coal projects with CO2 capture in order to demonstrate technical, economic and environmental performance. • Today, IGCC appears to be the economic choice for new coal plants with CCS. However, this could change with further RD&D, so it is not appropriate to pick a single technology winner at this time, especially in light of the variability in coal type, access to sequestration sites, and other factors. The government should provide assistance to several "first of a kind" coal utilization demonstration plants, but only with carbon capture. • Congress should remove any expectation that construction of new coal plants without CO2 capture will be "grandfathered" and granted emission allowances in the event of future regulation. This is a perverse incentive to build coal plants without CO2 capture today. • Emissions will be stabilized only through global adherence to CO2 emission constraints. China and India are unlikely to adopt carbon constraints unless the U.S. does so and leads the way in the development of CCS technology.