There is little need for the power plant sector to worry about implementing carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), says a new report.
Its analysis is that if the current energy policy priorities are retained, then even with ambitious climate protection targets, the expensive and untried technology is unnecessary.
The study, "Comparison of Renewable Energy Technologies with Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS): An Update" by the Wuppertal Institute, was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment.
Three conclusions will be of interest to policymakers:
• the technology is not expected to become available on a large scale before 2025
• if renewable energies and combined heat and power are expanded further and energy productivity is enhanced, there is likely to be only a limited demand for CCS power plants
• new life cycle assessments for CCS in the power plant sector indicate that the greenhouse gas emissions from one kwh of electricity generated by first-generation CCS power plants could only be reduced by 68 to 87%.
A major reason is that electricity generating costs of renewable energies are approaching those of CCS power plants.
Therefore, by 2020, several renewable technologies may well be in a position to offer electricity at a cheaper rate than CCS power plants.
CCS could constitute an important climate protection technology in large coal-consuming countries such as China, India and the USA, however, in order to meet their climate protection targets. If it can be shown to work cost-effectively.