A report says that an efficient carbon capture and storage (CCS) sector could save UK consumers and businesses tens of billions of pounds (on the order of 1-2% of GDP) from the annual cost of low-carbon energy. The report says that CCS can capture industrial emissions, create flexible low-carbon fuels, and provide low-carbon electricity. But the costs of carbon capture, the largest cost element of the process, must be reduced to stimulate wider diffusion of the technology.

Existing technology can be leveraged to cut CCS costs in the UK. Image source: ETIExisting technology can be leveraged to cut CCS costs in the UK. Image source: ETIThe report by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), “Reducing the costs of CCS: Developments in capture plant technology,” provides a roadmap for achieving cost-efficiencies in emissions control and clean energy (see video).

Modeling and analyses suggest that in the near-term, CCS costs will decline quickly due to economies of scale, sharing infrastructure, and risk reduction. Initial demonstration costs can be reduced 45% in the UK through a sequential, co-located series of deployments using existing technology. The report says these cost declines would exceed likely cost reductions stemming from technology advances, which are expected to play a greater role after 2030.

Post-combustion amines and pre-combustion gasification systems will remain carbon capture options of choice in power production for several years, due to low growth rates of CCS and the lack of a commercially ready game-changer.

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