Assessing the Techno-economic Effects of the Delayed Deployment of CCS Power Plants
Samuel Carrara (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory – University of California)
Q42, Q43, Q54
Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS, Power Generation, Climate Change Mitigation, Integrated Assessment Models
Future Energy Program
Meeting the targets of climate change mitigation set by the Paris Agreement entails a huge transformation of the energy sector, as low- or no-carbon technologies must gradually substitute traditional, fossil-based technologies. In this perspective, the vast majority of energy analyses and scenarios project a fundamental role of Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS). However, uncertainty remains on the actual techno-economic feasibility of this technology: despite the considerable investment over the recent past, commercial maturity is yet to come. The main aim of this work is to evaluate the impacts of a progressively delayed deployment of CCS plants from a climate, energy, and economic perspective, focusing in particular on the power sector. This is carried out with the Integrated Assessment Model WITCH, exploring a wide set of long-term scenarios over mitigation targets ranging from 1.5°C to 4°C in terms of global temperature increase in 2100 with respect to the pre-industrial levels. The analysis shows that CCS will be a key mitigation option at a global level for carbon mitigation, achieving about 30% of the electricity mix in 2100 (with a homogeneous distribution across coal, gas, and biomass) if its deployment is unconstrained. If CCS deployment is delayed or forbidden, penetration cannot reach the optimal unconstrained level, resulting in a mix rearrangement, with a strong increase in renewables and, to a lesser extent, nuclear. The mitigation targets can be met, but policy costs without the implementation of CCS are from 35% to 72% higher than in the corresponding unconstrained scenarios.
Suggested citation: Carrara, S. (2019), ‘Assessing the Techno-economic Effects of the Delayed Deployment of CCS Power Plants’, Nota di Lavoro 10.2019, Milano, Italy: Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei