Prospects for carbon capture and storage technologies
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies remove carbon dioxide from flue gases for storage in geologic formations or the ocean. We find that CCS is technically feasible, with current costs of about $200 to $250 per ton of carbon. Although currently a relatively expensive mitigation option, CCS could be attractive if we have a stringent carbon policy, if CCS turns out unexpectedly inexpensive relative to other options, or if it is otherwise desired to retain fossil fuels as part of the energy mix while reducing carbon emissions. Near-term prospects favor CCS for electric power plants and certain industrial sources with storage in depleted oil and gas reservoirs as opposed to aquifers. Deep aquifers may provide an attractive longer-term-storage option, whereas ocean storage poses greater technical and environmental uncertainty. CCS should be seriously considered for addressing climate change, alongside energy efficiency and carbon-free energy, although significant environmental, technical, and political uncertainties and obstacles remain.
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