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Challenges to the Development and Commercialization of CCS. Cheyenne A. Alabanzas 2009 ASME Intern University of Alaska – Anchorage. Overview. Premise What is CCS? Current projects Challenges Conclusion Recommendations Questions. Importance of Coal in the US. Cheap

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challenges to the development and commercialization of ccs

Challenges to the Development and Commercialization of CCS

Cheyenne A. Alabanzas

2009 ASME Intern

University of Alaska – Anchorage

  • Premise
  • What is CCS?
  • Current projects
  • Challenges
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • Questions
importance of coal in the us
Importance of Coal in the US
  • Cheap

Price per kWh, as of April 2009:

  • Abundant
    • US has recoverable reserves of 262 billion short tons
    • At current rate of consumption, coal will be an energy source for the next 250 years.

Derived from EIA website,

Importance of Coal in the US
  • Coal provides about 50% of the nation’s electricity.

Net Generation Shares by Energy Source: Total (All Sectors), Year-to-Date through April, 2009

Source: Energy Information Administration,

the need for ccs
The need for CCS
  • Coal is a dirty fuel.
  • 80% of US greenhouse gas emissions come from coal and petroleum fuels.
  • US recognizes the need to cut carbon emissions by mid-century.
what is ccs
What is CCS?
  • Carbon Capture and Storage (or Sequestration) is a broad term for technologies involving three main steps:
    • capturing the CO2 from the combustion of fossil fuels at stationary sources
    • transporting it to the storage site and,
    • storing it underground in geological formations. 
Source: Japan Exploration Company, Ltd.,
current commercial projects
Current commercial projects
  • Sleipner (Norway)
    • Started in 1996 after Norway implemented carbon taxes
    • ~12 million metric tons of CO2 injected
    • No leakage detected
  • Snohvit, Weyburn, In Shalah
  • Small pilot demonstration projects around the world

Source: World Coal Institute,

status of ccs
Status of CCS
  • Congress has recognized the need for more CCS R & D in the US.
  • The technologies to capture, transport and store CO2 exist.
what s next
What’s next?
  • Why isn’t there a large-scale demonstration project that integrates all of these?
  • Scale of CCS is at the gigaton.
challenges to ccs deployment
Challenges to CCS deployment
  • No national strategy to regulate GHG emissions
  • High cost for installing CCS technology
  • Uncertainty in how to address CO2 under existing statutes
  • Ensuring safety and security of CO2 storage
  • Long-term liability and monitoring
regulating ghg emissions
Regulating GHG Emissions
  • No cap-and-trade or carbon tax for GHG emissions
  • Some portfolio standards are technology restrictive.
high cost of ccs
High cost of CCS
  • Estimated cost of one large-scale project is $1 billion per year.
    • Capture is the most expensive component due to the energy penalty.
    • Increases cost of electricity by 2 – 7 cents per kWh. Current average cost for US: 9.7 cents per kWh
    • No price on carbon + high cost of CCS = companies reluctant to invest in an “unproven” technology
underground storage
Underground Storage
  • Potential leakage into the atmosphere
  • Ensure safety and security of stored CO2
    • Groundwater sources protection
    • Pore space ownership
long term liability
Long term liability

Life cycle of geological sequestration:

Who monitors? For how long? Who is financially responsible for potential damages?

  • Regulatory framework is needed in order to encourage the development of CCS.
  • CCS is expensive. Cooperation between government & private industry is needed.
  • CCS has the potential to be part of the energy mix in climate change mitigation in the United States.
  • Implement a national strategy that regulates GHG emissions.
    • Cap-and-trade or carbon tax
    • Emissions performance standards for stationary sources instead of renewable portfolio standards
  • Build large-scale demonstrations that integrate all CCS components.
    • Continue R & D support for capture technologies and sequestration
    • Proper project financing for early movers through loan guarantees and federal sequestration tax credits
  • Develop environmental regulations that specifically address captured CO2.
    • Address issues that fall under EPA’s authority.
    • State participation will be key in developing regulations and oversight programs.
  • Create indemnification program for long-term liability issues related to CCS.
    • Create a CCS trust fund.
    • Address transfer of responsibility regulations.
thank you
Thank you!


Melissa Carl

Robert Rains

Dan Deckler

Erica Wissolik

ASME Staff

Fellow WISE Interns