July 06, 2012
Federal Efforts to Reduce the Cost of Capturing and Storing Carbon Dioxide
"Coal-powered facilities account for roughly a third of all U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, and most climate scientists believe that the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could have costly consequences. One much-discussed option for reducing the nation’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while preserving its ability to produce electricity at coal-fired power plants is to capture the CO2 that is emitted when the coal is burned, compress it into a fluid, and then store it deep underground. That process—commonly called carbon capture and storage (CCS)—has not been widely adopted because any electricity generated by such plants would be much more expensive than electricity produced by conventional coal-burning plant. Since 2005, lawmakers have provided the Department of Energy (DOE) with about $6.9 billion to further develop CCS technology, demonstrate its commercial feasibility, and reduce the cost of electricity generated by CCS-equipped plants. This study examines those federal efforts."