Energy Excursions

CCUS Can Integrate with Renewables

Solar and wind are set to become the largest and cheapest sources of electricity globally, but other technologies will still be needed for low-cost power systems. The growing proportion of power from variable renewables drives a greater need for capacity that is available “on-demand” to ensure the stable operation of power systems. CCUS-equipped coal- or gas-fired power plants can provide this capacity and supply electricity at any time, whether at night or on a still day.1IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency. https://www.iea.org/commentaries/is-carbon-capture-too-expensive

Power plants with CCUS are particularly valuable in regions with strong seasonal variations in renewable generation. The few alternatives able to manage these variations, such as large-scale hydrogen storage, are currently more expensive than CCUS technology. CCUS can also be a cost-efficient strategy to tackle emissions from existing coal- and gas-fired power plants. Many of today’s coal and gas plants were built only in the last decade; retrofitting with CCUS can allow them to continue operation and avoid the costs of early retirement.2IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency. https://www.iea.org/commentaries/is-carbon-capture-too-expensive

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