Energy Excursions

No Single Cost for CCUS

CCUS applications do not all have the same cost. Looking specifically at carbon capture, the cost can vary greatly by CO2 source, from a range of USD 15-25/t CO2 for industrial processes producing “pure” or highly concentrated CO2 streams (such as ethanol production or natural gas processing) to USD 40-120/t COfor processes with “dilute” gas streams, such as cement production and power generation. Capturing CO2 directly from the air is currently the most expensive approach, but could nonetheless play a unique role in carbon removal. Some CO2 capture technologies are commercially available now, while others are still in development, and this further contributes to the large range in costs.1IEA. (2021, February 17). Is carbon capture too expensive? International Energy Agency. https://www.iea.org/commentaries/is-carbon-capture-too-expensive

Cost of CO2 capture by sector and initial CO2 concentration (IEA, 2019)2IEA. (2019). Levelised cost of CO2 capture by sector and initial CO2 concentration, IEA, Paris. https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/levelised-cost-of-co2-capture-by-sector-and-initial-co2-concentration-2019

From the graph, what do you notice is different between low CO2 concentration sources and high CO2 concentration sources? 

High CO2 concentration sources are of lower cost per tonne compared to low CO2 concentration sources.

Correct. 

High CO2 concentration sources are of higher cost per tonne compared to low CO2 concentration sources.

Incorrect. 

The cost per tonne for both high CO2 concentration sources and low CO2 concentration sources varies and there is no obvious trend shown in the graph.

Incorrect. 

Moving on to the cost of transport and storage, this can also vary greatly on a case-by-case basis, depending mainly on CO2 volumes, transport distances and storage conditions. In the United States, for example, the cost of onshore pipeline transport is in the range of USD 2-14/t CO2, while the cost of onshore storage shows an even wider spread. However, more than half of onshore storage capacity is estimated to be available below USD 10/t CO2. In some cases, storage costs can even be negative if the CO2 is injected into (and permanently stored in) oilfields to enhance production and thus generate more revenue from oil sales.3IEA. (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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