Ravi Gurumurthy, Director of Strategy. “At DECC we’ve developed an open-source, peer-reviewed online tool, the 2050 Calculator, to help us understand the uncertainties, to expose the trade offs and to make sure our policies today are not regretted decades hence. The calculator now includes costs and takes a whole-economy approach to assessing the varying plausible scenarios for keeping the lights on and meeting our statutory target of cutting emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. No one scenario is assured but, by way of illustration, our most cost-effective scenario (the so-called Markal pathway) foresees a future that is marginally cheaper than doing nothing. Crucially, Markal would result in a balanced electricity generation mix in 2050 with 33GW of nuclear, 45GW of renewables and 29GW of fossil fuels with CCS. / Contrast this to AF Consult’s new report Powerful targets: Exploring the relative cost of meeting decarbonisation and renewables targets in the British power sector, reported in the Sunday Times this weekend. This claims renewables are a costly addition to our future energy mix. / But the report’s conclusions are undermined by its assumptions, which skirt over four crucially important factors.”
The plant at Ferrybridge, an SSE coal station, will capture only some of the fumes: 5 MW worth from 2,000.
The £1bn price tag wasn’t enough to make the Longannet project in Scotland project economically tenable, the Guardian reports. Yet more public funding would be needed.
The financial crisis and weakening political will means global momentum has been lost on CCS, the IEA says at a CCS review meeting in Beijing. The IEA estimates the 2C goal requires 1,500 large-scale CCS projects around the world by 2035 (20% of the roadmap to 2C). Only 74 have been announced. China should have 270 by 2035. It has six at the planning stage. Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, says CCS is a “last resort” for China.
American Electric Power has come to the conclusion that it would not be allowed to add the $668m costs for a full-scale CCS system at its Mountaineer coal plant in West Virginia to consumer bills.
Some 29 per cent of all new power investment over the next decade is expected to be in coal, 28% oil and gas. Wind and solar are trailing on 18 and 6%. As for CCS, Andrew Brandler, chief executive of CLP Holdings, said: “People in China don’t talk about CCS.” The FT reports that “he believes there will be no major export opportunities in China for this technology – even if it does prove viable – for the next 10 or 15 years.”
The test facility was supposed to be followed quickly by a full-scale facility. But Statoil says more research is needed.