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Economics of CCS for coal plants: Impact of investment costs and efficiency on market diffusion in Europe

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  • Lohwasser, Richard
  • Madlener, Reinhard

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze how the development of the carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology used in coal-fired power plants affects its market diffusion. Specifically, we (1) show the significant variance in expectations about the economics of commercial-grade CCS hard coal power plants observed in the literature; (2) analyze the impact of CCS economics on electricity generation costs; and (3) investigate the expected deployment of CCS in the European power sector, depending on the variance of two main factors, efficiency and investment cost, using the bottom-up electricity sector model HECTOR. Simulation results show that investment costs strongly influence the market deployment of coal-fired CCS power plants, leading to a share of 16% in European generation capacity by 2025 with the lowest observed investment costs of 1400€/kW, but only 2% with the highest of 3000€/kW. A variation of conversion efficiency between 37% and 44%, the minimum and maximum observed values, only leads to a 13–15% share variation of CCS-equipped power plants. These findings are robust for the Base Case with a CO2 price of 43€/t and also for sensitivities with 30 and 20€/t CO2, but with a lower effect, as the overall share of CCS is significantly reduced at these prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Lohwasser, Richard & Madlener, Reinhard, 2012. "Economics of CCS for coal plants: Impact of investment costs and efficiency on market diffusion in Europe," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 850-863.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:34:y:2012:i:3:p:850-863
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2011.07.030
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lohwasser, Richard & Madlener, Reinhard, 2013. "Relating R&D and investment policies to CCS market diffusion through two-factor learning," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 439-452.
    2. Unruh, Gregory C., 2002. "Escaping carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 317-325, March.
    3. Rohlfs, Wilko & Madlener, Reinhard, 2010. "Valuation of CCS-Ready Coal-Fired Power Plants: A Multi-Dimensional Real Options Approach," FCN Working Papers 7/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    4. Carrillo-Hermosilla, Javier, 2006. "A policy approach to the environmental impacts of technological lock-in," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 717-742, July.
    5. Martinsen, Dag & Linssen, Jochen & Markewitz, Peter & Vogele, Stefan, 2007. "CCS: A future CO2 mitigation option for Germany?--A bottom-up approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2110-2120, April.
    6. Rohlfs, Wilko & Madlener, Reinhard, 2010. "Cost Effectiveness of Carbon Capture-Ready Coal Power Plants with Delayed Retrofit," FCN Working Papers 8/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Dec 2010.
    7. Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October.
    8. Riahi, Keywan & Rubin, Edward S. & Schrattenholzer, Leo, 2004. "Prospects for carbon capture and sequestration technologies assuming their technological learning," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1309-1318.
    9. Lohwasser, Richard & Madlener, Reinhard, 2009. "Simulation of the European Electricity Market and CCS Development with the HECTOR Model," FCN Working Papers 6/2009, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
    10. Johnson, Timothy L. & Keith, David W., 2004. "Fossil electricity and CO2 sequestration: how natural gas prices, initial conditions and retrofits determine the cost of controlling CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 367-382, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electricity market; Simulation model; CCS; Power generation; Technology adoption;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q47 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy Forecasting

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