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Getting ready for carbon capture and storage by issuing capture options


  • Xi Liang
  • David Reiner
  • Jon Gibbins
  • Jia Li


A capture option is an option contract where the option holder can exercise a contract to retrofit an existing fossil fuel plant to capture carbon dioxide (rm CO 2 ) on or before a fixed date. We suggest that new thermal power plants, particularly those in developing countries, consider issuing capture options at the design stage, because the sellers—the owners of newly built thermal power plants—may then invest in making these plants rm CO 2 capture ready (CCR) to optimise returns from selling capture options. In a detailed case study on a 600 MW ultrasupercritical pulverised coal-fired power unit a potential storage site in Guangdong, China, the value of a capture option and CCR investment is evaluated using the backward deduction option pricing method through a stochastic cash flow model with Monte-Carlo simulations. If the power plant is retrofittable without CCR investment, then for an 8% discount rate the value of a capture option is US 11 million before CCR investment. Investing US 3.8 million in CCR increases the value of the capture option by an estimated US 12 million. Perhaps more important from a policy point of view, CCR investment can reduce the odds of early closure by 20% and also increase the chance of retrofitting to capture by 43%. If the power plant is not retrofittable in the absence of CCR design modifications, CCR investment to avoid ‘carbon lock-in’ is not only important for climate policy but is also economic from an investment point of view. We also conduct sensitivity analyses on a range of key assumptions to test the robustness of the findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Xi Liang & David Reiner & Jon Gibbins & Jia Li, 2010. "Getting ready for carbon capture and storage by issuing capture options," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(6), pages 1286-1307, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:42:y:2010:i:6:p:1286-1307

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    Cited by:

    1. Ha-Duong, Minh & Nguyen-Trinh, Hoang Anh, 2017. "Two scenarios for carbon capture and storage in Vietnam," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 559-569.
    2. Li, Jia & Tharakan, Pradeep & Macdonald, Douglas & Liang, Xi, 2013. "Technological, economic and financial prospects of carbon dioxide capture in the cement industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1377-1387.
    3. Xi Liang & Hengwei Liu & David Reiner, 2014. "Strategies for Financing Large-scale Carbon Capture and Storage Power Plants in China," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1430, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Luisito Bertinelli & Amer Tabakovic & Luca Marchiori & Benteng Zou, 2015. "Transboundary Pollution Abatement: The Impact of Unilateral Commitment in Differential Games," CREA Discussion Paper Series 15-02, Center for Research in Economic Analysis, University of Luxembourg.
    5. Minh Ha-Duong & Hoang Anh Nguyen Trinh, 2017. "Two scenarios for carbon capture and storage in Vietnam," CIRED Working Papers hal-01550029, HAL.
    6. Li, Jia & Liang, Xi & Cockerill, Tim & Gibbins, Jon & Reiner, David, 2012. "Opportunities and barriers for implementing CO2 capture ready designs: A case study of stakeholder perceptions in Guangdong, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 243-251.

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