Sunday, July 26, 2009

Could CCS double costs of electricity?

A Harvard study estimates the cost of electricity could double or more in the short term because of the cost of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). With maturing of the technologies, those costs could drop to a 22-50% increase. The study, "Realistic Costs of Carbon Capture," estimates the cost of coal-generated electricity would go up an average of 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared to a national average of 9 cents today. [right, APS' Cholla coal-fired power plant, where a CO2 sequestration test is about to begin]

A lot of folks have warned that the costs would be huge. One of my colleagues, from a big energy-producing state, half-jokingly urged Harvard to carry out more such studies, on the broader topic of “Realities of Energy, Water, Environmental Impact and Economics.“

He told me, "It just might sober a lot of folks up to the realities of the morning after."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:35 PM

    It is about time we start having to pay for the pollution we create individually. It may be a shocker but it’s real … when we use electricity we pollute, and currently we can pollute for free … not a fair system. You use you pay is a better way. My experience is we can each reduce our use by at least 50% thus keeping our bills the same if the rate increase 100%. I once had max $300/month electric bills and now after adding 700 sq ft to my house I have max $100. It will cost some up front, but no more than a brand new SUV, and payback will be around the time you want a new car!