Decarbonisation Technology - November 2022

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only a limited reduction in carbon capture costs, unlike in solar PV panels, wind turbines, batteries, and (more recently) electrolysers, where dramatic cost reductions have been achieved. As a result, the cost competitiveness of other decarbonisation vectors has significantly improved relative to CCUS. The costs of applying CCUS in many applications are still considered cost-effective, though significant future cost reductions are likely to be limited. In the case of DAC, however, improvements in energy efficiency and reductions in Capex costs driven by technology improvements and scale effects are expected to reduce costs from around $450/tCO₂ today to below $100/tCO 2 in advantaged regions by 2050. Transport CO₂ can be transported safely and at a low cost via pipeline, truck, or ship. The majority of transported CO₂ is likely to be transferred via onshore and offshore pipelines. Storage At end-of-life, CO₂ can be permanently stored or used in products, materials, or fuels. Global theoretical geological storage volumes are vast and exist in nearly all regions. Potential storage volumes have been estimated at exceeding 10,000 GtCO₂, which would be enough to store today’s total annual CO₂ emissions (circa 40 Gt) each year for more than 250 years. Where available, storage costs are, on average, $10-20 per tonne, which is typically cheaper than utilising CO₂ instead of storing it.

Supporting role of CCUS in decarbonisation pathways The need for CCUS depends on the cost and availability of alternative decarbonisation technologies. ~7-10 GtCO₂/year of carbon capture is likely to be required by 2050, of which around 65% relates to non-fossil fuel sources of CO₂ such as cement process emissions, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), and direct air capture (DAC). The other 35% – around 2.5-4.0 GtCO₂/year – would allow a significant but dramatically reduced scale of fossil fuel use (for example, around 10 Mb/d and 2,700 billion cubic metres (BCM) of gas, 90% and 30% below today’s levels) to be compatible with achieving a zero-carbon economy. The CCUS value chain can be considered in four stages – source, capture, transport, and end of life – which can entail either storage or use. Capture The majority of CCUS costs occur in the CO₂ capture stage and typically reflect CO₂ concentration. Different sector applications present different concentration levels, varying from over 95% for coal-to-chemical processes to 0.04% for DAC (reflecting the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere). Over the last 10 to 15 years, there has been Technological feasibility and carbon removal potential

Direct air capture BECC power generation Coal power generation Gas power generation Cement Rening Iron and steel Blue H/NH Ethylene oxide Bioethanol Coal to chemicals Natural gas processing










Figure 2 Estimates of sectorial levelised cost of capture today vary wildly


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