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Existing technology and a co-ordinated, co-located series of deployments can cut CCS costs – New ETI report

23 May 2016

Dennis Gammer
Dennis Gammer Strategy Manager

The high capital cost of CCS means technology risks have to be carefully managed, but initial cost reduction can be achieved without creating new capture technology platforms by making use of economies of scale, sharing infrastructure and through physical demonstration. CCS uses proven technologies which need to be combined into new value chains. The cost of capture is the largest single cost element in CCS but capture technology is from a mature technology base and further improvements in cost and performance are expected. The ETI believes that one pathway to reducing the cost of CCS is to deliver a small number of large plants sequentially using proven technologies. Our analysis shows that cost reduction through sequential deployments of existing technology can drive down costs by as much as 45% largely through a combination of economies of scale, infrastructure sharing and risk reductions through deployment. Cost reduction can only be achieved through commercial scale deployment in the UK, investment in infrastructure including storage sites and by having a policy environment that is attractive for CCS investors. Investment in anchor projects provides a transport and storage infrastructure for subsequent projects to build on and paves the way for the introduction of higher risk emerging technologies once the overall CCS risk is reduced. A strategy of waiting for global technology advances to reduce costs and risks will not address UK specific costs and risks in transport and storage.