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Study demonstrates CCS is efficient and cost competitive

World Coal,

Unveiling the results of a detailed study based on Alstom’s 13 pilot and demonstration projects and validated by independent experts, Philippe Joubert, president of Alstom Power, said at a PowerGen Europe conference in Milan in early June that: “We can now be confident that carbon capture technology works and is cost effective”. The cost of electricity generated in a coal-burning power plant with CCS equipment, which will be available at a commercial scale in 2015 and will allow to capture 90% of the emitted CO2, will be between 6.5 and 8.5 eurocents/kWh depending on the fuel and location. This cost is already competitive against power coming from renewable energy sources, while it will improve over the years as the CCS technology matures. The same conclusion applies for a gas-burning power plant using CCS.

After 10 years of development, CCS technology is on the point of large-scale deployment. A new global market is opening up, from which Europe is well positioned to benefit given its technological lead, the steps taken to put in place a regulatory framework and the decisions made to incentivise CCS deployment through the financing of large demonstration plants. Joubert added: “This is a decisive moment for players in the European energy field, in industry or in policy-making, if they want to actively position themselves as leaders on the world stage for this field of decarbonised fossil fuels, where there is considerable potential.”

Alstom has long maintained that all solutions to reduce emissions, while generating the power needed for economic development and social welfare, will be necessary to tackle climate change: increasing the use of all renewable forms of energy, improving the efficiency of fossil power generation on both new and existing plants, and developing carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Over half of the world’s electricity will still be produced from fossil fuels in 2035, and CCS is currently the only valid solution for drastically reducing emissions from fossil fuel generation. The application of CCS to both coal-fired and gas-fired power plants and to industry is essential, as this technology could account for up to 20% of the required emissions reduction by the year 2050, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

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