• New report suggests CCUS could be attractive economically under certain US conditions

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

A new report by clean energy advocates ClearPath and the Carbon Utilization Research Council has used economic modelling to estimate that some carbon capture, utiliisation and storage installations in the USA could be profitable by taking US government tax credits on one hand and using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery on the other. The findings are released in a new report entitled Making Carbon a Commodity, which goes on to claim that CCUS could become an industry worth up to US$190 billion (€163 billion) per year to the US economy by 2040 (but more conservatively, US$70 billion), mostly through improved oil output. To foster such an industry, the report recommends public-private initiatives to help fund the large capital outlays required for CCS facilities, introducing or extending shared CO2 transport pipelines (aided by eased building permission processes), and relaxing reporting requirements for the amount of CO2 stored by EOI projects (it is not immediately apparent why, but perhaps because reporting is expensive).  The modelling is based on information from the Energy Information Administration which assumes that by 2040, coal and natural gas firing will provide 56% of US electricity, down from 62% last year, but whether that becomes that case is of course unsure. Nevertheless, the report will make encouraging reading for the industry, and may provoke debate amongst regulators.