287601 Methodology for Evaluating the Cost of Emerging CCS Technologies

Tuesday, October 30, 2012: 9:20 AM
302 (Convention Center )
Abhoyjit S. Bhown1, George Booras1 and Ronald Schoff2, (1)Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, (2)Electric Power Research Institute, Charlotte, NC

The potential for carbon capture, utilization, and storage to help mitigate the effects of carbon emissions from power plants on the global climate has resulted in a boom in technology research and development in the area.  Stakeholders outside of the R&D community include the financial, government, environmental, and electric utility sectors.  Due to the exponential increase in the development of carbon capture technologies over the last decade, it has become increasingly important to differentiate the technologies.  One metric that is commonly used is the cost of those technologies.  In this paper, we present an approach to using different cost estimating methods and analysis based on a metric of Technology Readiness Level (TRL).  TRL offers a convenient and consistent way to rank a technology’s stage of development from initial concept to commercial launch.  In some cases, for early-stage technologies with low TRL, a rigorous cost estimating methodology may not be as meaningful or useful as other metrics such as energy consumption, but it does provide insight into key challenges and helps focus research goals.  As a technology progresses in its TRL ranking, increasingly stringent and increasingly detailed estimating methods should used to predict a process’s economic viability, though the preparation of detailed capital cost estimates becomes increasingly more expensive.  Ultimate deployment of a new CCS technology will depend heavily on its economics, and bracketing its cost will continue to be an important factor in assessing its commercial viability.

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