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Models of CO2 Transport and Storage Costs and Their Importance in CCS Cost Estimates

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journal contribution
posted on 01.05.2005 by Sean T. McCoy, Edward Rubin
In recent years, global concerns about greenhouse gas emissions have stimulated considerable interest in CO2 capture and storage (CCS) as a potential “bridging technology” that can achieve significant CO2 emission reductions while allowing fossil fuels to be used until alternative energy sources are more widely deployed. To date, the literature in this field has focused most heavily on CO2 capture technologies, which are believed to be the most costly components of a CCS system. Far fewer studies have addressed the costs of CO2 transport and storage in comparable detail. Most commonly, transport and storage costs are either omitted from cost analyses, or reported simply as a cost per ton CO2 with little or no detail as to the basis for such estimates. Our review of the CCS literature reveals frequent inconsistencies and lack of clarity in defining the scope of the CO2 capture, transport and storage components, with the result that some CCS cost elements—especially the significant costs of CO2 compression—often are double-counted as parts of both the CO2 capture cost and the CO2 transport/storage cost.