Costs of CCS in 2100? – Carbon Capture Capital Cost Reductions

This entry was posted by Tuesday, 12 January, 2010
Read the rest of this entry »

While I was doing some browsing with the question in title lurking in my mind (What Will be the Costs of CCS in 2100?), I came across the following:

“The more I have thought about these issues, the more I have become convinced that carbon capture is going to end up being the centerpiece of long-term geoengineering solutions. There are good reasons to be optimistic that in 50 to 100 years we will be able to remove carbon dioxide from the air for one-thousandth or one-millionth the current costs.” So writes Steven Levitt in his blog at NYTimes.

One thousandth or one millionth of the current costs? That sounds too outlandish. Well, OK, everyone gives the analogy of the computing industry and Moore’s Law, and so does Steve. But I doubt Moore’s Law can be applied to every technology possible. If that were true, solar PV will today be costing far, far less than what it is costing. In the last 30 years or so, solar PV capital costs have fallen to one tenth of their original, but application of Moore’s Law suggests a far, far larger decrease.

I think it will be more useful to identify those parts of CCS capital costs (and operational costs) that have significant potential for disruptive innovations. These cost components will have potential for such enormous decreases in costs or increases in performance. I’m not sure if the CCS technologies that are being pursued today indeed have such “disruptively innovatable” components

Leave a Reply