Yesterday, the IPCC released their Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage. The release included a Summary for Policymakers and a webcast. The webcast is available through the IPCC homepage or here, as is the Summary for Policymakers.
This document becomes the ultimate reference for any future conversations about the role of carbon dioxide capture and storage in combating climate change. As with other IPCC reports, the summary for policymakers had to go through a line-by-line approval process by the Working Group Plenary after a review process by experts and government officials.
I've pulled out some of the highlights after the jump.
- Application of CCS to electricity production, under 2002 conditions, is estimated to increase electricity generation costs by about 0.01 - 0.05 US dollars per kilowatt hour (US$/kWh), depending on the fuel, the specific technology, the location, and the national circumstances. Including the benefits of EOR would reduce additional electricity production costs due to CCS by around 0.01 to 0.02 US$/kWh.
- Most modelling as assessed in this report suggests that CCS systems begin to deploy at a significant level when CO2 prices begin to reach approximately 25 - 30 US$/tCO2.
- Available evidence suggests that worldwide, it is likely that there is a technical potential of at least about 2,000 GtCO2 (545 GtC) of storage capacity in geological formations.
- In most scenarios for stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations between 450 and 750 ppmv CO2 and in a least-cost portfolio of mitigation options, the economic potential of CCS would amount to 220 - 2,200 GtCO2 (60 - 600 GtC) cumulatively, which would mean that CCS contributes 15 to 55% to the cumulative mitigation effort worldwide until 2100, averaged over a range of baseline scenarios.
- In most scenario studies, the role of CCS in mitigation portfolios increases over the course of the century and including CCS in a mitigation portfolio is found to reduce the costs of stabilizing CO2 concentrations by 30% or more.
- With appropriate site selection informed by available subsurface information, a monitoring program to detect problems, a regulatory system, and the appropriate use of remediation methods to stop or control CO2 releases if they arise, the local health, safety and environment risks of geological storage would be comparable to risks of current activities such as natural gas storage, EOR, and deep
underground disposal of acid gas.
- Observations from engineered and natural analogues as well as models suggest that the fraction retained in appropriately selected and managed geological reservoirs is very likely to exceed 99% over 100 years, and is likely to exceed 99% over 1,000 years.