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CO2 capture likely to increase cost of coal-fuelled electricity generation

  • 14 years ago (2010-03-26)
  • David Flin
North America 1004

The cost of electricity generated from coal will increase relative to renewable energy as the world develops and implements technologies that curtail CO2 emissions at coal-fired power plants, according to some experts meeting at Globe 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.

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Panellists at Globe 2010 sessions on carbon capture and storage (CCS) said that the cost of removing CO2 from the emission stacks at coal plants adds to the price of power production. The International Energy Agency (IEA) wants to see 20 carbon capture and storage facilities in place by 2020 to slow the pace at which CO2 is accumulating in Earth’s atmosphere.

Spectra Energy has one of these projects underway in north-eastern British Columbia, and it claims that the world’s most advanced CCS project is located in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Judy Faiburn, Executive Vice President for Environment and Strategic Planning at Cenovus Energy, said: “At Weyburn, we have been operating at a commercial scale for over 10 years, so indeed there is commercial scale CCS.”

Cenovus, a subsidiary of EnCana, has spent over $1 billion developing the facility, which is sequestering 2.2 million tonnes of CO2 per year, and is the subject of an IEA audit because it is likely to serve as a global prototype.