I’ve been sniffy about CCS before (its just not economic) but as about the only way to get CO2 out of the atmosphere whilst letting us continue burning fossil fuels in our merry thoughtless way it inevitably appeals to the BAU crowd. David Hone reports on a A CCS project for Canada which is at base dependent on a $15/t (t CO2? t C? Not sure. The report he cites actually just says “$15” but that makes no sense; from context, I think they mean t CO2) tax on CO2 emissions. Interestingly, the threshold for being taxed isn’t absolute, just Approximately 100 entities with annual emissions exceeding 100,000 tCO2e (ktCO2e), are required by the legislation to reduce their emission intensity by 12% from average 2003-2005 levels but if you fall into that category (and it looks like tar sands do) then maybe CCS looks attractive.
I don’t have figures to hand, so I’ll ask Mr Google. He says that the Global CCS Institute says The cost of mitigating, or avoiding, CO2 emissions for a coal power plant fitted with current CCS technology ranges from US$23-92 per tonne of CO2. That’s a massive range (and given this is the CCS inst, I’d be tempted to think their numbers are low if anything), but the range exceeds $15, so, err, why are Shell bothering? At that price, they should just pay up. Unless… the entire thing is just PR? They know full well this isn’t economic, but tar sands have such a bad env image they’re willing to cough up a bit to make it look better?
* New Study Reiterates Affordability of Stratospheric Aerosol Systems – of course, that’s just affordability