The article “Carbon prices and CCS investment: A comparative study between the European Union and China” by Marie Renner, EDF and CEC, published in Energy Policy, Volume 75, December 2014, Pages 327–340.
Carbon Capture and Storage is considered as a key option for climate change mitigation; policy makers and investors need to know when CCS becomes economically attractive. Integrating CCS in a power plant adds significant costs which can be offset by a sufficient CO2 price. However, most markets have failed: currently, the weak carbon price threatens CCS deployment in the European Union (EU). In China, a carbon regulation is appearing and CCS encounters a rising interest. This study investigates two questions: how much is the extra-cost of a CCS plant in the EU in comparison with China? Second, what is the CO2 price beyond which CCS plants become more profitable than reference plants in the EU and in China? To address these issues, I conducted a literature review on public studies about CCS costs. To objectively assess the profitability of CCS plants, I constructed a net present value model to calculate the Levelised Cost of Electricity and the breakeven CO2 price. CCS plants become the most profitable plant type beyond 115 €/tCO2 in the EU vs. 45 €/tCO2 in China (offshore transport and storage costs). I advise on the optimal plant type choice depending on the CO2 price in both countries.
The complete article is available on Science Direct