The role of carbon capture and storage in net zero emission electricity systems, ICSC/320

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The value of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology applied to coal- and gas-fired generation capacity in Europe (specifically Germany and Poland) and Asia-Pacific (Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Korea) is quantified. The reference scenario is business as usual (BAU), where each country seeks to meet its power demand on a least cost basis within its current policy paradigm. The costs and implications for the security of supply of trying to meet a net zero emissions (NZE) goal by 2050 are evaluated using a technology agnostic ‘AllTech’ scenario, a ‘No CCS’ option that prohibits CCS but is agnostic to all other options, and a ‘ReStor’ scenario where only renewable energy and energy storage technologies are permitted.

A technology agnostic approach is key to achieving NZE, in terms of cost and energy security. Relying exclusively on renewables and storage is the most expensive strategy. Strategies that rely exclusively on renewable energy also tend to result in unmet or suppressed demand which may hinder economic growth in developing countries. Although other dispatchable technologies, such as nuclear and energy storage, are allowed, CCS is essential for electricity system decarbonisation. Without CCS, costs increase by between 76–4812%, and up to 42% of power demand is not met. In addition to the techno economic challenges, relying solely on variable renewable energy (VRE) may require significant areas of land.

Reducing carbon intensity below 100–300 kgCO2/MWh becomes exponentially more expensive in the absence of CCS. As the timeline for meeting the NZE target is tight, global efforts to accelerate the commercial deployment of both coal- and gas-CCS technology are critical. Coal-CCS has an important role in countries with a rapid growth rate and limited alternatives for clean baseload capacity, such as Poland, Indonesia, and Vietnam.


The Role of Carbon Capture and Storage in Net Zero Emission Electricity Systems

Report Author(s)

Yoga Wienda Pratama and Niall Mac Dowell

Report Number




Publication date

20 May 2022