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Is CCS expensive?
Is CCS expensive?

30th May 2020

Organisation(s): Global CCS Institute

Topic(s): Carbon capture and storage (CCS), Cost

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is needed as part of the toolkit of technologies to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century. Yet, texts and commentary about CCS often include qualifiers that are related to the expenditures necessary to deploy it; ‘costly’, ‘exorbitantly expensive’, ‘unaffordable’, ‘uneconomical’. As such, the argument most often brought forward against deployment of CCS is that it is an expensive way of reducing emissions.

This brief written by our Senior Advisors for Advocacy and Communications Lucy Temple-Smith and Lee Beck demonstrates that:

  • To reach net-zero emissions by mid-century and achieve global climate change targets all decarbonisation options are needed.
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) plays an important role reducing emissions to net-zero and limiting the overall system cost of decarbonisation.
  • With versatile applications, CCS cost differs across its variety of industrial and power-related applications – there is no singular cost of CCS.
  • Considering the urgency of the climate crisis, cost should not be a deterrent to investing in CCS nor dictate sequencing of the deployment of decarbonisation options. Instead, deployment will lead to cost reductions.
  • A value on carbon is needed to support the business case for large-scale CCS deployment and overcome the technology ‘valley of death’.



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