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Project: Sequestering Carbon from Power Plants: The Jury is Still Out

Research Team: Sean Biggs, Howard Herzog and Henry Jacoby

Sponsor: US Department of Energy Award Number DE-FG02-99ER62748

Year: 2000

This thesis utilizes the MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model to analyze the economic potential of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) power plant technologies. Two of the most promising technologies are implemented in the US region of the EPPA model. One technology is based on a natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) capture plant and one is based on an integrated coal gasification combined cycle (IGCC) capture plant. Although the cost of using CCS technologies is relatively expensive under today's prices in the economy, the economic conditions for the CCS technologies could change as policies are enacted to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By analyzing several different policy scenarios, the conditions under which the CCS technologies could enter the market are presented. This thesis shows that CCS technologies can be economical under some situations. Furthermore, by explaining the modeling methodology and results one can understand the implications for using this modeling approach for policy analysis.

Biggs, S., H. Herzog, J. Reilly, and H. Jacoby, "Economic Modeling of CO2 Capture and Sequestration," Proceedings of 5th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies (GHGT-5), Cairns, Australia, D.J. Williams, R.A. Durie, P. McMullan, C.A.J. Paulson and A.Y. Smith (eds.), CSIRO Publishing, pp 973-978, (2001). <PDF>

Biggs, S.D., "Sequestering Carbon from Power Plants: The Jury is Still Out," M.I.T. Masters Thesis, June (2000). <PDF>