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The Power to Reduce CO2 Emissions: The Full Portfolio

What the U.S. electricity sector must do to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in coming decades.

Fortnightly Magazine - October 2007

Capital Cost

Significant efficiency gains for PC technology can be realized only by increasing the peak temperatures and pressures of the steam cycle; a 10-percent efficiency gain, for example, translates into a CO 2 emissions reduction of 25 percent. Advanced materials such as corrosion-resistant nickel alloys, and new boiler and steam turbine designs, will be necessary to accommodate these higher temperatures and pressures. The targets for PC plants with carbon capture are efficiencies of 43 to 45 percent (with CO 2 capture) with capital cost reductions of 25 percent by 2030 relative to 2005 costs documented in the EPRI/CURC Roadmap. It is expected that an advanced ultra-supercritical plant operating at about 1, 290°F (700°C) will be built during the next 7 to 10 years, following the demonstration and commercial availability of advanced materials from current research programs.

Key research milestones and deployment targets include:

• By 2020, achieve efficiencies of 33 to 35 percent for advanced pulverized coal plants with CO 2 capture.

• By 2020, design, construct, and operate “Ultragen-I” facilities—ultra-supercritical pulverized coal plants operating at greater than 1,100°F (593°C) with 25 to 50 percent CO 2 capture.

• By 2025, design, construct, and operate “Ultragen-II” facilities—ultra-supercritical pulverized coal near zero emissions plant operating at 1,200 to 1,300°F (649 to 704°C) with 50+ percent CO 2 capture.

IGCC Plant Efficiency and Capital Cost

With aggressive RD&D, IGCC capital cost reductions are targeted at 30 percent by 2030 relative to 2005 costs documented in the EPRI/CURC roadmap, with efficiencies climbing from 30 percent today to the 45-percent range (with CO 2 capture). Expected technology advances include development of larger gasifiers, integration of these gasifiers with larger, more efficient combustion turbines, and use of ion transfer membrane (ITM) or other low-energy-demand oxygen supply technologies. Over the longer term, warm-gas cleanup and membrane separation processes for CO 2 capture will reduce energy losses in these areas.

Key research milestones and deployment targets include:

• By 2012, field test ion transfer membrane technology, leading to pre-commercial testing of IGCC with oxy-combustion.

• By 2012, develop and evaluate hydrogen-fired F-class gas turbines, extending to G/H class gas turbine testing in 2020 and beyond.

• By 2017, achieve efficiencies of 33 to 35 percent for advanced integrated gasification combined-cycle coal plants equipped with CO 2 capture.

• By 2020, demonstrate the FutureGen project with CO 2 capture and storage.

• By 2025, demonstrate G/H-class turbine IGCC plants with CO 2 capture.

• By 2030, demonstrate integrated gasification fuel cell (IGFC) plants.

CO

Capture Technology

The greatest reductions in future U.S. electric sector CO 2 emissions likely will come from applying carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to nearly all new coal-based power plants coming on line after 2020. CCS technologies can be feasibly integrated into virtually all types of new coal-fired power plants, including IGCC, PC, circulating fluidized bed (CFB), and variants such as oxy-fuel combustion.

Currently, adding CO 2 capture, drying, compression, transportation, and storage capabilities to IGCC plant designs would increase the wholesale cost of electricity by 40 to 50 percent. One promising cost-reduction pathway