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Deck: 
Meeting tougher CO<sub>2</sub> emissions limits will require deep pockets.
Fortnightly Magazine - June 1 2003
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DC PSC RFP Technical Consultant for Formal Case (FC) No. 1156

Meeting tougher CO2 emissions limits will require deep pockets.

It's a tough problem that we have less than 22 years to solve. I had the occasion to chat with Dr. Henry R. Linden, Max McGraw Professor of Energy and Power Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, about how the U.S. power industry must face the necessity of sharply reducing its CO2 emissions while having to increase its summer electric generating capacity from 781 GW in 2000 to 1,174 GW in 2025, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Most experts had previously thought that the one relatively low-cost means for deferring the day when electric power generators had to cut total carbon emissions by a nominal 90 percent was to meet a major portion of the 2000-2025 projected increase of generating capacity (255 GW out of a total of 393 GW), with natural gas-fired, combined-cycle units.

Unfortunately, Linden says the relative stability of natural gas prices has been permanently upset. The previously "safe" assumption that the delivered gas cost to combined-cycle plants would not rise above $4/million Btu, resulting in a power cost of about 4 cents/kWh at 85 percent load factor, is no longer valid.

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