The Brattle Group
Kasparas Spokas is an associate at The Brattle Group with a focus on electricity sector topics such as renewable and climate policy analysis, electricity policy design, and market design. Kasparas received his Ph.D. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Princeton University and was a fellow at the university’s public policy school.
Katie Mansur is a research analyst at The Brattle Group with a focus on utility financial analysis, wholesale power market modeling, pipeline ratemaking, and risk assessment. Her background is in economics from Northwestern University.
Frank Graves specializes in regulatory and financial economics for electric and gas utilities, and in litigation matters related to securities and risk management. He has over thirty years of experience assisting in forecasting, valuation, and risk analysis of many kinds of long-range planning and service design decisions.
For decades, carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS), a technology that captures emissions and sequesters them into geologic reservoirs or products, has been heralded as a means to clean up power plants and decarbonize emission-heavy industrial processes that lack clean substitutes.
However, development of CCUS for commercial power has been minimal due to policy risk, lack of economic incentives, and uncertainty of competing technology evolution. Recently, expanded tax incentives have rekindled interest in CCUS.
Under some circumstances, these can improve the economics to the point where carbon capture does not impose net incremental costs. However, retrofitting coal remains less cost-effective today than replacing the aging fossil fleet with new renewables and storage in most circumstances.
This has led to carbon capture being sometimes regarded as the ugly duckling of emission reduction technologies, viewed by detractors as a technology for bailing out fossil interests rather than expanding our portfolio of clean technologies.
Despite not yet being a low-cost decarbonization option, studies focused on long-term deep decarbonization have shown that the value of non-intermittent, dispatchable emission-free power, which carbon capture can provide, is likely to be substantial and qualitatively different than today.