estimated cost of CCS used in this study’s analyses represents preliminary engineering costs. Ultimate requirements for design, monitoring, carbon-accounting procedures, liability, and associated regulatory frameworks, are yet to be developed, and there is potential for unanticipated delay in initiating demonstration projects and, later, in licensing individual commercial-scale projects. Uncertainty about the regulatory environment arising from concerns of the general public and policy makers have the potential to raise storage costs. Hence, the full cost of CCS is difficult to determine without some commercial-scale experience with geologic CO2 storage. Large-scale demonstration and establishment of procedures for long-term monitoring of CCS have to be pursued aggressively in the next few years if thermochemical conversion of biomass and coal with CCS is to be ready for commercial deployment by 2020.
The federal government should continue to partner with industry and independent researchers in an aggressive program to determine the operational procedures, monitoring, safety, and effectiveness of commercial-scale technology for geologic storage of CO2. Three to five commercial-scale demonstrations (each with about 1 million tonnes CO2 per year and operated for several years) should be set up within the next 3–5 years in areas of several geologic types.
The demonstrations should focus on site choice, permitting, monitoring, operation, closure, and legal procedures needed to support the broad-scale application of geologic storage of CO2. The development of needed engineering data and determination of the full costs of geologic storage of CO2—including engineering, monitoring, and other costs based on data developed from continuing demonstration projects—should have high priority.
The government-sponsored geologic CO2storage projects need to address issues related to the concerns of the general public and policy-makers about geologic CO2storage through rigorous scientific and policy analyses. As the work on geological storage progresses, any factors that might result in public concerns and uncertainty in the regulatory environment should be evaluated and built into the project decision-making process because they could raise storage cost and slow projects.