Keynote 1: Global picture on capture from Power Generation

Carbon Capture in the Power Generation Sector

A range of technologies has been proposed for CO2 capture in the power sector, but only one, post-combustion capture (PCC) using amines, has been implemented at scale to date.  Other capture options proposed and the reasons for the attractiveness of PCC will be discussed.  All CCS power plants now face changing market conditions, with baseload operation being replaced by more uncertain operating patterns imposed by large amounts of intermittent renewable generation.  Under these circumstances the key power plant attributes of Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Operability (RAMO) become even more important, as does reduced capital cost for economic viability.  The electricity output penalty for capture and overall plant efficiency, for a long time the focus of technology development, by contrast, become less important.  The expectations for the level of CO2 captured have also changed as a fully circular carbon economy to deliver net zero GHG emissions has emerged as a climate priority, rising from 85-90% to 95% or higher.  Even 99% capture appears feasible; on a natural gas power plant this equates to removing all of the fossil CO2.  Power production with CCS may also usefully be linked with other applications such as hydrogen production for non-power applications, combined heat and power, including desalination, and direct air capture.  



Jon Gibbins

Professor of CCS, University of Sheffield