Richard A. Esposito, Southern Company
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is critical to the delivery of a net-zero emissions future that maintains clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy. Low-carbon infrastructure investment is an engine for economic growth, innovation, and global competitiveness. For deep decarbonization in the power sector, infrastructure upgrades will be required at baseload dispatch facilities such as Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC) facilities.
Beyond capture plant retrofits, regional CO₂ pipeline networks will be required to transport CO₂ to permitted injection wells for safe and secure storage. Shared transport systems will reduce investment costs for any given facility or for system-wide adoption by an electrical utility. These transport networks can create economies of scale that can significantly reduce costs especially with regional storage hubs. This infrastructure availability supports the adoption of widespread deployment of CCS technologies. CCUS infrastructure also is an important component for other net-zero approaches for power generation (e.g., steam methane reforming w/CCS and biomass energy CCS), as well as direct air capture, and provides additional pathways for industrial decarbonization. For example, the DOE Hydrogen Energy Earthshot (announced June 7, 2021) to reduce cost of hydrogen 80% to $1 per 1 kg in 1 decade (1-1-1) will need to rely on CCS for hydrogen produced from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels to H2 produces CO₂ requiring transport and storage. H2 production will likely develop where CO₂ transport/storage infrastructure exists.