# Free speech and cap 'n trade troubles

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Chalnoth
I agree, but I think the way to do thati s not by raising the cost of coal plants, especially with all of the onerous regulations one needs for a nuke plant, but rather cheapening the cost of a nuke plant.
Well, if the nuke plants get as many carbon credits per unit power produced, which would only seem fair given that they're providing the same public service, then nuclear plants would automatically become cheaper.

mheslep
Gold Member

I almost agree. While I'm sure the concept can be demonstrated on a science fair scale, I'm not convinced the viability has been studied in detail (much less even theoretically described) on a national, industrial scale. The difficulty isn't in the capture, it is in the disposal.

Astronuc provided some of the best articles I've seen about the subject, but even they just discuss the issue roughly. What is needed is a 1000 page government study of the true national scale viability. It would look like this:

Take the biggest 500 coal plants and analyze the technical and economic viability of carbon capture/sequestration for each of them and all of them as a group. The study would need to figure out:
-What is the quantity of CO2?
-What would the retrofit cost?
-Does the plant have the remaining lifespan necessary for that to be worth it?
-Where can you put the CO2?
-How do you get it there?
-Does the geographic layout of plants lend itself to a pipeline?
-How much would that cost?
-How much storage capacity does that location have?
-What are the risks of failure in the storage location?

Now the end result of such a study might be that it appears technically viable to store all of our emissions for 10 years (or half for 20 or 1/5 for 50, etc.) - and that would still be worth doing if the economics look reasonable. Either way, the study would have answers to the questions of technical and economic viability. But then moving toward implimentation, you need a nationalized strategy to properly impliment it. Pipelines, in particular are not something you can do without government involvement.

And what happens if the study finds it is only technically viable to store 10% of our emissions for 10 years at a cost of $20 billion per 1000 MW? Then the idea would have to be abandoned as a viable national energy strategy. [...] Apropos. AEP is the biggest US coal burner (world?). Owns 38GW(e) of capacity. Big Utility Turns Bullish on Carbon Capture http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126032092489782773.html?mod=wsjcrmain WSJ said: Mike Morris, chief executive of Ohio-based AEP, said his company's early experience with a carbon capture and storage project at its Mountaineer power plant in West Virginia had exceeded expectations. As a result, he believes AEP will be able to retire 25% of its coal-burning power plants and install advanced carbon-capture equipment on the remaining 75%. [...] Mr. Morris says it now looks like it will be possible to cover all the costs of carbon capture and storage by roughly doubling the cost of electricity from plants like Mountaineer, to 8 cents a kilowatt hour from 4 cents, before subtracting for subsidies that may be available. He believes that still will be cheaper than electricity from the next generation of nuclear plants. As such, it could be more affordable to keep retrofitted coal-fired plants operating than to replace them. A 4 cent premium is better that expected - 8 to 12cent premiums were being cited. Elsewhere I see the Florida Power and Light CEO claims they are generating wind at 3-4 cents / kWh. WSJ said: AEP's Mountaineer project is one of the first attempts to put the technology to the test in the U.S. The utility is capturing less than 2% of the carbon dioxide produced by the 1,330-megawatt power plant. But, with the help of$335 million in Department of Energy funding, it plans to capture about 18% in the next few years. The gas is being injected nearly two miles underground "where it's staying put," Mr. Morris said.

More background on this project here:
http://www.co2captureandstorage.info/project_specific.php?project_id=112 [Broken]

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalc...-expectations-for-carbon-capture-and-storage/

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