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Accounting for the role of transport and storage infrastructure costs in carbon negative bioenergy deployment

Udayan Singh, Erica M. Loudermilk and Lisa M. Colosi

Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology, 2021, vol. 11, issue 1, 144-164

Abstract: Deployment of bioenergy with CO2 capture and storage (BECCS) is projected to be crucial in reducing the United States’ CO2 emissions intensity. In this paper, we utilize a spatially explicit costing model to evaluate how regional biophysical factors and geography affect BECCS viability. We find that the cost of biomass provision and CO2 transport and storage are an average of $20/t‐CO2 and $16/t‐CO2 for aquatic and terrestrial BECCS, respectively. Assuming rapid technological development in the CO2 capture domain, this corresponds to 40–72% of land area in the conterminous United States exhibiting systems integration costs compatible with 2030 carbon prices (median $90/t‐CO2). Results are strongly influenced by the cost of geologic sequestration, in particular storage quality (as driven by depth, permeability, etc.) and available capacity, rather than simply proximity to nearby CO2 sources. For this reason, the Southeast presents appealing BECCS readiness owing to high biomass productivity (several counties with yield >100 000 dry ton of biomass per year) interspersed with well‐explored sinks with large sequestration potential and optimal reservoir quality with permeability >500 mD. We also find that geologic storage capacity is unlikely to be a major biophysical constraint, as sink utilization in most states would likely remain below 10% at the projected rates of BECCS deployment to achieve the 2 °C target and as low as 1% in Texas, Oklahoma, and Alabama. The analysis also reveals subtle secondary outcomes; for example, to what extent different regions may be well poised to adopt different, complementary negative emissions technologies based on specific confluences of circumstances. © 2020 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Date: 2021
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