The Senate climate deal could lead to scaling up carbon capture in heavy industries and energy after years of limited momentum and false dawns.
Send the news: It provides a long-term extension of time for projects to qualify for existing credits and expands their application and value.
- And it’s increasing subsidies for emerging “direct air capture” technology, but it’s not supposed to suck large volumes of CO2 out of the atmosphere quickly.
The big picture: New analysis of the Princeton-led REPEAT project looks at the grants combined with demonstration funding in the bipartisan infrastructure law.
- They see it becoming a “viable economic option for the highest emitting industries” such as steel and cement production, oil refineries and power generation.
- The analysis shows that carbon capture accounts for about one-sixth to one-fifth of the new bill’s total carbon reduction, Princeton’s Jesse Jenkins said via email.
- REPEAT’s model shows that the industry in the US simply won’t fly without the new bill (view the image above).
Why it matters: Capture of CO2 can complement climate-friendly energy sources such as renewable energy sources, storage and clean hydrogen.
- But high costs and other barriers have long thwarted large implementations, as the global project pipeline grows.
What they say: Ben King of the Rhodium Group, a research firm, said they also see the incentives that lead to “meaningful engagement.”
- That’s especially true for heavy industry, while the cost benefits of renewables (also helped by the bill) mean Rhodium sees few capture retrofits in the energy sector.
- King said their forthcoming analysis of carbon capture provisions generally aligns with REPEAT’s inclusion through 2030.
- From there, Rhodium sees even more growth in heavy industry, while REPEAT shows a post-2030 plateau, he said in an interview.
Yes but: Nothing is guaranteed with carbon capture, which requires transportation expansion, approval of storage sites and more. REPEAT’s research offers several caveats.
Fast overtaking: The bill has many new and expanded subsidies for renewable energy, battery storage, electric cars and much more.
- REPEAT sees it bringing the US close to President Biden’s pledge under the Paris Agreement to halve emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels.
- It would close about two-thirds of the gap between the existing policy and the target, they estimate.