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XVIII Carbon Storage Costs

Costs Summary

The cost of building carbon storage infrastructure.

Technology costs

Costs Methodology

Methodology used

The user defines the amount of carbon captured through their choices on CCS power plants (I.b Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) Costs) and Industry emissions intensity (XI.a Industrial processes Costs). We then take the cost of storage as a function of MtCO2 captured under the chosen scenario in the year it is captured.

Please see 2050 Methodology for a full description of the costs approach in the Calculator.

Methodology issues and uncertainty

  • Investment ahead of time - One concern is that investments for carbon storage would have to take place several years ahead of time i.e. before carbon actually flows through pipes. Also, through using a cost as a function of MtCO2 we may be artifically flattening investment cost profiles and misrepresenting the timings of investment.
  • Pipelines and Geographical location - The costs currently used are a function of CO2 and therefore we have assumed include both storage and transport costs, however this may be based on a series of assumptions on geographical location. ESME splits the costs of CO2 storage as follows:
  1. Geological storage = £7m/MtCO2
  2. Pipeline transport = £0.12m/MtCO2/year/km
  • The 2050 Calculator currently does not make assumptions on geographical location of energy infrastructure, which it would be necessary to know in order to split out the costs of both transmission and storage of CO2. Assumptions on the location of industry with Carbon Capture, as well as power, would need to be estimated.

Technical assumptions

The costs are not assumed to vary with the amount of CO2 stored. For information the model reports amount stored 2010-2050 compared with the available storage capacity [1]:

Type Low capacity (GtCO2) High capacity (GtCO2)
Oil & Gas fields 7.4 9.9
Triassic Bunter Sandstone Formation in the North Sea 1.7 16.7
Ten large aquifers offshore Scotland 4.6 46

Questions to Stakeholders

  • We have implemented costs as a function of CO2 captured. Should we split costs out into transmission and cost of storage sites or would this require too many uncertain assumptions on the size of the transmission network and geographical location of carbon capture?
  • Should we include decommissioning costs or are they immaterial and/or captured within storage costs?

General comments