Two of the world’s first coal-fired power plants with integrated carbon capture are nearing completion in Saskatchewan and Mississippi, providing a rare lift for a technology that has languished in recent years.
Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) remains expensive, but the cost of stabilizing the climate could be much higher without it, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (see “The Cost of Limiting Climate Change Could Double without Carbon Capture Technology”). In a report last month, the IPCC noted that CCS is the only way to cut the carbon emissions of existing power plants, and that CCS-equipped power plants burning biomass could help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The IPCC says both strategies may be essential to limit global warming.
A 110-megawatt plant in Saskatchewan, a refurbished coal-fired generator, is set to restart in a matter of weeks with carbon capture added, according to Robert Watson, CEO for provincial power utility SaskPower.