An economic and environmental assessment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) power plants: a case study for the City of Kiel

In the not too distant future several power plants throughout Europe will have to be replaced and the decision has to be made whether to build coal-fired power plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS). In a study for the city of Kiel in northern Germany only an 800 MW coal power plant reaches a required minimum for rentability. This study looks at an additional economic and environmental evaluation of a coal plant with CCS. We find that in two out of three carbon and energy price scenarios integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plants with CCS have the greatest rentability. Pulverised coal (PC) plants with CCS can only compete with other options under very favourable assumptions. Life-cycle emissions from CCS are less than 70% of a coal plant – compared with at least more than 80% when only considering direct emissions from plants. However, life-cycle emissions are lower than in any other assessed option.