Power Plant CO2 Capture Technologies – Risks and risk governance deficits – Project Overview
Electric power plants are responsible for approximately one third of global CO2 emissions. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has the potential to play a major role in reducing them, albeit at a considerable cost – if applied today to an existing power plant, the cost of electricity generation would nearly double.
Studies on risks and governance issues of CCS have focused mainly on issues related to geological storage, the dominant method proposed for disposing of captured CO2. In contrast, the purpose of IRGC’s current project was to highlight and discuss risk governance issues related to the capture of CO2. Although capture systems can be applied to a variety of industrial processes, the focus of this project was on fossil fuelled power plants.
In addition to addressing the technical aspects of power plant CO2 capture, the project focused on associated secondary risks (to health, safety and environment; economy and finance; law and regulations) and how they are addressed by current governance systems.
The aim of the project was to identify risk governance deficits and provide policy recommendations on how best to balance the risks and opportunities of this promising and increasingly debated method of limiting CO2 emissions.
A concept note, which constitutes the main output of this project, was published in 2009. It was researched and written for IRGC by Edward S. Rubin, Carnegie Mellon University.