Carbon Capture and Storage : Major uncertainties prevailing in theFutureGen project

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Abstract:

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an old technology matrix with new concept to mitigate climate change while utilizing fossil fuels by advancing the technology. The various level of advancement in technology has been successfully demonstrated in some part of the world. However the technology has inherent uncertainty of not having commercial CCS plant. Efforts to make CCS commercially viable unfold uncertainties in numerous aspects of CCS technology. Beside the uncertainties in technology many barriers restrain CCS to become a successful climate mitigation technology. However the growing energy demand and urgent need to mitigate climate change through emission reduction favours CSS as transition to clean energy production. FutureGen 2.0 is the only large commercial scale CCS project, initiated in 2003 to test the commercial viability of the technology and to meet the U.S energy demands besides emission reductions target. The project resurrection in 2010 as FutureGen 2.0 after FutureGen termination in 2008 provides an opportunity to understand and analyse numerous uncertainties. However through document analysis only major three uncertainties i.e. policy and regulatory, economic and financial and public acceptance uncertainties are identified and analysed. The interlinkages between these uncertainties are also analysed. The study results show that above uncertainties constrained the project engendering new uncertainties i.e. timeframe uncertainties. This study also provides an insight about the sustainability implication of CCS by evaluating economic, environmental and social impact of CCS technology. It is still early to term the CCS as Sustainable technological innovation however for many years CCS would upset and restrain investment in other clean energy technologies like Renewable technology system. This study gives an input in sustainability of CCS and technological assessment study. This study is helpful in managing uncertainties and planning new CCS projects. 

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