CCS technology, while widely available, is still an orphan among climate change solutions. There is little federal or state funding allocated to developing CCS relative to the sums being invested in renewables and nuclear power. More money needs to be invested in CCS if the climate change problem will ever be solved.
Existing CCS policies focus on incentives, regulations, and programs that commercialize greater numbers of CCS projects. But these policies are not sufficient to reach a mature CCS industry. Needed policies would provide greater levels of mandates and incentives.
The CCS industry will grow through three phases:
- A pioneer phase consisting of demonstration projects that eliminate technical uncertainty and that explore potentially all optimally economic technologies. A substantial — but insufficient - group of "pioneer" projects are moving forward around the globe.
- A cost reduction phase of perhaps 100 GW globally that drives costs down through "learning by doing" and scale. Given projected growth in global power systems for the next several decades, most of this phase will likely occur in China, India and South Asia.
- A mature industry phase characterized by CCS deployment in 2050 that reduces carbon dioxide releases to levels needed to reach atmospheric CO2 concentration targets.
Policies must be developed to overcome barriers in each phase.