New rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon emissions on new coal-fired plants hinge on promising—yet ultimately unproven—technology that may come with a hefty price tag.
While not without its benefits, the shift to carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology comes with major question marks. Given its limited track record and the lack of a developed infrastructure, CCS hardware may prove costly to both consumers and companies—and at a minimum requires a major boost of public investment, experts say.
CCS technology has been part of the climate change debate for years. Designed to limit the CO2 output of power plants that generate power, the system has failed to gain wide acceptance among big power generators for several reasons—most of them associated with its proposed costs. One proposed project in Kemper County, Miss., was originally slated to cost $2.4 billion, but is now estimated to cost nearly $5 billion.