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Comparison of Long-Term Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage to Reference Power Generation Technologies Using CO2 Avoida...

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Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) can sequester atmospheric CO2, while producing electricity. The CO2 avoidance cost (CAC) is used to calculate the marginal cost of avoided CO2 emissions for BECCS as compared to other established energy technologies. A comparative analysis using four different reference-case power plants for CAC calculations is performed here to evaluate the CO2 avoidance cost of BECCS implementation. Results from this work demonstrate that BECCS can generate electricity at costs competitive with other neutral emissions technologies, while simultaneously removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Approximately 73% of current coal power plants are approaching retirement by the year 2035 in the U.S. After considering CO2 sequestered from the atmosphere and coal power plant CO2 emissions displaced by BECCS, CO2 emissions can be reduced by 1.4 billion tonnes per year in the U.S. alone at a cost of $88 to $116 per tonne of CO2 removed from the atmosphere, for 10% to 90% of available biomass used, respectively. CAC calculations in this paper indicate that BECCS can help the U.S. and other countries transition to a decarbonized electricity grid, as simulations presented in this paper predict that BECCS power plants operate at lower CACs than coal plants with CCS.