Strategic Carbon Dioxide Infrastructure to Achieve a Low-CarbonPower Sector in the Midwestern and South-Central United States

Publication Year


Journal Article
Large-scale carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) requires development of critical infrastructure to connect capture locations to geological storage sites. Here, we investigate what government policies would be required to make the development of CO2 pipelines and large-scale CCUS in the power sector economically viable. We focus on the transition from conventional coal to non-CO2-emitting natural gas-fired Allam-cycle power with CCUS and study a system in which 156 Allam-cycle power generators representing 100 GW of capacity send their captured CO2 emissions to three geological storage locations in the central United States through 7500 miles of new pipeline. Enabling policies for this system include low-interest government loans of approximately $20 billion for pipeline construction and an extended 20-year Section 45Q tax credit, or similar longer-term carbon price incentive. Additional policy support will be needed to enable initial construction of pipelines and early mover power generators, such as cost-sharing, governments assuming future demand risk, or increased subsidies to early movers. The proposed system will provide reliable, dispatchable, flexible zero-emission power generation, complementing the intermittent generation by renewables in a decarbonized U.S. power sector. The proposed pipeline network could also connect into future regional infrastructure networks and facilitate large-scale carbon management.
Environmental Science & Technology