Benchmarking costs for a clean fuel competition

In addition to land size, carbon sequestration is likely to feature in the environmental impact assessment: a negative carbon footprint would be advantageous (but not necessary). However, there’s sometimes a price to pay in other aspects, and so sometimes the evaluator has to set relative priorities, or weightings for each impact.

Regarding Nitrogen based fuels, I share the concern @rayw highlighted regarding ammonia’s hazardous properties. [Accidents do happen.]

In my opinion, $417/ton is not likely to happen. There will be open revolt. The important number will be the marginal cost of doing something else. Thus, if CCS costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 - $$80/ton, then a clean fuel will have to cost less than or equal to that. Why would somebody pay $400/ton if they could do CCS for $80/ton? Carbon capture has been in operation since the late 80s at the 30 Mw level. Storage has been going on since CO2 EOR has been practiced in the 80s as well. It would seem to me that this figure is much more likely to be realistic than $400/ton.

Thank you @carlbozzuto, you raise very important points and indeed, it’s challenging to determine what would be the fair comparison when considering competitive price vs. sustainability. Just to make sure I fully understand your recommendation – Do you suggest going ahead with a fully considered price instead of tipping point price? and secondly, making this price more cost-competitive by including only the cost of carbon capture (instead of carbon impact as suggested in the full calculation and carbon tax schemes)? Many thanks.

I would suggest that you use something like the current cost of CCS, or current carbon credits. Already, the Gates Foundation is working with a company in Iceland that is estimating $25/ton CO2 for their capture process. Using a high number will make it look like a process is economically feasible, when it is not. Also, consider a realistic discount rate for future costs and benefits. A discount rate of 2 or 3% is not realistic. Even 7% is low by most economic standards.