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2007-08 Seminars


The Power to Reduce CO2 Emissions: The Full Portfolio

Revis James
EPRI

Abstract
The large-scale CO2 reductions envisioned to stabilize, and ultimately reverse, global atmospheric CO2 concentrations present major technical, economic, regulatory and policy challenges. Reconciling these challenges with continued growth in energy demand highlights the need for a diverse, economy-wide approach.
EPRI conducted a three-part analysis to assess the technical feasibility of substantial CO2 emissions reductions from the U.S. electricity sector; to identify technology development pathways and associated research, development and demonstration (RD&D) funding needed to achieve this potential; and to evaluate the economic impact of realizing emissions reduction targets. Three major conclusions emerge in this study:
• The electric sector should focus on a technology-based strategy for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. A technology-based strategy is sustainable, minimizes costs to the U.S. economy, and creates opportunities for other industries and the transportation sectors to reduce emissions through increased electrification.
• A diverse portfolio of advanced technologies will be required. No single technological “silver bullet” will suffice. Rather, a full portfolio is needed that includes efficiency, renewable energy resources, nuclear, coal with carbon capture and sequestration, and other technologies enabled by expanded and enhanced transmission and distribution system capabilities.
• Significant RD&D will be needed over a sustained period, and technology development lead times demand immediate action. Timely, sustained investment in public and private RD&D could lower the cost of emissions reductions on the order of $1 trillion, and significantly reduce increases in wholesale electricity costs.

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