Two other power plants in North America — one in Saskatchewan and one in Texas — are recapturing CO2 emissions through a different process, from smokestack emissions, said Jeff Erikson, Americas general manager for the Global CCS Institute. With the United States moving away from building coal-fired power plants, the prospect of new carbon capture projects in that field is dim, Erikson said.
There’s more hope for the technology in the industry overseas and in other industries, he said. A steel plant in the United Arab Emirates has begun capturing about 800,000 tons of CO2 a year from its stacks. And while Kemper has struggled, China and India are still planning new coal-fueled power plants that could incorporate CCS more easily in construction than tacking the process onto an existing plant.
“What that does is create an opportunity for American companies, as they get experience with both the capture and storage processes, to export that overseas,” said Erikson, whose organization promotes carbon capture R&D. And cutting federal support for those projects would be unwise and isn’t likely to make it through Congress.