It's fascinating that the model assumes combustion with carbon-capture will be cheaper than the other advanced technologies, or even some of the conventional ones like geothermal. And also that offshore wind is such a small part of the California scenarios.

Have there been some successful natural gas + CCS projects that I've missed? How much of a cost premium are they projecting for CCS for natural gas, do you know?

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Fantastic article. I'm with Dave: Don't lose focus on the 80% decarbonization by 2030. Doing so is just too high an opportunity cost.

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Great food for thought. A few thoughts of mine:

As far as putting clean/renewables on dirty grids. Right now some of the dirtiest grids are being legislated to stay that way (MT, WY, Dakotas...), or renewable power is being wheeled away while dirty baseload plants chug on.

I downloaded the report and the costs shown for CCS and zero-carbon fuel with gas CC seem to greatly favor "zero carbon" but maybe I'm missing something. The variable O&M seems to not include fuel and I see NG cost/MMBtu, but I can't find the ZCF cost/MMBTU.

In either case, the level of tax credits for CCS seems to be a significant driver. Also, as utilization rates drop for "firm" (can we call it "backup") clean, some of the annualized costs may increase the $/MT of injection and $/MMBTU from NETL. I bet NETL had fairly high utilization. I.e. For gas or injection contracts, there will probably be a high capacity charge, and if the utilization is very low, that capacity charge is spread over less fuel used or CO2 injected.

I agree too much focus is on the perfect final pure future, as opposed to deploying like crazy 'til we get near those saturation levels. But also sometimes buying remote RECs does seem like cheating, and the companies getting them should not be allowed to say "100% renewable." These companies could afford more, and are actually getting cheap renewables simply because they aren't really 100% 24/7 or anywhere close. Maybe "remote net zero" or...?

Great series!

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Steve Beck M.S. After reading this article, I cringe every time nuclear is mentioned. However, I am a strong proponent of Solar and Wind power. Because I have an M.S. Physics degree, I am able to calculate how much Solar would be needed to power the whole United States for one year. The 2019 total energy usage (end use) of the U.S. was 3,955exp9 kWh of electricity. I have calculated that a square of dimensions 62.3 miles by 62.3 miles of current efficiency solar modules would power the entire country's electrical energy usage per year.

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