The United States relies on coal to provide more than 50 percent of the country’s electricity needs, and this percentage is projected to increase by 2030. However, current and future environmental constraints make it likely that coal-fired electricity must emit fewer CO2 emissions to remain viable. Carbon capture and geologic sequestration/storage (CCS) offers one potential option for continuing the use of coal, while addressing emissions concerns. States are undertaking studies on CCS to address unresolved technical issues like the legal uncertainty around the cost and ownership of CO2 separation and transport or clarification of the rights and responsibilities of public and private stakeholders involved in CCS projects.
To help states examine the prospects for CCS, the NGA Center provides research and technical assistance on the legal, financial and policy questions facing states such as:
- Deploying CCS technologies through the electric grid;
- Reviewing capacity site characterization/regional inventories and property rights issues;
- Understanding the value, distribution and use of carbon credits; and
- Exploring ways to overcome technical barriers to retrofit existing plants like post-combustion scrubbing.
The NGA Center also tracks policy developments surrounding advanced coal and CCS as part of a biennial report on clean energy actions.