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 the continued growth in energy demand highlights the need for a diverse, economy-wide approach.
This Discussion Paper provides stakeholders with a framework for developing a research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) Action Plan that will enable sustainable and substantial electricity sector CO2 emissions reductions over the coming decades. The technology development pathways and specific research activities discussed in this paper provide a basis for a detailed Action Plan to be published later this year incorporating input from participants in the 2007 EPRI Summer Seminar.
The analyses summarized in this paper address the technical feasibility for the sector to achieve large-scale CO2 emissions reductions, the technology development pathways and associated RD&D funding needed to achieve this potential, and the economic impact of realizing emissions reduction targets. Given the 20- to 30-year lead-time needed to fully research, develop, and commercially deploy technologies, it is critical for the industry to define priorities and initiate RD&D activities.