Table 2.

The financial costs of powering air capture in dollars per tonne of CO2 avoided as a function of the second-law efficiency as well as the source of work (25)

Plant typeTotal levelized cost, $/MWh (30)CO2 intensity, t/MWhElectricity produced per CO2 emitted, kJ/moleCosts of the work required for air capture, $/(tCO2 avoided)
η = 0.05η = 0.02
Conventional coal951158N/A*N/A*
IGCC with CCS1230.2792666N/A*
Natural gas-fired
 Conventional combined cycle840.4396N/A*N/A*
 Advanced combined cycle800.4396N/A*N/A*
 Advanced CC with CCS1160.081,9803811,571
Advanced nuclear1100CO2-free286715
Wind1420CO2-free369 923
Wind—offshore2300CO2-free598 1,495
Solar PV3960CO2-free1,030 2,574
Solar thermal2640CO2-free6861,716

Note, these costs do not include capital costs. IGCC, Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle; PV, photovoltaic.

  • *N/A, using these energy sources to power air capture will emit more CO2 than captured, making air capture infeasible.