Over the near future, our researchers plan to head in new directions while continuing to explore the implications of their earlier work.
The capture group will be exploring a wide range of gasification energy options for making electricity and fuels, ranking them according to their economic prospects and mitigation potential. Their goal is to catalyze megascale fossil fuel and biomass-based projects to be brought on line within the next decade. They will investigate and compare high and low intensity bioenergy production strategies. They will also investigate the potential for wind energy with compressed air storage as a competitor for coal gasification with CCS, and revisit the economics and CO2 storage implications of mitigation via all-electric cars and plug-in hybrids. And finally they will explore potential roles for synfuels in helping to provide clean cooking fuels to the 2.6 billion people worldwide currently cooking with coal and biomass.
The storage group will be using their new geochemistry module to simulate the interaction of carbonated brine with cement in a well and its impact on well integrity. As samples become available, they will also continue durability testing to see how in situ aging affects cements’ resistance to attack. The results of these well-scale studies will then be incorporated into large–scale models to assess the risk of leakage for representative field sites.
The science group will continue to quantify ocean and land carbon fluxes with improved models and new measurements, and will use lessons learned in inversion modeling studies to build a “Carbon Observing System” that tracks changes in carbon sources and sinks. The team will also use new datasets to explore the role of polar ocean stratification in glacial/interglacial CO2 changes, and continue geoengineering “truth squad” investigations of the efficacy of deep sea CO2 injection and iron fertilization.
The integration group will expand its “stabilization wedges” analysis by investigating the impacts of scale-up of individual wedges and re-assessing the likely future of CO2 emissions. In addition, the group will look for intersections in environmental and energy security arguments for carbon mitigation, and scout early opportunities for wedge deployment. On the policy side, the group will be evaluating systems for early detection of climate thresholds and continuing work on the environmental impacts of rising greenhouse gas emissions.
The following report reviews the achievements of the past 5 years and outlines our plans for the future. Having made considerable progress on our original goals, we look forward to tackling the next generation of problems.