Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University

Photo credit: Gustavo Madico

July 23, 2010 - In the News

Morse quoted and PESD Working Paper featured in ClimateWire and The New York Times

Appeared in ClimateWire, The New York Times, July 21, 2010

China's lead in terms of coal use and carbon emissions has made it central to international efforts to reduce climate change. But "absent bankrupting the treasuries of several developed countries," Richard Morse, lead author on the PESD paper, said in an interview, widespread deployment of CCS technologies in China is not realistic from an economic standpoint. The energy pricing system in China, Morse said, is already strained from subsidies to the existing coal industry and development projects like new nuclear plants and advanced coal plants. Abundant, cheap energy has fueled economic growth and raised the average quality of life in China, but the subsidies to the system also create long-term challenges.

"You would need fundamental reform and restructuring of the Chinese power market before any type of serious deployment of CCS would be viable" on a scale that would have meaningful implications for global climate, said Morse.  Without a price on carbon, which few countries have been willing to implement, Morse said he remains pessimistic about CCS's possibilities.A main driver for Chinese interest in CCS technology, according to Morse and his colleagues, is the development of new technologies.

Topics: Carbon capture and storage | Climate change | Coal | Energy | China