The Irish government and the authorities in Northern Ireland sought to better understand the potential for carbon capture and storage (CCS) to play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades.
Byrne Ó Cléirigh participated in a multi-disciplinary study to assess the techno-economic potential for CCS on the island of Ireland. The study examined the likely capital and operating costs of CCS projects for several putative power station development scenarios (coal and gas), including:
- A new 900 MW coal-fired plant at Moneypoint in Co. Clare.
- A new 570 MW coal-fired plant at Kilroot in Co. Antrim.
- A project combining CO2 from a new 900 MW Moneypoint coal-fired project with CO2 captured from existing gas-fired power stations in the Cork Harbour area.
The Kinsale Head geologic structures were identified as being the most promising potential storage site for CO2 from Moneypoint and plants in Cork Harbour. Geological structures in the Portpatrick Basin and central Irish Sea were identified as the possible storage locations for a Kilroot-based CCS project.
The indicative capital cost for a coal-based power plant at Moneypoint and associated CCS infrastructure (based on storage at Kinsale Head) was estimated to be €2.7 billion, while the levelised cost of electricity was estimated to be €88/MWh.
Unfortunately, the study highlighted a paucity of the geologic data needed to assess the structures’ suitability for long-term CO2 storage, and concluded that extensive geologic research into these structures would be required to determine whether a CCS project would be technically viable from the geologic storage standpoint.
As well as Byrne Ó Cléirigh, the project team included SLR, the British Geological Survey and CO2CRC. Our role included the identification of large point-sources of CO2 emissions and the quantification of emission levels from these sources out to 2025. The final report Assessment of the potential for geological storage of carbon dioxide for the island of Ireland is available here.