Electricity Costs and Carbon Implications for CO2-to-Fuels in Selected Locations in 2030

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


With the growing interest in converting carbon dioxide (CO2) to fuels and products to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and extend carbon from biogenic and other sources, the development of carbon capture and utilization (CO2U) technologies and industry is crucial. The Markets, Resources, and Environmental and Energy Justice of CO2-to-Fuels Technologies (short title: MarkeRs & EEJ) project supports this goal by assessing the resource and market potential and infrastructure requirements for mid-term (-2030) and long-term (-2050) deployment of CO2U technologies. The overall project analyzes CO2U economic and resource requirements as well as sustainability and environmental and energy justice (EEJ) metrics. This report focuses on short-term (-2030) aspects of the project. It identifies three CO2U locations in the Midwestern United States and quantifies the costs for potential electricity resources and marginal emissions for each site in the near term (e.g., 2030). We focus on four electricity purchase options, including retail rate, physical power purchase agreement (PPA), financial PPA, and real-time pricing (RTP), for each of the three sites and consider potential policies such as production tax credits (PTCs). We also assess time-dependent hourly marginal electricity costs and the marginal emission rates using modeled scenarios from Cambium (Gagnon et al. 2021).The results of the analysis are expected to inform other projects within the U.S. Department of Energy's CO2-to-Fuels Consortium, especially the Economics and Sustainability of CO2 Utilization Technologies with Techno-Economic Analysis and Life Cycle Analysis (TEA/LCA) project, led by Michael Wang of Argonne National Laboratory and Ling Tao of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The project results are also expected to inform the investment and technology communities and policymakers at the U.S. Department of Energy, state, and regional levels and guide investment by government and industry in research and development portfolios.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages39
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-82573


  • biotechnology
  • carbon emission
  • carbon intensity
  • carbon utilization
  • electricity
  • grid
  • marginal emission rate
  • power purchase agreement
  • retail electricity


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