EFI Policy Paper: How the 45Q Credit May Spur Carbon Capture Innovation

WASHINGTON (May 23, 2018) -- The Energy Futures Initiative (EFI), the nonprofit think tank established by former Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz, today released a report on how the expansion of the 45Q tax credit can potentially encourage the use and development of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. The report offers recommendations on what policymakers must still do to maximize innovation in carbon capture in the ongoing effort to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and build a low-carbon energy economy.               

The 45Q tax credit, part of the Bipartisan Budget Act passed in February, was supported by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in Congress. In the Senate, the bill was sponsored by Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). In the House, Congressman Mike Conaway, Republican of the 11th Congressional District in Texas, led a coalition of 44 members from both parties backing to tax credit.

                ``The new tax provisions, while important and generous, are just a start,’’ said Dr. S. Julio Friedmann, an expert on carbon capture technologies who was the lead author of the EFI report. ``Our report identifies gaps that may limit deployment, and discusses the comprehensive measures that could maximize opportunity, which includes encouraging more robust investment and innovation.’’

Among the report’s findings:

  • The 45Q tax provisions represent a major policy action to reduce CO2 emissions from power and industrial sources.
  • The EFI report predicts that the fastest and largest uptake will be at industrial facilities with pure CO2 sources, like ethanol plants, refineries, and ammonia producers.
  • That there is still a need for a more comprehensive set of new policies to achieve broader deployment of CCUS in the US, especially in the power sector.
  • Overall, the extension of 45Q will spur CCS deployment that in turn will help communities, create jobs, stimulate investment and help maintain US competitiveness and innovation.

Editor’s Note: In the section ``Regulation and Permitting’’ on page 19, a passage of text regarding monitoring, reporting and verification requirements was transposed. The text was corrected on May 23 and the report was reposted, with footnote 73 noting the change.  

Download the full report