The priorities in the report are said to be increased research spending, as well as removing red tape for new CO2 pipelines.
The state’s Energy Office also released a study on October 15, called Opportunities for Low-Carbon Hydrogen in Colorado: A Roadmap, which focused on hydrogen’s future role in achieving the state’s emissions goals.
Carbon Sequestration Role
Colorado’s greenhouse emission reductions are enshrined in state law and include cuts of 26% by 2025, and 50% by 2030 (using 2005 emissions of 140 millions tons of CO2 as a benchmark).
Carbon sequestration’s role in achieving these goals is vital if federal funds are to be accessed to ease the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables.
A large number of coal and gas power plants each contribute 1 million tons with the Xcel Energy’s Comanche plant in Pueblo being the worst culprit with 4.5 million tons.
Xcel recently signed an agreement to close the plant before 2035.
U.S. Geological Survey studies dating back to 2007 confirm that federal research exists on the potential for carbon sequestration in the northwest and southeast of the state. The Denver basin has also been mentioned and it seems most of these locations coincide with those used by the oil and gas industry.
Colorado’s energy transition – who’s paying the bill?
Colorado and other states can now tap into a large pot of financial aid from President Biden’s newly enacted federal infrastructure bill.
A total of $12 billion are earmarked for states to use for carbon capture, pipelines and storage development.
Another source of funds is the 45Q federal tax program. Right now 26 facilities in Colorado qualify tax credits from 45Q. 18 of those plants have been confirmed as economically viable options for carbon capture with a total capacity to capture 10 million tons of CO2 each year.
There are also reports of the Southern Ute Tribe working with an energy developer called 8 Rivers who are exploring the development of a natural gas plant on the tribe’s reservation around Ignacio.
With business and government seemingly pulling in the same direction, Colorado could become a carbon capture and sequestration leader in the coming years.
And the report from the Colorado Energy Office could become the first step in a race that ends with the state taking advantage of the renewable energy cycle that will likely dominate the coming decades.