North America’s Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has suggested that the federal government consider implementing a combination of incentives, such as loan guarantees and tax credits, in order to encourage integrated-gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plants.

The group had concluded that “no single incentive can bridge the cost gap between IGCC plants and conventional coal-based power plants” but determined that a tailored package of incentives may help overcome barriers to deployment.

Two IGCC pilot plants are currently operating in the US as demonstration projects, but once a commercial IGCC plant does come on-line, EPRI expects it to generate at around 15-20% more than conventional plants. Until this cost gap is eliminated federal incentives should encourage companies to accelerate deployment, EPRI suggested. Among the incentives considered are loan guarantees, direct federal loans, federal cost sharing grants, investment tax credits, production tax credits, tax-exempt financing, accelerated depreciation, and federal availability insurance.