The point is increasingly well made by numerous sources: once you add carbon sequestration, coal is no longer an economically attractive option. In Indiana, a 630 megawatt coal plant is being built for $2 billion. That’s $3,174 per kilowatt. If we expect investors to seek a an 11% return on investment over a 20 year span, the capital cost of the plant is about 5.7 cents per kilowatt hour. On top of that, you need to pay for transmission, fuel, staff, and maintenance. On average, electricity in Indiana sells for about 6.79 cents per kilowatt hour.
The nominal price of the plant and the power it generates also doesn’t consider other coal externalities: like how mining it is dangerous and environmentally destructive. While this plant uses Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle technology and is capable of being attached to carbon sequestration infrastructure, it will not actually sequester the carbon it emits. As such, it will be only incrementally better than a standard coal plant with the same electrical output.
The only possible justification for this is that this is a demonstration plant that will help to make the technology much cheaper. Of course, when it is considered in that way, it seems at least equally sensible to spend $2 billion on experimental renewable power plants, in hopes of reducing their capital costs. The more you think about it, the more it seems like coal is densely packed carbon that is conveniently already in the ground. It should probably remain there.