Carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies are crucial for achieving long-term climate change goals in China. Drawing on the 45Q tax credit provisions enacted by the U.S., three subsidy modes, two scenarios and two carbon emission reduction options are developed in this study, in which the real options approach combined with a trinomial tree model is employed to evaluate investment decisions made by coal-fired power plants (CFPP) in China. The results show that offering a 12-year CO2 storage subsidy to full-chain CCUS CFPP provides the motivation needed for CCUS investment during the 12-year subsidy period; however the economic benefits of such investment cannot be sustained over the 40-year lifetime. It’s economically viable for CFPP to capture 90% CO2 emissions and sell them to oil enterprises for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) over a 40-year period. Besides, for full-chain CCUS CFPP the incentive effects of the 45Q subsidy mode and the full initial investment plus operation and maintenance (I + O&M) subsidy mode are much more suited to the 40-year emission reduction option, whereas the simple O&M subsidy mode is more suitable for the 12-year emission reduction option. However, for CO2-EOR projects, there is no significant difference between the three subsidy modes.