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Monday, November 10, 2014

The global status of CCS

The Global CCS Institute has released its annual report on the state of CCS technology – technology that’s essential to avoiding catastrophic global climate disruption. Its central message is that CCS is no longer experimental, and it’s time to move to large-scale deployment “as part of a least-cost approach to climate change mitigation.”

The Global Status of CCS 2014 finds that there are: 
22 large-scale CCS projects in operation or construction around the world – double the number at the beginning of the decade.
There are a further 14 large-scale CCS projects in advanced planning, including nine in the power sector, many of which are anticipated to be in a position to make a final investment decision during 2015.
The report points out that now enhanced oil recovery is the main driver of CCS projects because of daunting economics, but the majority of CO2 will eventually have to be stored in dedicated geologic reservoirs.  Further, CO2 transportation infrastructure that will need to be built in the coming 30-40 years is "roughly 100 times larger than currently exists." These are two issues that, in my view, the Pennsylvania CCS model and its goal of carbon management networks could help address.

The report makes five key recommendations for moving CCS into large-scale global deployment: 
  • Financial and policy support for research, development, and demonstration of CCS technologies, and for full-scale CCS projects
  • Strong emission reduction policies that encourage CCS
  • Funding for exploration of storage capacity
  • Assistance to developing countries to deploy CCS and incentivizing the development of CCS technology development in carbon-intensive industries like cement, iron and steel and chemicals
It's past time for the world to commit to CCS technology as part of the toolkit of technologiespolicies, and approaches that can avoid the grim results of history's largest uncontrolled chemistry experiment.

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