North Sea CCS needs a carrot, a stick and a “strategic vision”

Governments around the North Sea need to “develop a shared CO2 storage infrastructure” if Europe is to meet is climate change targets and achieve a low carbon economy. That’s according […]

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Governments around the North Sea need to “develop a shared CO2 storage infrastructure” if Europe is to meet is climate change targets and achieve a low carbon economy.

That’s according to a report released by Scottish Carbon Capture Storage (SCCS) to coincide with a meeting of European Parliament’s Environment Committee in Brussels this week to coincide with a parliamentary debate on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) policy.

The report says CCS is the only solution to greenhouse gas emissions for a number of industrial sectors such as cement, chemicals and iron and steel.

It sets out a five-year roadmap for creating the “many gigatonnes of CO2 storage capacity needed by Europe’s power and industry sectors” and makes a number of recommendations for EU policy makers.

At the top of the list is creating a “strategic vision” for CCS by setting targets in the 2030 framework, which should “place CCS equally alongside actions to support renewable power generation and energy efficiency.”

It also calls for investment in CCS to be incentivised using both the ‘carrot’ and ‘stick’, adding “CCS cannot be solely supported by the weak investment signal from the EU’s Emissions Trading System.”

The report says countries bordering the North Sea need to focus on developing “six pre-commercial operational CO2 storage sites” and prove the availability of at least one to two gigatonnes of “bankable storage capacity” in order to demonstrate the viability of the North Sea for CO2 storage.

Professor Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director said: “The deployment of CCS on industrial CO2 sources and power generation is essential if Europe is to meet its long-term climate change objectives, retain jobs and improve low-carbon competitiveness. But CCS is impossible without the availability of CO2 storage. The recommendations set out in our report identify how Europe can unlock the North Sea as a shared CO2 storage resource.”

An Energy and Climate Change Committee was recently told DECC needs to stop treating CCS as ‘an option’.