CCS "at a crossroads" in Europe says the European Commission

2013-01-18 10:51 by Anja Reitz

In brief, the present document provides a very open and honest assessment by the Commission of the need for emission reductions to decarbonise the European economy, looks at recent progress on CCS in Europe and its present status, and then looks at possible ways to reinvigorate the activities. These activities are currently achieving less than had been hoped and expected only two or three years ago.

CCS has had a number of setbacks in recent months, not least the failure to get the money raised by selling off 200 million carbon allowances from the so-called 'New Entrant Reserve' programme (NER300) allocated to fund a single proposed CCS demonstration project. There will be a second round of the funding when the remaining 100 million allowances will be sold off. This is expected to be launched in the first half of 2013. The failure from the first round, at least from the point of view of the fossil-fuel sector, will put an even greater pressure on the Commission to make a success of the second round. The importance of a successful second round to the demonstration of CCS must not be underestimated.

The document openly acknowledges that the target of "up to twelve" CCS demonstration projects by 2015 is no longer realistic. A major factor has been the very low carbon price which has undermined the business case for future deployment of CCS and increased the levels of public funding that would be required to cover the operating costs of the planned demonstration projects. Unfortunately, as the document notes, EU Member States have not been forthcoming with much, if any funding. The Commission points out that CCS will "only go ahead in those Member States where sufficient public and private funds can be secured". Concerning the private funds, the Commission's view is that both utilities using fossil fuels and the companies supplying the fuels "have a strong interest in the successful development of CCS for their future economic prospects".

Because the likely number of CCS demonstration projects in Europe will be less than expected, there will be a need for greater international co-operation and knowledge sharing around demonstration projects. In this context, the Commission points to its membership of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) and its role in the Global CCS Institute.

Source: Global CCS Institute Blog, 16 Jan 2013 | Derek Taylor


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