IEA release CCS roadmap

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released its Technology Roadmap: Carbon Capture and Storage with the aim of "assisting governments and industry in integrating CCS in their emissions reduction strategies and in creating the conditions for scaled-up deployment of all three components of the CCS chain: CO2 capture, transport and storage."

"As long as fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industries play dominant roles in our economies, CCS will remain a critical greenhouse gas reduction solution," say the IEA in its overview of the roadmap. "To get us onto the right pathway, this roadmap highlights seven key actions needed in the next seven years to create a solid foundation for deployment of CCS starting by 2020."

According to the IEA, CCS is a vital part of any lowest-cost mitigation scenario, particularly when temperature increase is limited to significantly less that 4°C. For example, to limit temperature rise to 2°C, the carbon capture rates must grow from the tens of megatonnes on CO2 captured in 2013 in thousands of megatonnes in 2050: "A total cumulative mass of approximately 120 billion t of CO2 would need to be captured and stored between 2015 and 2050, across all regions of the globe."

Seven key actions for the next seven years

The IEA argues that the next seven years are critical to the accelerated development of CCS and offers seven key actions it sees as necessary up to 2020 to lay the foundation for scaled-up CCS deployment;

  • Introduce financial support mechanisms for demonstration and early deployment of CCS to drive private financing of projects.
  • Implement policies that encourage storage exploration, characterisation and development for CCS projects.
  • Develop national laws and regulations as well as provisions for multilateral finance that effectively require new-build, baseload, fossil-fuel power generation capacity to be CCS-ready.
  • Prove capture systems at pilot scale in industrial applications where CO2 capture has not yet been demonstrated.
  • Significantly increase efforts to improve understanding among the public and stakeholders of CCS technology and the importance of its deployment.
  • Reduce the cost of electricity from power plants equipped with capture through continued technology development and use of highest possible efficiency power generation cycles.
  • Encourage efficient development of CO2 transport infrastructure by anticipating locations of future demand centres and future volumes of CO2.

A critical part of the climate solution

Commenting on the release of the roadmap, Milton Caitlin, CEO of the World Coal Association welcomed the IEA's findings: “The IEA is right to highlight the importance of CCS in meeting the climate challenge. By 2050, CCS is set to contribute 17% of total emissions reductions required to keep global temperatures below 2°C. Without CCS, action to address climate change will be 40% more expensive. The IEA has shown that CCS is a critical part of the climate solution.”

Written by Jonathan Rowland.

Published on 04/07/2013

World Coal

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Dr Rex Gaisford CBE on 03/08/2013

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• Is our climate is changing and the world’s weather is becoming more energetic? • Is the concentration of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere rising? • Is there a connection? There are alternative scenarios: • Is there currently a pause in the warming of the planet? • Is the behaviour of the sun and minute changes in the orbit of the Earth to blame? None of these alternatives discount the greenhouse gas hypothesis. If the deteriorating climate trend resumes and/or the secondary climatic effects continue, the potential outcome could be catastrophic. We can’t change the behaviour of the sun or the orbit of the earth around it. We can seek to influence the greenhouse gas effect by seriously limiting carbon dioxide emissions. • If it turns out that there is no causal link, the world will have embarked on a huge waste of money (or created a huge Keynesian boost to the world economy). • If we continue to argue over the perceived connection between CO2 emissions and climate deterioration and do nothing, we will save that huge expenditure. • If we do nothing and it turns out that there is a connection, the world will get to the point where civilization as we know it is no longer sustainable. We all die. The important impact from spending money to limit carbon emissions is not the absolute cost of doing so and it could even result in that Keynesian boost to the world economy. This is only true if the entire world acts in unison. If the world acts to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the cost is spread evenly across the abatement spectrum of the entire world, the overall effect in terms of economic competitiveness could be minimal. There will be a rebalancing of the world economy similar to that which occurred after the oil shocks of 1970’s. What will change will be the secondary economic effects such as the relative usage of energy in each economy, the level of participation in the supply of plant and equipment, the local responses to relatively high energy cost in each local economy. Last time, the world recovered. The difficulty arises this time when one economic segment of the world elects to add the huge cost of carbon abatement to its own economy whilst others do not. Fear of this outcome completely stifles any action until agreement is reached on concerted world action. Kyoto et al were attempts to achieve world consensus and were still born. Despite lots of worthy effort, almost no useful action has occurred on the ground and the world CO2 output graph continues to rise. • There are none so deaf as those who will not hear nor none so blind as those who will not see This solution is the only one available to us, it might be a mirage but we wait at our peril. Surely the world deserves concrete action from its bickering politicians with real and significant investment in our collective survival now. Dr Rex Gaisford CBE

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