Is Carbon Capture and Storage on the Verge?

From Conversable Economist:

“If carbon capture and storage was cheap and easy, it would be a technological fix for the issue of climate change. It’s not that simple, of course. But along with a range of other technologies and policies, carbon capture and storage can be part of the answer. In the Global Status of CCS 2018, the Global CCS Institute provides an overview of this technology (download requires free registration). The tone of the report is boosterish and upbeat about the technology–but it’s also full of facts and case studies and background about efforts currently underway.

Here are some main points:

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change develops scenarios for how the world economy limit carbon in the atmosphere in the next few decades, a major expansion of carbon capture and storage is baked into those forecasts. 

“In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its highly anticipated Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C (SR15), reinforcing the role carbon capture and storage technology must play in beating climate change. … Significantly for CCS, it made the point that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air. CCS was acknowledged in three of all four pathways IPCC authors used to reach 1.5°C and was singled out for its ability to: `play a major role in decarbonising the industry sector in the context of 1.5°C and 2°C pathways, especially in industries with higher process emissions, such as cement, iron and steel industries.'”

There are a number of reasonably large-scale CCS facilities in operation, but they have naturally tended to pick the approaches that are already cost-effective. The question is whether CCS will spread into a much broader array of uses. 

There are now 43 commercial large-scale global CCS facilities, 18 in operation, 5 in construction and 20 in various stages of development. … The first-of-a-kind commercial CCS facilities addressed in this report have already been in operation for years, mostly in industrial applications. They are “low hanging fruit”  in terms of deployment – natural gas processing, fertiliser, ethanol production where CO2 capture is an inherent process of productions. There is still a swathe of industrial applications crying out for CCS application. There is also a wave of new innovations such as hydrogen with CCS, direct air capture, CCS hubs and clusters that need to be deployed. …”

Continue reading here.

Posted by at 7:56 AM

Labels: Energy & Climate Change


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