The carbon capture and storage industry has reiterated the importance of the technology in combating climate change, despite setbacks experienced for the sector in the past week.

The Kemper CCS project in the US, which had been the subject of heavy investment, was cancelled late last week, while Engie and Uniper announced they were pulling out of the Rotterdam ROAD scheme, the biggest CCS project in Europe.
Kemper CCS project
Luke Warren, chief executive of the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, told Power Engineering International, that despite the setbacks, there is plenty of room for optimism for the future of the technology, and its ability to contribute to the global fight against CO2 emissions.

“Whilst the decision to suspend work on the Kemper CCS project is obviously disappointing, it is important to emphasise that there are large-scale CCS projects already in operation – such as the Boundary Dam and Petra Nova projects. Indeed, a total of 21 CCS projects are currently in operation or construction around the world.”

With reference to more positive news on the potential for a Norwegian CCS project, which emerged on Monday, Warren added, “Countries such as Norway are pushing ahead with CCS in both power and industrial sectors, demonstrating the importance of CCS to cost-effectively decarbonising energy intensive industries, power and even heat. If we are to deliver the global well-below 2°C goal, then CCS must be a significant part of the solution”.

Annya Schneider,  Adviser – Advocacy and Communications at the Australia-headquartered Global CCS Institute was also keen to reinforce the technology’s credentials, and pointed out that the Kemper decision was not related to the CCS aspect to that project.

“We cannot speak for (Kemper owners) Southern Co but we understand that the CCS component of its operations are not responsible for the challenges it has been experiencing.”

“CCS technology remains well proven through 17 large-scale operations around the world, with 4 projects coming on stream in the next 12-18 months.”

Speaking at the Japan CCS Forum in Tokyo last week, Juho Lipponen, head of the CCS Unit at the International Energy Agency (IEA), said the new mapping to 2060 and beyond showed that 32 per cent of energy technology had to be CCS if carbon neutrality was to be achieved.

The below 2 degrees scenario from the IEA calls for 60 per cent more CO2 capture and stored by 2060, this compared with the  2°C Scenario.  Juho Lipponen added carbon pricing can provide a helpful signal but CCS deployment requires policy support and comprehensive policy packages.

“We believe business, research institutions and industry must continue to work together to identify the risks and challenges in investing in CCS.  In addition, policy parity must be reached to accelerate the deployment of CCS,” said Schneider, before also adding that the CCSA was ‘pleased’ with developments in Norway, where Statoil are participating in the evaluation the prospects of a CCS project on the Norwegian continental shelf.

“We believe such developments  will provide critical knowledge and experience in accelerating the global commercial development of CCS. This represents both business opportunities for the partners involved and an important opportunity to reduce emissions and achieve climate targets.”