A leading advocate of carbon capture and storage says that a milestone reached in the US this week is nowhere near sufficient to what is needed for the technology to be deemed a success.Dr David Reiner

Dr David Reiner, a Cambridge University Senior Lecturer in Technology Policy who has advised government, industry and non-governmental organisations on energy and environmental policy, was responding to the announcement from the US Department of Energy (DOE) of the safe capture and storage of 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

Reiner, whose expertise has a particular emphasis on the politics of climate change and the social acceptability of carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies told Power Engineering International, “The cumulative storage of 10 million tonnes is minuscule relative to the need.”

Taking aim at US Energy Secretary’s Ernest Moniz’s enthusiastic statements on the achievement, he told PEi, “At MIT, Secretary Moniz led an important study on the Future of Coal, which concluded: 

“At present government and private sector programs to implement on a timely basis the required large-scale integrated demonstrations to confirm the suitability of carbon sequestration are completely inadequate… Thus, we believe high priority should be given to a program that will demonstrate CO2 sequestration at a scale of 1 million tonnes CO2 per year in several geologies.”
Ernest Moniz
I believe that these conclusions still hold and that the current level of effort remains inadequate.”

Energy Secretary Moniz had been effusive in his praise of the technology on reaching the milestone last week, saying “the US is taking the lead in showing the world CCS can work. We have made the largest government investment in carbon capture and storage of any nation and these investments are being matched by private capital.”

The EU have included CCS as a key technology in its recent Energy Union launch, while in the UK, the country’s pioneering Peterhead CCS project is moving closer to fruition.

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