Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage (SCCS), an independent research partnership of Heriot-Watt University, British Geological Survey, University of Aberdeen and the University of Edinburgh, has advised that the European Union must identify and propose quantifiable milestones for carbon capture and storage (CCS) as part of the new 2030 climate and energy framework.
The SCCS policy briefing follows the publication of the Global CCS Institute’s 2014 review of CCS progress worldwide, which concluded that Europe is ‘lagging behind’ progress on CCS being made in the USA, Canada and China. The GCCSI also highlighted that industrial CCS projects are under construction in Australia (for natural gas processing) and the United Arab Emirates (for steel production).
The European Commission’s recent proposals for 2030 recognised that CCS is required in order to cost-effectively decarbonise Europe’s industrial and power sectors.
However, it failed to include specific policy incentives or any indication of the level of CCS deployment required by 2030 as a means to achieving reductions of CO2 emissions of 80-95% by 2050.
Professor Stuart Haszeldine, SCCS Director, said:
“Europe has gone from a leader to a laggard on CCS in the space of seven years. Other countries are moving ahead with projects while Europe’s early good intentions haven’t been backed by policies and incentives that can actually deliver in the real world.
“Our analysis continues to find that the CO2 storage opportunity in the North Sea presents the ideal starting point for a more strategic European approach. By combining investments in CO2 infrastructure and low-cost, high-value CO2 capture, we can rapidly accelerate progress. But without EU-level policies and incentives there is no financial case for investment. The EU must address this yawning gap during 2014 or risk making its 2030 framework irrelevant”.