LETTER TO EDITOR: Carbon-capture is essential for our low-carbon future

Sir,

In response to the article (Carbon capture has failed – so here’s what we should do instead, published in Scottish Energy News, 6 September 2017);

Whilst CCS is an important solution to decarbonise the electricity sector, the true benefits of CCS come from its application to multiple sectors. CCS is absolutely essential to reduce emissions in energy intensive industries such as steel, cement and refining – thereby helping to enable a long-term sustainable future for these vital industries and maintaining a significant number of jobs.

Furthermore, hydrogen is fast emerging as a cost-effective method to decarbonise the heating and transport sectors.

Steam Methane Reforming of natural gas with CCS is currently the best option for producing large-scale, low-cost hydrogen – which could then be used to reduce emissions from heating by repurposing the existing gas networks, as well as being used in transport and even power generation.

The Leeds H21 City Gate project has set out a proposal to convert the Leeds gas grid to hydrogen using exactly this method.

Far from being a failed technology, CCS is increasingly established with 21 projects currently in operation and construction around the world.

In addition to CCS in the power sector, countries such as Norway and Abu Dhabi are exploring exciting new opportunities to develop CCS in industrial sectors such as steel and waste-to-energy – demonstrating the importance of finding long-term sustainable solutions for these industries.

We must move away from considering individual CCS projects in isolation and focus instead on CCS as a means to delivering a low-carbon future for key industrial regions such as Teesside, Scotland and the Port of Rotterdam.

Developing shared CO2 transport and storage infrastructure would enable the formation of CCS clusters that could drive regional decarbonisation and attract inward investment– contributing to least-cost decarbonisation across the economy.

The challenge set out in the Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature increase to well-below 2° C is immense, and cannot be achieved through energy efficiency alone. While energy efficiency is undoubtedly needed at scale, it will be needed alongside CCS, not as an alternative. if we are to ensure economy-wide decarbonisation, then CCS is an absolute necessity.

8 Sept 2017

Dr. Luke Warren

Chief Executive

Carbon Capture and Storage Association

London SW1H 0DX

http://www.ccsassociation.org/

 

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