Carbon Capture and Storage
Published:29 Nov 2019
Special Collection: 2019 ebook collection , ECCC Environmental eBooks 1968-2022Series: Energy and Environment
2019. "Foreword", Carbon Capture and Storage, David Reiner, Mai Bui, Niall Mac Dowell
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Almost all energy transition scenarios agree that in order to meet a 2 °C maximum global warming target, it is essential to deploy Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to decarbonise the fossil fuel-based power generation that will persist in many regions well into the second half of this century, as well as providing hydrogen at scale for heating and local transport and decarbonising major industrial processes such as cement and iron and steel. To achieve the more ambitious 1.5 °C aspiration, or net-zero emissions by 2050, requires in addition CCS to remove the CO2 emissions from burning biomass for energy (BECCS) as a means of economically extracting the large volumes of CO2 from the atmosphere required to offset the CO2 that will be released for many decades to come by the very difficult to decarbonise air and sea transport sectors. By enabling fossil fuels, particularly gas, to continue to be used to produce products (dispatchable base-load power, heat, manufactured materials, etc.) in a near decarbonised way, as part of the energy transition towards a largely sustainable energy source and manufacturing feedstocks world, and so enabling renewables to be introduced in a phased way as and when their available capacity and cost are appropriate and their intermittency becomes mitigated by affordable large-scale energy storage, CCS decarbonised fossil fuels have become a key enabler, rather than the enemy, of a cost-effective energy transition. However, time is short and having the large-scale capacity for preventing the emission of more than 800 Gt of CO2, or in the order of 10 Gt per annum, by 2050 to meet the net-zero target requires widespread global deployment over the period of 2020–2035.
The need for large scale global deployment of CCS is therefore, as the UK Climate Change Committee's May 2019 ‘Net-Zero’ report stated, a necessity not an option. The challenge is to provide the financial and political climate for governments and business to come together to build investable projects that make this a reality in different regions of the world where the economic and political drivers and incentives vary greatly. Reducing the cost to affordable levels will come from a combination of taking advantage of the economies of scale and learning while doing, the ability to monetise captured CO2 by, for example, combining subsurface CO2 injection for storage with enhanced oil/gas recovery, new business and risk sharing models, financial incentives of various forms (tax credits, carbon charges) and improved technologies, particularly in the area of carbon capture. This book is therefore very timely in bringing together the current status and future potential of the different components of CCS technology, economics and process/business options as a signpost for how this key and essential decarbonisation mechanism can be successfully deployed at scale in different parts of the world over the next decade or so. I very much welcome its publication.
Professor Geoffrey Maitland
Professor of Energy Engineering & founder of the Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre (QCCSRC)
Imperial College London, United Kingdom