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EU on the future of CCS in Europe

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The European Commission launched its “Green Paper” in March as a step towards developing a 2030 framework for EU climate change and energy policies. The Commission also published a Consultative Communication on the future of CCS in Europe.

Berlaymont building, headquarters of the European commission, Nuno Nogueira

Gøril Andreassen, head of the departement of oil, industry and gas in ZERO, states in an interview with the Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv that the Green Paper acknowledges that the EU’s policies have not lead to development of full scale CCS. The Commission suggests several tools that will bring projects to a commercial phase. This is essential for lowering costs and increasing the CCS value chain.

ZERO suggest that one should look at Canada where they build CCS projects at a much lower price than for example the Mongstad plant in Norway. Sask Power in Canada is building a CCS project at the coal-fired plant Boundary Dam. The plan is to capture 1 million tons of CO2. The facility will be up and running in the spring of 2014 and the costs are estimated to be about CAD 1 million, of which half is for CCS. This is significantly less than the Mongstad project.

There are also several interesting projects in the UK, and the UK government just announced their two preferred bidders in their CCS Commercialisation Competition. These projects will generate learning about CCS, test the regulatory framework, encourage industry to develop CCS models and contribute to develop CCS infrastructure.

The Commission’s memo on CCS states that there are only two CCS projects in Europe and none of them are on EU territory, mainly due to the lack of long-term business case and the high cost of CCS technology.

ZERO acknowledges that the instruments suggested by the EU to speed up CCS to a commercial scale are vital. A framework for CCS with Environmental Performance Standard (EPS), a certification system or a better version of European Trading System (ETS), will be essential for faster development of CCS projects in the EU. ZERO will, in cooperation with the ENGO Network on CCS, strive to see that these efficient instruments are being used on EU level as soon as possible, and see these suggestions as a welcome contribution.


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