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Lack of CCS initiatives in the EU’s 2030 framework

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The EU Commission’s communication on the policy framework for climate and energy from 2020 to 2030 was released on January 22, and showed a surprising lack of CCS initiatives after positive signs from the European Parliament the week before.

The commission understands, as does the European Parliament, that CCS is vital if the EU is to reach its long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals. They suggest that increased R&D and demonstration efforts are necessary for the technology to be deployed by 2030.

The big question is how to finance the development of CCS. The current funding mechanisms have not been very efficient, with very few large-scale CCS projects being developed in Europe. The European Commissions suggests that “a supportive EU framework will be necessary through continued and strengthened use of auctioning revenues,” which could mean a financing model like the existing NER300. NER300 has not resulted in any CCS projects so far, so it remains to be seen if the model can produce any major projects in the foreseeable future. ZERO has previously released a report with alternatives to the existing funding mechanisms, to contribute with concrete recommendations for a faster and more effective implementation of CCS in the EU.

The challenge for the EU now is to say something more concrete about the potential financing model. The European Parliament released a resolution about CCS in January this year that motioned for strengthening CCS in Europe, and the Parliament is expected to vote on this resolution in early February. The European Council will look at the framework for 2030 in March, but it is not expected that the legislation will be passed until late 2015.

In the mean time there is room for the Commission to implement some of the stronger wording from the Parliament’s resolution, and also to say something more concrete about how they envision financing new CCS projects in the future. There is some disagreement between the member states in how to reach the 2030 goals, with some member states asking for specific goals, while others want it to be up to each member state to choose instruments to reach the goals.

The communication seems to suggest that it should be up the to member states to come of with strategies to develop more CCS, but at the same time the Commission is opening up for supporting storage and transportation of CO2, which is a very positive signal.

Read the full communication here.


Updated January 30, 2014


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