Rate of carbon capture technology uptake needs to increase, says IEA

28 September 2020 | Muriel Cozier

‘No sector will be unaffected by clean energy transitions – and for some, including heavy industry, the value of CCUS is inescapable.’

A report, released 24th September, from the International Energy Agency (IEA) is calling for accelerated uptake of carbon capture technologies; if the world is to meet its energy and climate goals.

The new report; CCUS in Clean Energy Transitions is said to be the ‘most comprehensive global study on CCUS to date.’ The report assesses the state of play of CCUS technologies and maps out the ‘evolving and expanding role they will need to play to put global emissions on a sustainable trajectory.’ The study includes a ‘detailed analysis’ of CO2 emissions from power and industrial facilities in China, Europe and the US and the potential for storing them.’

Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA said ‘Action from governments will be essential for establishing a sustainable and viable market for CCUS. But industry must also embrace the opportunity. No sector will be unaffected by clean energy transitions – and for some, including heavy industry; the value of CCUS is inescapable.’

The report sets out four main ways in which CCUS technologies contribute to clean energy transition, they include providing a solution for heavy industries such as cement and chemicals and offering a cost-effective pathway for low-carbon hydrogen production in many regions.

The report was released at an online event opened by Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg. The Norwegian Government has recently announced major funding commitment for a new carbon capture project that will help tackle emissions for the country and its neighbours.

‘Norway has been a global leader in researching, developing and implementing carbon capture technologies as demonstrated by the major funding commitment this week to the impressive Longship project. [This] will help not just Norway but other European countries reduce their emissions,’ Dr Birol said.  The Longship project is a $2.7 billion investment which is said will lead to the world’s first full scale CCS project. The Norwegian Government is committing some $1.8 billion to the project.

In a week when climate and the environment took centre stage at a number of high-level events, China announced that it was setting out a path to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. The announcement was made by President Xi Jingping at the 75th UN General Assembly. The move is significant as China is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. The President highlighted the Paris Agreement on climate change as ‘charting the course for the world to transition to green and low-carbon development.’

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