IEA database indicates that the pace of CCUS deployment is increasing

27 March 2023 | Muriel Cozier

New companies are emerging specialising in specific parts of the CCUS chain

Research carried out by the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates that momentum is growing in the deployment of CCUS, with140 new projects announced during 2022 and 45 countries around the world having set out plans to develop CCUS capacity.

The news comes as the IEA, for the first time, releases its CCUS projects database, intended as a tool that governments and companies can use to drive growth in the area.

The agency’s analysis shows that plans for CCUS hubs are growing, with oil and gas companies leading developments. ExxonMobil, Occidental, Petrobras and Chevron are involved in more than half of the current operational capture capacity. CCUS hubs are also providing a greater incentive to capture emissions as the model spreads infrastructure costs between emitters, generating economies of scale.

These developments have also led to the emergence of companies specialising in specific parts of the CCUS chain. Examples include Carbon Clean, Svante, ION Clean Energy and Entropy Inc, all of which offer services to emitters either as developers, owners and operators of the unit, or through technology licensing.

Carbon Clean recently joined with other clean-tech scale-ups for the launch of Cleantech for UK at Imperial College London. The launch was also attended by Bill Gates and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Svante has recently announced that it is collaborating with GE to develop and evaluate innovative solid sorbent technologies for carbon capture from natural gas power generation.

Carbon dioxide transport and storage infrastructure solutions are also bringing in new businesses, the IEA says. Players in this area include Storegga, Summit Carbon Solutions and Horisont Energi. Additionally, chemical companies have leveraged their technical expertise, says the IEA, to develop proprietary capture technologies both to reduce emissions from their own facilities as well as providing solutions to other companies.

Policy is key to ensuring that CCUS continues to thrive, and the IEA advises that ‘policies should proactively leverage opportunities and tackle challenges that may arise from new CCUS business models.’ With CCUS hubs being interdependent, there is a need to mitigate risks related to parts of the CCUS chain failing, something the IEA says that Canada, the US and UK are working on.

There is also a need for development of ‘comprehensive legal and regulatory frameworks with considerations specific to CCUS hubs, including third party access to storage, multi-modal transboundary and regulatory obligations under the London Protocol,’ the IEA added.

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