CCS uses established technologies to capture, transport and store carbon dioxide emissions from large point sources, such as power stations. It also has an important role to play to ensure manufacturing industries, such as steel and cement, can continue to operate, without the associated emissions.
CCS is a key tool in tackling climate change, providing energy security, creating jobs and economic prosperity.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) states that CCS could reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 19%, and that fighting climate change could cost 70% more without CCS.
From its base in London the Carbon Capture & Storage Association brings together specialist companies in manufacturing & processing, power generation, engineering & contracting, oil, gas & minerals as well as a wide range of support services to the energy sector such as law, finance, consultancy and project management.
The Association is a model for sectoral cooperation in business development and its existence is welcomed by government.
CCS, or Carbon Capture and Storage, is a low carbon technology which captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of coal and gas for power generation, and from the manufacturing of steel, cement and other industrial facilities. The carbon dioxide is then transported by either pipeline or ship, for safe and permanent underground storage, preventing it from entering the atmosphere and contributing to anthropogenic climate change.
There is an urgent need to tackle climate change and we need “all the tools in the box” to do so; we cannot tackle climate change effectively without CCS. Measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including more electric cars, will mean we need more electricity; and CCS is an unavoidable option if we are to ensure that we can meet this electricity demand with an acceptable carbon footprint.
To meet our UK climate change targets, we will need to decarbonise the power sector by the 2030s, and the heavy industry sector beyond that. We cannot do this without CCS.
On the 17th January, the Committee on Climate Change published "An independent assessment of the UK's Clean Growth Strategy: From ambition to action". The report highlights the importance of CCS and states that "The Government should not plan to meet the 2050 target without CCS. A 'no CCS' pathway to even the existing 2050 target is highly challenging and likely to be much more costly to achieve. Download the report here
Carbon capture and storage remains a thorny engineering problem. Most policymakers and technologists agree that it will be needed as a stopgap during a long-term transition to lower carbon electricity generation, whatever form that takes, but it has still not been demonstrated anywhere at a scale large enough for deployment and its effect on the cost of energy production remains uncertain. But a discovery by the School of Life Sciences at Dundee University may hold the key to a previously-unexplored route to carbon capture. Read the full story