Developing countries – making their contribution

Alice Gibson
Insights

Developing countries – making their contribution

If CCS is going to contribute the amount of CO2 emissions reductions it needs to achieve our global goals, then CCS will need to be deployed in developing countries (by developing countries I mean non-Annex I countries under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) framework). All the net fossil fuel growth, and therefore the associated CO2 emissions, will be in developing countries in the coming decades. In recognition of this, the Institute’s flagship publication, the Global Status of CCS: 2012 has a dedicated chapter on CCS in Developing Countries.

The challenges of implementing CCS are often magnified for developing countries. The energy penalty poses a particular concern, given that many developing countries are also trying to increase access to electricity and lift their populations out of poverty; so a technology solution that lowers energy output to the grid is a challenge. However, many developing countries are interested in continuing to utilise their indigenous fossil fuel resources to ensure energy security and to continue to benefit from those resources economically. So while there is an energy penalty associated with CCS, it’s important to remember that CCS has the potential to enable large-scale abatement while at the same time allowing for an increase in energy demand from fossil fuel. No other technology can do this. This just underscores the importance of continuing to demonstrate CCS at scale to bring down that energy penalty.

Some developing countries intend to contribute to that demonstration, and also benefit from ‘learning-by-doing’ which will help wider scale deployment in their country in the future. Of the 75 large-scale integrated CCS projects identified around the world, 17 are in developing countries. There is one operational gas processing project in Algeria. In the planning stages there are 11 projects in China (seven of which are power generation projects, four industrial projects), two projects in Korea (both power generation projects), and three projects in United Arab Emirates (two of which are power generation projects, and one industrial project).

However, there are at least 19 developing countries engaged in some sort of CCS activities. Most of these 19 countries are at the early stage of scoping out the opportunities and potential for CCS, but some are more advanced. The figure above uses the CCS Lifecycle a tool developed by the Institute, to help identify where activity is being undertaken. More information on these countries can be found in the Status Report.

The developing countries that are further advanced along the CCS Lifecycle are countries that are interested in developing, are developing or have already implemented a CCS pilot or demonstration project. Pilot and demonstration projects are a key driver for ‘learning-by-doing’. Projects provide a catalyst or focus for other associated capacity development, enabling and pre-investment activities.

NOTE: Project numbers were correct at time of publication of the 2012 Status report. The total number of projects was revised down to 74 on 24 October 2012 due to the recent cancellation of the PurGen One project in the United States.