Perspectives from around the world

Emerging economies foster economic growth, consider CCS

Why should a developing country bear the extra costs and impacts of CCS if the rest of the world isn’t using the technology?

From an emerging economy perspective, the costs and efficiency losses associated with CCS pose significant challenges. The country-specific actions described here are not comprehensive, but they do give a sense of how three key emerging economies are thinking about CCS. It is worth noting that collectively, these actions extend beyond international cooperation and include forward-thinking policies and plans to determine whether and how CCS fits into the future energy portfolio.


Research for CCS in China has been conducted since 2006 under the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program), and since 2007 under the National High-tech Research and Development Program of China (863 Program), which includes a focused research area on CCS. China is also investing in CCS demonstrations abroad, including a September 2012 investment in one of the US demonstrations, the Texas Clean Energy Project.

Importantly, a series of CCS demonstrations are planned and under way in China, which is something the Institute highlighted in the Global Status of CCS: 2012 report. CCS demonstration efforts in China include pre-and post-combustion capture research and demonstration as well as demonstrations of geologic storage and enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). In August 2012, the Asian Development Bank announced plans to work with the National Development Reform Commission to develop a roadmap for CCS deployment in China. Key milestones in development of CCS in China include:

  1. the National Medium and Long-term Science and Technology Development Plan (2006-2020), which formally establishes CCS as a leading-edge technology;
  2. China’s National Climate Change Program (2007~2010), which sets the goal of the development and dissemination of CCS;
  3. China’s Special Science and Technology Action in Response to Climate Change (2007~2020), which establishes the key task of R&D on CCS; and
  4. the National 12th Five-Year Plan Science and Technology Development Plan (2011-2015), which prompts CCS research and development with provisions to:
    • develop carbon sink techniques (e.g. grass carbon sequestration), mitigation of greenhouse gases in agriculture and land use, and carbon capture use and storage (CCUS) technologies to tackle climate change challenges; and
    • focus on the research and development of advanced technologies, including Gen IV Nuclear Energy Systems, hydrogen and fuel cells, ocean energy, geothermal energy and CCUS.

There has been significant international cooperation on CCS research in China, including engagement with the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) and the Institute, as well as focused cooperative research efforts such as the EU-UK CCS Cooperative Action within China, the US-China Clean Energy Research Center, the China-EU Cooperation on Near Zero Emissions Coal, and the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and China. Cooperative efforts under these programs have spanned basic and applied research, and have also included efforts designed to inform policy and regulatory developments that would enable CCS in China.[2]


India has generally approached CCS cautiously (Rajamani, 2012). Historical actions on CCS in India have included engagement in the international research and development of the technology, including:

  • internationally-funded geological storage assessments;
  • demonstration of CO2 capture with co-benefits, such as capture and utilization via fertilizer generation;
  • participation in the CSLF; and
  • participation in the original FutureGen demonstration project.

The approach document and working group reports that have contributed toward the development of India’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017) anticipate several future provisions for CCS in India. In Faster, Sustainable and More Inclusive Growth-An Approach to the Twelfth Five Year Plan, the Indian Government will encourage the application of integrated gasification combined cycle. The plan also includes provisions for carefully monitoring the development of technology for CCS and assessing the suitability and cost effectiveness of CCS in India. The Energy Constitution of the working groups identified areas that need attention during the 12th plan, including enhancing domestic oil and gas production via EOR for existing oil fields.

South Africa

South Africa established its South African CCS Centre in March of 2009 with a strategy of developing and implementing a roadmap for deploying CCS in South Africa. The Roadmap outlines the following milestones:

  • 2004: CCS potential (completed);
  • 2010: Carbon Atlas (completed);
  • 2016: test injection, tens of thousands of tons of CO2;
  • 2020: demonstration plant, hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2; and
  • 2025: commercial CCS, millions of tons of CO2.

The Atlas was published in 2010 and indicated that South Africa has 150 gigatonnes of storage capacity. Only 2 per cent of the estimated storage capacity was found onshore. Additional research is under way to move from theoretical to estimates toward projections with more certainty. Planning for the test injection is under way.

The World Bank is currently investing US$1.1 million of its CCS fund on efforts in South Africa, including work on legal and regulatory issues as well as public engagement on CCS.

Although much of the work on CCS in South Africa has centred on geologic storage, the Government supports the development and implementation of CCS and has placed a carbon capture readiness requirement on Eskom’s 5400MW Kusile power station.

Note: This post is a slightly reworked version of Sarah Forbes' chapter in a paper the International CCS ENGO Network on CCS has drafted which summarizes global progress on CCS, from an ENGO perspective. The full paper will be release later this month at COP 18 in Doha.

This post expresses the views of this author and not necessarily of their organisation or the Global CCS Institute.

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Sarah Forbes

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Sarah M. Forbes has been a senior associate at the World Resources Institute (WRI) since May 2008. Sarah leads the technology consortium within the climate and energy program, managing the WRI initiatives on shale gas and carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) in China. This research is aimed at developing tools and analyses that inform regulatory developments and standards, with a focus on environmental and social integrity.