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Managing CCS liabilities should not slow project development
Date:19 Jun 2012
The potential financial risk associated with leaking gas from carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects should not hamper investment in the technology, according to a new study. Concerns over the "liability" arising from CCS projects is often cited as an important barrier to its widespread implementation, which the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates could account for nearly a fifth of the emissions reductions required to cut GHG emissions from energy use in half by 2050. Last week Ian Marchant, chief executive of SSE, the only Big Six energy company with a current interest in CCS, told a committee of MPs that more public funding is needed beyond its £1bn commercialisation competition if companies are to bring "risky" CCS projects online. "My own belief on CCS is we are at the demonstration stage and what is principally needed is capital support," he said. "We do not know that this technology will work. We need to demonstrate that it will work." But a report published today by the Global CCS Institute seeks to bolster investor confidence by, for the first time, putting a value on the key liabilities a well-sited and well-managed CCS project would face. It suggests that such a project would have a relatively small impact on the surrounding environment, mainly because the risk of leaks are low and project managers should be able to detect any problems that do occur in a reasonable timeframe.