Large-scale CCS facilities
The world will still be highly reliant on energy from fossil fuels for the foreseeable future, despite large strides in the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. Carbon dioxide trajectories are not compatible with climate targets, even if current policy commitments and pledges by governments to tackle climate change are implemented (see International Energy Agency).
Alongside other low-carbon energy sources, carbon capture and storage (CCS) has a critical role to play as a climate mitigation technology. CCS is needed to successfully transition to a low-carbon economy and achieve the Paris ‘below 2 degree’ international climate change target.
Most tellingly, in its 2014 Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), found that only a minority of global climate modelling scenarios could meet emission reduction targets in the absence of CCS. Without CCS, the cost of mitigation would more than double - rising on average by almost 140 per cent.
CCS is a proven, well-tested and reliable technology that has been in successful operation use for more than 40 years. There are presently 22 large-scale CCS facilities in operation or under construction globally; these facilities can remove 40 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of CO2 that otherwise could have entered the atmosphere. This is the equivalent to taking more than eight million passenger vehicles off our roads.
The facilities span a wide range of CO2 capture technologies and traverse a variety of geological formations and terrains. Industries deploying large-scale CCS facilities include natural gas processing, power, fertiliser, steel-making, hydrogen-production (refining applications), plastics and chemicals. The diversity of industries represented reflects the versatility of CCS technology.
There has been considerable progress in CCS development this decade, and especially in 2017. In the last six months alone, significant developments have occurred in the United States, China, Japan, the Middle East and Europe. Further details can be found on the Institute’s website.
As we progress through 2017, we can look forward to two landmark developments entering operation - the Kemper County Energy Facility in the United States and the Gorgon Carbon Dioxide Injection Facility in Australia. The former will be the largest application of CCS to a power station in the world, the latter the largest to securely inject CO2 into a dedicated geological formation well below the surface of the earth.
It is very encouraging to see these latest developments. However, there is a pressing need to accelerate the deployment of CCS to achieve the Paris Agreement objectives, a point stressed by many climate and energy experts and leading global authorities, including the International Energy Agency. This acceleration can only be secured through policy parity of CCS with other low-carbon technologies.
You can find further information in the Institute’s Global Status of CCS: 2016 Summary Report. The report highlights key recommendations for policy-makers to help accelerate CCS deployment.
A full listing of all large-scale CCS facility listings carried by the Institute is shown below.
Definitions of what constitutes a large-scale integrated facility and of the various lifecycle stages is found at: http://www.globalccsinstitute.com/projects/large-scale-ccs-projects-definitions
An overview of the large-scale CCS facilities identified by the Institute, including key data points and detailed descriptions, is available below.
A downloadable database of large-scale CCS facilities can also be found here.
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