The Global Status of CCS: 2011 report is the Global CCS Institute’s flagship publication and consolidates the current understanding of the level and nature of global CCS activities, as well as the major opportunities and challenges experienced by large-scale integrated CCS projects.
Through the Institute’s annual projects survey 74 large-scale integrated CCS projects were identified around the world, 14 of which are either operating or under construction. The total CO2 storage capacity of these 14 projects is over 33 million tonnes a year. This is broadly equivalent to preventing the emissions from more than six million cars from entering the atmosphere each year.
Progress is being made on CCS globally. The number of CCS projects in operation or under construction is growing and is likely to continue to grow.
Over the last year there has been good progress with more projects entering construction and a clustering of projects in advanced stages of development planning. Ten projects in the most advanced stage of development planning reported that they could be in a position in the next 12 months to decide on whether to take a final investment decision (FID) and move into construction. Importantly, power generation projects are prominent in this group.
Also in power generation, there is now a second project under construction, being Boundary Dam project in Canada, which is in addition to Kemper County IGCC project in the United States. These projects are both expected to start operating in 2014.
However, of some concern is the paucity of large-scale demonstration projects under development in the iron and steel, cement and other high emitting industries. Further attention and incentive programs are needed in these areas as they are key to meaningful emissions reductions in the future.
All projects in operation use CO2 separation technology as part of an already established industry process and either use CO2 to generate revenue through enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and/or have access to lower cost storage sites based on previous resource exploration and existing geologic information sets.
A number of projects in operation or under construction are undertaking CCS in response to, or anticipation of, longer-term climate policies and/or potential carbon offset markets. While this is promising, developing a business case is challenging especially when projects do not have access to either revenue streams, such as EOR or other opportunities, or where CO2 capture is not already part of an established industrial process.
Information from project proponents indicates that storage characterisation for previously unexplored formations, which can often be the case for deep saline formations, can have long lead times of 5 to 10 years or more. Projects that have not yet commenced active storage assessment may have a challenge to achieve operation before 2020.
Project proponents also need to continuously review their public engagement approach to identify and mitigate potential challenges. As with storage, public engagement is situation and site specific, and on a local level must address any of the project impacts, including benefits.
In addition substantial, timely and stable policy support, including a carbon price signal, is needed for CCS to be demonstrated and then broadly deployed. This in turn will give industry confidence to continue to invest in CCS and drive innovation.
The development of CCS laws and regulations has continued at a reasonable pace with a number of jurisdictions completing framework legislation and commencing implementation of secondary regulations and guidance. Notwithstanding these efforts, project proponents have identified a number of issues that have yet to be adequately addressed, including incomplete or delayed regulation.