Insights and Commentaries

Insights and Commentaries

CCS features at European Sustainable Energy Week

15th June 2015

Topic(s): Carbon capture, CO2 hubs, Public engagement, use and storage (CCUS)

This year, for the first time, European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) included a workshop featuring carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the policy conference segment of the European Union (EU). Since 2005, this annual event promoted by the European Commission has been gathering thousands of stakeholders from the wider clean energy community to debate secure, clean and efficient energy for a European sustainable energy future. This year's event was held in Brussels from 15-19 June with the CCS workshop arranged by the Global CCS Institute, supported by the International Hubs Network and focussing on the role of CCS hubs and clusters in delivering clean, competitive industrial production.

Multiple industrial sources of CO2 can use common transport and storage infrastructure in a CCS Hub or Cluster. Picture: Global CCS Institute

The CCS story is often told in the context of power, however the reality is more nuanced. Almost all of the world’s currently operating CCS projects are in industry, and looking forward around 50% of cumulative carbon dioxide (CO2) abatement by 2050 is predicted to come from industrial sources. CCS is the only current option to substantially decarbonise emissions intensive process industries.

Our CCS workshop

The workshop aimed to help extend the CCS discussion from a “full chain” project-by-project power story to a broader narrative taking in the important role of CCS Clusters serving the industrial sector. Industrial CCS refers to the capture, transport, (utilisation) and storage of CO2 that would otherwise be emitted from commercial facilities outside the power sector (for further details, see Global CCS Institute factsheet).

Andrew Purvis, Global CCS Institute General Manager, Europe Middle East and Africa opened the workshop and highlighted the importance of CCS for the future of sustainable European energy and industrial production, providing the international context. Andrew said;

“We live in a world in which CCS is increasingly becoming a reality: right now there are 13 projects representing 27 Million Tonnes/year of capture capacity and in the next 18 months many other projects are expected to be commissioned in the power, steel, and also in the bio-fuel sectors”. He added, “Industrial CCS is an opportunity for Europe to maintain and grow it’s industrial capacity in an increasingly carbon constrained world”.

Paula Abreu Marques, Directorate General Energy of the European Commission outlined the role of European policy in support of CCS projects. Paula referred to the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) as the cornerstone of the European Union's policy to combat climate change and a tool to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. A proposal for post-2020 reform of the EU ETS is expected to be published by the European Commission in its summer package 2015 and 400 million CO2 allowances coming from such system are foreseen to fund demonstration projects from both power and industrial applications. She said “The European energy recovery effort has to be matched by Industry confidence that there will be a business case and support from Member States”. One policy initiative to watch out for in this context is the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) communication, expected to be published in the autumn.

Presentations on CCS Hubs

Mark Lewis from the Teesside collective presented the Tees Valley Integrated complex. The Tees Valley is located in the North East of England and represents one of the United Kingdom's (UK) largest and most concentrated industrial areas. Facilities in Teesside emit 5.6% of industrial emissions in the UK and due to growing requirements from customers, policy and regulation aiming to reduce carbon emissions, industrial players have joined together to develop a CCS hub. At the heart of the Tees Valley project is the concept of developing strategic CCS infrastructure that serves a variety of industrial CO2 sources, both from the industrial sector and potentially also from the power sector. Such volumes can be collected by a single transportation pipeline and directed to a safe storage area in the North Sea. To achieve this goal, companies are aiming to create Europe’s first CCS equipped industrial zone. Thanks to an investment of EUR1.3 million from the UK Government, the Teesside Collective has undertaken a study to develop an engineering plan and business case for an industrial CCS network. The results of this work will be unveiled in July 2015 and the consortium intend to move into project development in 2016.

View the presentation here.

The Tees Valley Integrated Complex brings numerous small-to-medium scale industrial sources of CO2 together to share transport and storage infrastructure. Picture courtesy of TeesValleyUnlimited.

In another presentation Andy Read of the ROAD project presented Rotterdam’s vision to become a CO2 Hub for North-west Europe. The Port of Rotterdam is a gateway to 350 million consumers and covers an industrial area stretching 40 km from the coast to the city. The industrial area includes power plants and refineries, industrial gases, chemicals and biofuels plants, and is responsible for 17% of the total CO2 emissions of the Netherlands (2003 data). Rotterdam is also strategically positioned to collect CO2 from other regions, including Antwerp in Belgium and the Ruhr area in Germany. CO2 collected could then be transported to a common storage location by ship or pipeline. Another interesting aspect of the Rotterdam CO2 Hub is the use of CO2 to supply about 600 greenhouses located in the local region where the CO2 can be fed to plants to promote growth. It is estimated that by supplying CO2 from industrial sources approximately 200 kt of CO2 emission from small combined heat and power (CHP) plants could be abated. The ROAD CCS project is located in the Port area and is currently in the advanced planning phase, requiring only financial closure to allow a positive FID.

View the presentation here.

Rotterdam Vision: CO2 Hub of Northwest Europe (Andy Read PPT, ROAD)

Next steps

From the discussion panel, the following three elements emerged as a “wish list” to enable for European CCS Cluster and Hubs to be realised:

  1. Early investment in large scale shared infrastructure for transport and storage to reduce the cost of CCS projects, ie NER400 and associated instruments at European level
  2. Effective policy mechanisms put in place by Member States to enable deployment of CCS technology, ie Contract for Difference (CfD) and national support for financing deployment of the technology
  3. European energy and climate policy designed to drive investments in high value sectors to maintain a competitive economy in Europe, job growth and achieve climate change mitigation ambitions, ie high energy intensive industries.

See more information on EUSEW and the GCCSI's workshop agenda and background at the following link

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