Insights and Commentaries

Insights and Commentaries

Institute participates in international clean energy conference in Vancouver

18th June 2019

Last May, the Canadian city of Vancouver hosted the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM10) and the 4th Mission Innovation (MI-4) Ministerial. Hosted by the Government of Canada, the Ministerial meetings gathered key decision-makers from over 25 countries to discuss how to drive the transition to a clean energy future and international collaboration opportunities in this field.  On this occasion, the city of Vancouver welcomed governments, industry, NGOs and other organisations from around the world; all working to advance a clean energy economy.

The Institute also joined the three-day high-level meetings during which carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) was a major topic on the agenda, with several sessions focused on how to accelerate its deployment.

Kicking off the meeting, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol presented how energy demand grew by 2.3 per cent in 2018, of which almost half came from natural gas. He highlighted that with this growth comes the pressing need to curb emissions and deploy all clean energy solutions including CCS. Based on the IEA’s latest scenarios, carbon capture and storage will play a key role in decarbonising the energy sector. In fact, according to the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, at least 7 per cent of cumulative emissions reductions are expected to come from CCS.

During the event, US Under Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes highlighted that the US is scaling up efforts to reduce its CO2 emissions. The country believes in the enormous economic opportunity for the manufacture and export of clean energy technologies. According to Under Secretary Menezes, wind, solar, water and other energy resources will all play an important role in the clean energy transition. Coal with CCS can also support this transition. Under Secretary Menezes called for the creation of further incentives.

A new global hydrogen partnership was also announced at CEM; an international collaboration led by the several governments including the United States, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands along with the European Commission. On the launch of the partnership, Under Secretary Menezes said: “Hydrogen will continue to be an important part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy and will contribute to creating a promising energy future that is bountiful, clean, secure, and free.”

Turning to Europe, Germany’s Director General of Economic Affairs and Energy Thorsten Herdan gave an overview of the latest developments in the energy policy discussions in Germany. He explained that there is no ‘German’ way of doing things but rather a ‘European’ way. Mr Herdan explained that European countries are currently working together to tackle climate change, with CCS as part of the portfolio of solutions to deliver emission reduction targets.

This reflects ongoing discussions at the European level on concerted climate action and ambition. Last November, the European Commission released its long-awaited long-term climate strategy putting forward possible pathways for the European Union and its members states to reach climate neutrality by 2050.  CCS was one of the seven building blocks of the Commission’s strategy.

During the CCS focused CEM session, many speakers re-iterated that the technology is proven, adding that cost for the deployment of the set of technologies can be seen as a challenge in some industries.

Norway’s State Secretary of Petroleum and Energy Liv Lønnum called for the development of new business models to advance deployment of CCS through increased collaboration. She said that with demonstration and implementation, there will be increasing confidence bringing significant reduction of costs and risks.

During the session, it was clearly illustrated collaboration is key to accelerating CCS deployment, which requires many actors and technologies join forces to closely work together. From the point source facility with CO2 emissions to stakeholders involved in the CO2 compression and transportation to dedicated geological storage facilities, CCS deployment navigates across a complex array of cooperation and collaboration avenues.

At the event, several Institute members had the opportunity to be featured in the Innovation Showcase, which ran throughout the conference in the Exhibit Hall. This provided an opportunity for CCS stakeholders to engage with the broader energy and climate community.

More information about CEM10/MI available here.

Home page photo: Photo by Stuart Weir on Unsplash

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