Carbon capture: a little less conversation, a lot more subsidy

The International Energy Agency (IEA) will next month renew its commitment to carbon capture and storage (CCS) but will warn that there are too few incentives and that deployment is needed now.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) will next month renew its commitment to carbon capture and storage (CCS) but will warn that there are too few incentives and that deployment is needed now.

The IEA's next biennial Energy Technologies Perspective report - to be published on 11 June - will project CCS as increasingly important after 2030 in limiting climate change and able to provide about a fifth of the carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction needed by 2050.

"We remain absolutely committed to the need for CCS," said Juho Lipponen, the IEA's head of CCS. "We need to get cracking."

CCS technology is sufficiently proven to be used commercially, Lipponen told UW: "We think that it can absolutely be deployed on a large scale and cost-effectively."

However, he said that evidence was still needed to show that CO2's transportation by pipeline and its geological injection for storage were safe and practical. It was also unclear if CO2 would escape over long periods after being injected to enhance oil recovery from oil fields, he said.

In 2009 the IEA projected 100 CCS projects by 2020 at a cost of $54 billion (including CO2 transportation and storage). Lipponen said that current public funding and incentives were inadequate for that, with little attention given to industrial applications, although $21 billion has been pledged worldwide for large demonstrations.


By Vic Wyman

Author: Paul Newton,
Tags: Carbon Dioxide Transfer

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