Perspectives on CO2capture and storage
Journal article, 2011
The last decade has seen a signifi cant increase in the research and development of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technology. CCS is now considered to be one of the key options for climate change mitigation. This perspective provides a brief summary of the state of the art regarding CCS development and discusses the implications for the further development of CCS, particularly with respect to climate change policy. The aim is to provide general perspectives on CCS, although examples used to illustrate the prospects for CCS are mainly taken from Europe. The rationale for developing CCS should be the over-abundance of fossil fuel reserves (and resources) in a climate change context. However, CCS will only be implemented if society is willing to attach a suffi ciently high price to CO2 emissions. Although arguments have been put forward both in favor and against CCS, the author of this perspective argues that the most important outcome from the successful commercialization of CCS will be that fossil-fuel-dependent economies will fi nd it easier to comply with stringent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. In contrast, failure to implement CCS will require that the global community agrees almost immediately to start phasing out the use of fossil fuels; such an agreement seems more unrealistic than reaching a global agreement on stringent GHG reductions. Thus, in the near term, it is crucial to initiate demonstration projects, such as those supported by the EU. If this is not done, there is a risk that the introduction of CCS will be signifi cantly delayed. Among the stakeholders in CCS technologies (R&D actors in industry and academia), the year 2020 is typically considered to be the year in which CCS will be commercially available. Considering the lead times for CCS development and the slow pace of implementation of climate policy (post-Copenhagen), the target year of 2020 seems rather optimistic.