Incentivizing BECCS - A Swedish Case Study
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

Negative carbon dioxide (CO2)-emissions are prevalent in most global emissions pathways that meet the Paris temperature targets and are a critical component for reaching net-zero emissions in Year 2050. However, economic incentives supporting commercialization and deployment of BioEnergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) are missing. This Policy and Practice Review discusses five different models for creating incentives and financing for BECCS, using Sweden as an example: (1) governmental guarantees for purchasing BECCS outcomes; (2) quota obligation on selected sectors to acquire BECCS outcomes; (3) allowing BECCS credits to compensate for hard-to-abate emissions within the EU ETS; (4) private entities for voluntary compensation; and (5) other states acting as buyers of BECCS outcomes to meet their mitigation targets under the Paris Agreement. We conclude that successful implementation of BECCS is likely to require a combination of several of the Policy Models, implemented in a sequential manner. The governmental guarantee model (Model 1) is likely to be required in the shorter term, so as to establish BECCS. Policy Models 2 and 3 may become more influential over time once BECCS has been established and accepted. Model 3 links BECCS to a large carbon-pricing regime with opportunities for cost-effectiveness and expanded financing. We conclude that Policy Models 4 and 5 are associated with high levels of uncertainty regarding the timing and volume of negative emissions that can be expected—Thus, they are unlikely to trigger BECCS implementation in the short term, although may have roles in the longer term. Based on this study, we recommend that policymakers carefully consider a policy sequencing approach that is predictable and sustainable over time, for which further analyses are required. It is not obvious how such sequencing can be arranged, as the capacities to implement the different Policy Models are vested in different organizations (national governments, EU, private firms). Furthermore, it is important that a BECCS policy is part of an integrated climate policy framework, in particular one that is in line with policies aimed at the mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the creation of a circular economy. It will be important to ensure that BECCS and the associated biomass resource are not overexploited. A well-designed policy package should guarantee that BECCS is neither used to postpone the reduction of fossil fuel-based emissions nor overused in the short term as a niche business for “greenwashing” while not addressing fossil fuel emissions.


negative emissions

policy instruments

carbon dioxide removal

policy sequencing

bioenergy carbon capture and storage


Lars Zetterberg

IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet

Filip Johnsson

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Energiteknik

Kenneth Möllersten

IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet

Frontiers in Climate

26249553 (eISSN)

Vol. 3 685227


Tvärvetenskapliga studier

Studier av offentlig förvaltning




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