Will Europe be left behind on climate and energy solutions? - the ROAD project featured at the conference in the European Parliament

Will Europe be left behind on climate and energy solutions? - the ROAD project featured at the conference in the European Parliament

Will Europe be left behind on climate and energy solutions?

On 1 October, the Institute supported a European Parliament (EP) event emphasising the importance of sustainable emission reduction policies that encourage CCS. The event was opened by Member of the EP Catherine Bearder (Environment Committee).

Since the European Elections in May 2014, The Institute has engaged in reaching out the new Members of the European Parliament to highlight the importance of sustainable emission reduction policies that encourage CCS as a vital part of measures to tackle climate change.

Held to coincide with the Boundary Dam project launch, the event was attended by an audience of Parliamentarians and EP staff representing some of the key countries where CCS could play an important role: including the UK, Romania, the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. Attendees were briefed on progress achieved in Canada, the vital importance of ROAD Project in the Netherlands, and the role played by public engagement in acceptance of the technology.

Discussion then ranged from the application of CCS in the power sector and for industrial production, the role of EOR as enabling technology that can potentially help in transitioning to permanent storage, the establishment in Europe of regional clusters in the North Sea and the Baltic Region and the critical role that exploration of significant CO2 storage capacity and transboundary CO2 transport can play to allow rapid expansion of CCS projects in Europe

Andrew Purvis, General Manager EMEA gave an update on what is being done globally to develop CCS and what must be done in Europe to learn the lessons from global CCS progress. He underlined that the success story of Boundary Dam is a call for action for us in Europe, who are working on European energy policy, climate policy and European technology. What is most important - there will be lessons in Canada that will be applicable to projects all over the world.

CCS in power is real and we need to move things on; our call for action is for the global CCS community and the European CCS community to take this fantastic achievement to leverage it within our own region. The question is – can Europe step up?”

View Andrew Purvis' presentation.

Hans Schoenmakers, Director for Stakeholder Management of the ROAD project in the Netherlands project explained the urgency of a positive financing decision: “Capture, transport and storage have all been demonstrated; now the biggest problem is to show an integrated project where all these component are integrated into one project. If we do not demonstrate the technology now, we will in the same deadlock situation in 2025 when we do not have proven technology in Europe. Of course, we will have Boundary Dam but we also want to prove it in Europe because every region is different in terms of geological storage.”

View Hans Schoenmakers' presentation.

Kirsty Anderson, Principal Manager – Public Engagement gave numerous examples of the work the Institute is doing internationally on engagement on CCS. She introduced the Institute’s educational and outreach work to improve widespread lack of awareness of the technology but also tackling basic lack of understanding of energy and climate change.

View Kirsty Anderson's presentation.

In a closing, Dr Vivian Scott who leads on SCCS engagement with Scottish, UK and EU policy, concluded that CCS is the only rational choice for Europe. Otherwise Europe could face either reducing its ambitions to decarbonise its economy or subtantially increasing the role of nuclear power. The latter is not politically achievable and extremely costly and the former is not likely to happen given the Europe’s ambition to lead on tackling climate change. 

The hearing of Spanish Commissioner-designate for Climate and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete was held on the same day in the European Parliament. During the 3 hours long Q&A session the Commissioner-designate defended the idea of a joint Energy and Climate portfolio and put forward his intention to promote CCS within the trio of climate change solutions alongside the renewable energy sources and the energy efficiency measures. He promised support for CCS projects in countries dependent on fossil fuels that are unable to change the energy mix in short term. He pledged to mobilise finance for the most advanced European projects.