What is Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS)?
Essentially, CCS ensures that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes are prevented from entering the atmosphere, and do not contribute to global warming. The carbon dioxide is then stored in carefully selected geological rock formations that are typically located several kilometres below the earth's surface. Every aspect of the CCS chain is well understood, and is extensively covered by European and national regulations - ensuring safe and proper operations. The Sleipner project, part of the Network, has been successfully operating since 1996.
Why is CCS so important?
CCS has an extremely important role to play in Europe’s future energy mix and industrial future. In the European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050, a number of possible different energy scenarios are examined. CCS will have to contribute significantly in most scenarios, with 19 to 33% of our electricity being produced in CCS-equipped plants (with the exception of the High RES scenario) by 2050. This is comparable to the IEA’s overall vision for Europe, which also indicates that the contribution of CCS in industry will be of equal if not greater importance. CCS has to be developed with all other low emission technologies, such as wind, but without CCS the cost of reducing our emissions will be 40% greater.
CCS is the only currently available technology that will enable industrial sectors, such as iron and steel, cement, natural gas processing, paper and pulp etc., achieve significant emissions reductions. The combined use of biomass and CCS is the only technology that can be ‘CO2 negative’ and actually extract CO2 from the atmosphere.