What is the European CCS Demonstration Project Network?

The European CCS Demonstration Project Network was established in 2009 by the European Commission to accelerate the deployment of safe, large-scale and commercially viable CCS projects. To achieve this goal, this community of leading CCS projects is committed to sharing knowledge and experiences. The successful operation of these projects is seen as crucial for enabling the widespread commercial application of near zero emission power plants or industrial installations, to allow Europe to reach its environmental objectives, stimulate job creation, and generate a sustainable economic and industrial base.

The European CCS Demonstration Projects Network consists of the leading CCS projects in Europe. The Network has been composed of post-combustion and pre-combustion power projects, one oxyfuel power project, an IGCC power project, a gas processing (amine capture project) and a coal power generation project, each capturing or planning to capture over 1MtCO2/year. Sleipner is the only project currently in operation.

Why is the CCS Network important?

While first of-a-kind projects face several barriers, there are no fundamental technical reasons preventing the development of CCS, as all elements have been individually proven. However, given the lack of substantive incentives for operation, knowledge sharing between projects to aid deployment is of the utmost and increasing importance. The Network aims to aid both the member projects and wider stakeholders with issue focused discussions and lessons learnt, with the Secretariat facilitating, aiding, guiding and disseminating these results.

Face to face confidential knowledge sharing events are held annually. During the events, project members are asked to join thematic workshops with discussions undertaken aiming to tackle specific key issues the projects’ are facing. To date, the Network has had thematic groups in CCS permitting, business models, risk management, regulatory development, public engagement, public perception, capture, storage and transport.

After the event, thematic reports are produced summarising key discussions and findings from the events. These reports are of significant importance as they consist a unique source of shared experiences, problem solving and lessons learnt. You can find these reports on the network analyses area of our website.

What are the criteria for a project to be eligible to become a member of the Network?

Projects in the Network shall be aiming towards demonstrating specific or all elements of the CCS value chain. The potential members shall need to fulfil several technical criteria: all projects should not have a CO2 capture rate below 85% of the treated flue gas stream.

Full CCS chain demonstration projects shall have a minimum gross production of 250MWe before CO2 capture and compression or realise a minimum of 500kt per year of stored CO2, whether they are power or industrial plants respectively.

Pilot projects, instead, shall have a maximum gross production of 80MWth if they are capture projects in power generation, while storage projects shall realise an amount of stored CO2 of up to 400 (industrial facilities) or 800kt per year.

Are projects from outside the EU allowed to join the CCS Project Network?

The CCS Project Network is open to projects located in the European Economic Area (EEA). The aim of the Network is to support projects and enhance their ability to collaborate on important CCS challenges. One of the means of achieving this will be the sharing of experiences between members and interaction with projects outside Europe. In this context, the Network acts in cooperation with the European demonstration projects to build links for the reciprocal sharing of knowledge with projects in other regions.

Do beneficiaries of EU funding pre-qualify for membership or do they have to follow the same application procedure as other projects?

Contribution by project developers and consortium members to Network goals and activities is expected regardless of the project ownership configuration. CCS projects that are beneficiaries of funding under the European Energy Programme for Recovery (EEPR), the New Entrants Reserve (NER300) or any other EC programme that encourages membership of the Network are not required to additionally submit applications for Network membership. They shall nevertheless be expected to provide the project information, as they are prepared, in order to inform the Network of progress against schedule.

How is the CCS Project Network addressing the issue of public awareness?

Raising public awareness of the European CCS demonstration projects and supporting the projects in the communication of their progress are primary objectives of the CCS Project Network. There are two interlinked means of achieving this objective. Firstly, projects are invited to share experiences and strategies with each other and with experts in the field of public communication. Secondly, the Network arranges events and activities specifically targeted at increasing public confidence in the technology so that delays in project schedules can be best avoided. In addition, the CCS Project Network works closely with other bodies active in this area, such as the Zero Emission Platform (ZEP) and the Global CCS Institute (GCCSI), to undertake common activities and approach best practice recommendations.

How much effort is required of projects that are members of the CCS Project Network?

The aim of the CCS Project Network is to add value to CCS projects. The Network works in the interest of its members in order for them to receive benefits from membership that are in proportion to the effort they put in. Through the Steering Committee, members guide the agenda of the Network to achieve this objective. The Steering Committee also proposes Network activities that best support the EU ambitions and are in line with the interests of members and other key stakeholders. Network’s thematic groups hold meetings covering distinct elements of CCS project implementation and they are attended by the appropriate experts from each project. In addition, an annual event takes place to bring together all members, the Advisory Forum and other interested stakeholders. The Network can only develop through members’ active contribution to workshops and discussions and submitting of information in a timely manner. However, the Network Team has a key role in making this process as easy as possible for the projects by, for instance, communicating regularly and undertaking much of the preparatory and liaison work.

What is the role of European national authorities in the CCS Project Network?

All EU Member States, and countries hosting projects that are members of the Network, are invited to have a stake in the governance of the Network. As members of the Advisory Forum, Member States can have regular interaction with Network activities and directly guide its development. To date, only Poland, Netherlands, Norway and UK have taken part in Advisory Forum meetings, which allowed valuable exchanges of information and ideas. The Network is further developing cooperation with Member States to maximise the value of the Network for informing and helping to improve national policy.

What is the difference between the activities undertaken by ZEP and the CCS Project Network?

It is important to make sure that the Project Network does not duplicate the efforts of existing bodies. The CCS Project Network has been proposed specifically to build on the work of The European Technology Platform for Zero Emissions Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP) and to complement it with a new initiative that is able to concentrate on the needs of the first few large-scale CCS demonstration projects. The CCS Project Network has been adding value to the first demonstration projects by facilitating the identification of best practices, providing a common EU identity to members, and supporting collective public awareness activities to leverage the evidence gained from the projects. It should evolve to be a focused and efficient community of the major CCS projects in Europe. This does not diminish the role of ZEP in bringing together a broader group of parties that are working towards the broader goal of advancing CCS towards economic viability and wide-scale deployment. These are two separate but interconnected initiatives. The EC administration and stakeholder community work together to ensure that both the particular coordination needs arising from early CCS demonstration, and the identification of research and policy needs for accelerated CCS deployment, are not neglected. The first of these areas is the main focus of the Network, while the latter remains a principal function of ZEP.

Does membership of the CCS Project Network secure easier access to EU funding for demonstration projects?

No. There is no link between membership of the CCS Project Network and receiving EU funding.

How the non-disclosure of sensitive information outside the CCS Project Network is guaranteed?

The membership agreement states that the EC and the project consortia agree to the principles set out in the criteria document. Projects therefore commit to respecting the knowledge sharing protocol, and can be excluded if they do not. The EC commits to recognising the limits to use of any detailed information about project performance and progress that is agreed not to be public. The EC is the coordinator of the Network and is also involved in knowledge sharing. The legal requirements for the membership agreement are constantly revised and the EC welcomes feedback or specific questions on legal concerns. This helps all parties to refer to a structure that is legally sufficient but also open enough to allow the Network's role to evolve and meet its main objectives.

Does the CCS Project Network select projects on a portfolio basis?

Wherever CCS is being developed, the experience generated can be of value to accelerating deployment and building the evidence for public communication. Therefore, there is no reason to exclude projects just because a particular set of technologies is already covered. On the contrary, the Network appreciates that projects sharing common ground in terms of technologies would promote significantly mutual developments on several aspects.