Carbon Capture and Storage facility development too slow for reduction required in CO2 emissions

December 16th, 2012 by University of Edinburgh

Vattenfall Carbon Capture and Storage facility at the coal-fired Schwarze Pumpe power station in Spremberg, Germany (click image to expand - image courtesy of Vattenfall)

According to carbon capture & storage researchers, progress in the crucial technology designed to combat climate change is worryingly slow.

Work on creating facilities for carbon capture and storage – which removes carbon dioxide from power plants and stores it deep underground – is not progressing sufficiently.

Lack of progress will lead to failure to meet the reduction in CO2 emissions needed to limit damaging levels of climate change, according to the research by the University of Edinburgh.

Despite plans for a large number of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects around the world, too few of these are going ahead.

Researchers found despite the technology being ready, effective, safe and cost-competitive, efforts to build large-scale CCS projects are behind schedule, and in Europe have stalled.

Much greater support from Government is needed to allow business to invest and enable the technology to deliver, according to the study published in Nature Climate Change.

Dr Vivian Scott of Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage (SCCS) at the University of Edinburgh, who led the work, said “global use of fossil fuels is increasing year on year, and CCS is the only way of addressing the resulting CO2 emissions.

“CCS is supported in Canada and the USA, and China is active in developing it, but Europe is falling behind. Governments are failing to back CCS projects selected for funding by their own programmes, while actively supporting new coal and gas power plants.”


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