Limiting global warming to 2°C will require a tremendous effort in transforming the economy into a low carbon economy. This can only happen quickly enough through a combination of an unprecedented increase in energy efficiency, massive deployment of renewable energy technologies, accelerated deployment of CCS and application of CCS on bio-based energy sources to achieve carbon negative emissions. These technical solutions exist; the challenge is making the political and industrial decision-making process more efficient.
Today, coal and gas power plants emit all of their CO2 into the atmosphere, just as all large industrial production plants do. If CCS technology was implemented, these CO2 emissions would be almost eliminated.
Enhanced energy efficiency and increased renewable energy production are the two main strategies to combat global warming, but the potential for huge GHG emissions from these two strategies within short time is limited. The EU has set a target of at least 40% cut in GHG emissions by 2030 on the path to 80-95% by 2050, a target that is unachievable without CCS as a part of the strategy.
In Europe, upheavals in the energy system caused by expansion in renewables and outdated business models, coupled with concerns about energy security, have led to renewed emphasis on the role of fossil power and CCS.
On the matter of energy security, Bellona is clear that any enhanced use of indigenous fossil resources must be coupled with CCS – as outlined in the brief Ensuring energy supply security in Europe with CCS.
Three of Bellona’s CCS country roadmaps also address energy security: