European Parliament votes to support EU funding for first CCS demonstration plants

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“This vote is crucial in reducing emissions from large emission points such as coal-fired power plants,” said Eivind Hoff of Bellona Europa.

“The European Parliament vote today is a first sign that the EU is willing to put its money where its mouth is and get started with this technology.”

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At first, a compromise version of the funding mechanism was narrowly defeated by the committee in a rare 33-33 vote, due to one abstention. It was expected that the original version of the amendment would later be defeated as well.

Instead, against all customs of European Parliament voting, Chris Davies stood up and told his fellow MEPs that this was the last chance for the committee to take responsibility for getting CCS off the ground. The funding mechanism was supported by a vast majority in a show-of-hands vote.

12 demonstration plants
The EU heads of state and government committed themselves in March 2007 to the construction of 10-12 full-scale CCS demonstration plants by 2015. Yet, no investment decisions have been made, as neither industry nor individual EU Member States have volunteered to pay the bill.

The funding mechanism sets aside 500 million EU emission allowances under its emissions trading scheme (ETS) – about 3 percent of all allowances in the period from 2013 to 2020. These will be given to fund at least 12 large-scale CCS plants.

The allowances will be promised to the CCS projects based on competitive tendering to prevent windfall profits, and to maximise co-financing by Member States and industry itself. The allowances will be handed over only after the storage of CO2 has been verified.

Subsidies necessary
Subsidisation of the first CCS projects is a necessary carrot to test out the entire set of CCS technologies and options. Bellona does not support any long-term subsidisation of the technology.

“In general, polluters should pay for CCS themselves if they want to continue burning coal and gas. This can be done by simply putting a ceiling on how much CO2 is allowed to be emitted per kWh of electricity power plants generate,” Hoff said.

The environment committee will vote this afternoon on this proposal to ban high CO2-emitting power plants, as part of the proposed directive on geological storage of CO2. Bellona will revert to this issue immediately after the vote.

After today’s votes, the European Parliament’s rapporteurs will now have to convince the Council and the Member States that polluting coal has no future, with the aim of reaching formal agreement between the European Parliament and the Council by the end of the year.

For further information, contact:

Paal Frisvold, Bellona Europa: +32 473 97 87 60

Eivind Hoff, Bellona Europa: +32 473 48 05 56

Bellona

info@bellona.no