The seminar was attended by representatives from various CCS Regions of the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and France, coming from industry, academia, NGOs and public authorities. Four working groups discussed different issues, including public awareness and permission; the means by which to foster technological progress; the need and means by which to strengthen the current EU and member state legislative frameworks; and the advantages of a regional co-operative approach to CCS.
The attendees of the workshop on public awareness and permission heard that general public awareness of CCS is still very low compared to other low-carbon technologies. Moreover, it became clear that the process by which industry and other stakeholders approach the local residents of a future CCS project is pivotal to the project’s success. There was strong support for Bellona’s view that the technological advancement of the project must run parallel to that of the public awareness and permission programme from the early planning and permit acquisition phases.
The workshop on current EU and member state legislative frameworks heard that there was a clear need for a clarification of liabilities and safety regulations in the form of EU guidelines. This would allow industry to plan their investments with greater legislative certainty.
Moreover, comprehensive and clear safety regulations are needed and could contribute to the success of public permission or outreach programmes. The relevant legislation here is the EU Directive on the Geological storage of CO2 (Directive 2009/31/EC), which must be transposed into national law across by June 2011. Member States must adhere to the deadline as well as transposing the Directive in a manner that will enforce unambiguous and comprehensive safety measures.
Other issues were also discussed, including which activities the EU or Member States should be undergoing in parallel to the CCS demonstration programmes. Attendees heard that a mapping of geological storage locations for CO2 – especially in saline aquifers – would help the EU to prepare itself for the commercial deployment of CCS by 2020. Another important topic of discussion was the means by which to foster investment in the infrastructure expansion needed to deploy CCS, in response to which various attendees defended the idea of creating forward capacity markets.
Most importantly, the attendees discussed and acknowledged the benefits of knowledge-sharing and cooperation amongst CCS regions in an effort to move forward and accelerate the deployment of CCS in the EU.
Recommendations published by Bellona Europa on public outreach activities and support for CCS can be found here.