Report confirms CCS for biomass and industry

The report is an update of a 2007 report and focuses on the relative merits and challenges of renewable energy and fossil fuel CCS to reduce CO2 emissions from power generation.

Key messages include:

– In Germany, CCS could play a moderate role to curb emissions from fossil fuel power generation. In the optimal scenario, an average of 46 million tonnes of CO2 would be avoided annually in 2050 thanks to fossil fuel CCS. In total, fossil fuel CCS could represent 18% of avoided CO2 emissions from power generation in the period 2005-2050 (and effectively a higher proportion in the CCS deployment period given that the first CCS plants are expected to operate from 2015). This limited role for CCS as a bridging technology confirms that CCS subsidies should not come at the expense of subsidies to renewable energy or energy efficiency.

– It is important to get CCS ready for wide-spread deployment by 2020 – including for retrofits of existing plants. A delay of 5-10 years will significantly reduce its usefulness in German power generation.

– In Germany, greater emphasis should be put on CCS for biomass combustion and for industrial process emissions.

– CCS for coal-fired power plants remains important for curbing emissions in coal-rich emerging countries like China and India.

– An investigation is needed of the quantity of CO2 to be transported and injected and the infrastructure required is needed. An assessment should also be made of the capacity available to plants for transport and injection of CO2.

The last point reflects what Bellona has already started doing in several other European countries through national CCS roadmaps. The first of these roadmaps are due by the end of 2010. Bellona strongly supports the need to press ahead with such an investigation also in Germany.