To combat climate change and the greenhouse gas emissions as its cause, it becomes increasingly clear that we’ll need to find ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere in the future, creating so-called carbon-negative emissions. Those could be achieved through capture and permanent geological storage of biogenic CO2. A new report – “Biomass with CO2 Capture and Storage (Bio-CCS), the way forward for Europe,” was launched today as part of the official programme of the European Commission for its Sustainable Energy Week. The publication is the first example of a joint report by two EU technology platforms: the Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP) and the European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP). This balance exercise was initiated and co-chaired by Bellona, a member of both platforms, who also provided the secretariat and meeting premises during the last 1.5 years.
Bio-CCS Joint Taskforce brought together high-level experts on CCS and biomass from across Europe to deliver a report showing that technologies removing CO2 from the atmosphere are a reality rather than science-fiction. Emissions resulting from conversion and/or combustion of sustainably produced and processed biomass are recognised as being neutralised over time, as new biomass is grown to replace it and take up the same amount of CO2. If the CO2 emitted in such processes is captured and stored, carbon-negative value chains are attained which withdraw more CO2 from the atmosphere than they emit.
The new document underlines that Bio-CCS and negative emissions can and must make an important contribution to the fight against climate change. By 2050, the technical potential for negative emissions in Europe, i.e. converting all available European sustainable biomass in combination with CCS, could amount up to 800 Mt CO2 removed annually, the report says. It explains further on that CCS deployment for several biofuels’ production routes can come at a very low additional cost where units are large or could be clustered. Overall, Bio-CCS deployed within a portfolio of other low-carbon technologies could result in industry sectors with an overall negative carbon footprint, the report concludes, giving a set of actions required on the EU level to make carbon-negative emissions possible.
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