Politicians, representatives and stakeholders from industry and environmental organisations were gathered at the annual ZEP General Assembly in order to discuss how to maximise the effect of CCS in Europe.
Bellona Europa’s Paal Frisvold argued that “if ZEP is to rise to the occasion and help find necessary funding, it must now provide a very clear signal. Technology is no longer the issue”.
Founded in 2005, the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP) is a unique coalition of stakeholders united in their support for CO2 capture and storage (CCS) as a key technology in combating climate change. ZEP serves as advisor to the European Commission on the research, demonstration and deployment of CCS.
ETS – “the system works”
The collapsed CO2 emission price within the Emission Trading System (ETS) as a result of the economic crisis has received a lot of blame for the fact that CCS technology is slowing down in Europe. Both Jos Delbeke (Director General, DG Clima) and Paal Frisvold agreed that ETS alone will not do the trick as it works now. Delbeke insisted that ETS was foreseen to be marked-based, and not to be perceived as regulated by politicians and bureaucrats in Brussels. However, he did confirm that back-loading a number of allowances is a necessary means to remedy the current situation.
Several of the panellists and presenters echoed Frisvold’s point that Europe now has the technology it needs in place and that all which is needed is to secure Member State support and funding in order to provide for a proper European CCS demonstration.
EU Member States need to confirm to the European Commission which projects they are keeping in the competition for NER300 funds. However MEP Chris Davies (ALDE) stated several times during the various debates on 2 October that “we only have 27 days to prove that CCS Europe is viable”; the deadline for Member States to confirm their support runs until the end of October. Davies underlined that ZEP and other CCS stakeholders can’t afford to drop the ball at the last moment.
ZEP Chairman Dr. Graeme Sweeney pointed to the fact that European actors were the first to work towards the development of CCS technologies, but that others have now moved ahead of us; he pointed to examples in countries like the United States, Canada and China. Still, he argued that; “climate change is a global problem and we can make the same advances happen here as in other parts of the world”. Director at Bellona Europa, Jonas Helseth, made the same observation in his presentation of progressing Bio-CCS with relation to the report released in June on this issue; “we have a global CO2 problem; regardless of whether it comes from cement, coal or biomass, we still need to capture and permanently get rid of as much of it as we can”.
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