The report points out that a main feature of the CCS development has been a lack of attention by public and policy makers over the past several years. At the same time, science increasingly points to the dangers of climate change and various mitigation plans continue to emphasise the critical role of CCS to limit temperature increase.
While there remains a need to continue to test, improve and deploy CCS technologies in capture, transport and storage, the report finds that there is a need to take a fresh new look at some of the challenges facing CCS.
First, it is of particular importance to boost activity in the area of CO2 storage, on various levels. Storage is critical to any project design and must be addressed up front. While storage is the last of the three steps of a CCS project, it must be developed simultaneously with capture and transport, from the very beginning. To understand the emission reduction potential of CCS, decision makers need to understand the size and distribution of CO2 storage resources, and it would be important to achieve a clear and widely shared definition of CO2 storage potential and an agreed method for its calculation. The IEA argues that moving to a uniform methodology can enable stakeholders to identify and compare different storage resources in different locations. There is also a need to enhance the co-operation between organisations that have attempted or completed CO2 storage resource assessments and those that are looking to begin assessments.
It is, furthermore, emphasised that CCS also is critically important for industrial applications, not only for power, in order to achieve mitigation targets. Many heavy industries, such as steel and cement, produce significant CO2 emissions in their manufacturing processes, and CCS may be the only option to address these emissions.
Lastly, the report underlines that it is important to carefully categorise the various potential CO2 utilisation options, as not all utilisation is beneficial to climate change mitigation efforts.
Read the full report: CCS 2014