- CO2 capture and storage (CCS) is essential for reaching Europe’s climate targets
- Cooperation between Sweden and Norway on the development of a common CCS infrastructure decreases the costs and increases the effectiveness of this climate measure.
- CO2 capture and storage offers great opportunities for industry and new jobs.
These were some of the points was that were highlighted at Bellona’s seminar on carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Oslo Thursday 7 December. A number of key stakeholders were gathered to bring forward the positive opportunities in what they all described as an absolutely crucial climate measure.
filtering CO2 from industrial flue gas and storing it permanently underground so that it doesn’t end up in the atmosphere. It is a decisive step to slow down global warming and for reaching the climate goals in the Paris agreement. Norway has very special prerequisites for this, with more than enough space for CO2 from all over Europe under the North Sea.
Must cooperate and share costs
“We cannot ignore CCS if we are to cope with the climate crisis. It’s a major investment, but more countries can share the bill” said member of parliament for Nya Moderaterna and co-author of the Swedish climate framework, Johan Hultberg.
“For a start, Norway and Sweden should cooperate. We can share costs and infrastructure” said Hultberg, as a reminder that Sweden has set the world’s toughest climate target: the country will become climate neutral by 2045. After that, the country aims to become carbon-negative, thus capturing more CO2 than they release into the atmosphere. “The important step now is to scale up quickly so that we get functional cleaning and storage facilities for CO2.
Important solution for waste
“CO2 capture is essential both for Norway to fulfill its obligations under the Paris agreement, and for Oslo to achieve its environmental goals,” said Eirik Folkvord Tandberg. He is the managing director of Fortum Oslo heating, which owns and operates the waste incineration and energy recovery plant at Klemetsrud. This plant alone accounts for about 25% of the total CO2 emissions in Oslo.
“Now politicians have to go ahead so that we can build full-scale CO2 capture facilities as quickly as possible,” said Tandberg. Three full-scale facilities in Norway are planned, but not yet granted, with a preliminary price tag of NOK 12.6 billion (EUR 1.28 billion).
“Yes, it is an expensive investment, but it is much more expensive to leave it out” concluded Tandberg. A successful CCS project in Oslo can contribute to the export of knowledge and technology to the approximately 450 waste incineration plants in Europe, with a corresponding reduction of CO2 from waste management.
Thousands of jobs
“CCS offers great opportunities for industry and new jobs. Storage alone can provide tens of thousands of jobs, including old oil installations that can be reversed into deposits for CO2 below sea”, said Olav Øye, senior advisor for CCS in the Bellona Foundation.
Industry currently accounts for a quarter of total CO2 emissions in Norway, and there are great opportunities for reducing these emissions with CCS.
Øye and Bellona believe that many new jobs in technology development can also be created:
“Norway is leading in capture, transportation and storage technologies, and can export the knowledge and facilities. There is potential for a completely new industry to be built. However it depends on whether Norway is able to keep its position. It is urgent to build the CCS plants, develop the technology further and get full-scale CCS infrastructure, and a Nordic cooperation can facilitate this process.