Interview with the Global CCS Institute’s General Manager for Advocacy & Communications. The Institute is part of the STRATEGY CCUS Advisory Board.
Why was the Institute interested in being involved in the STRATEGY CCUS project?
The STRATEGY CCUS project is a great and unique opportunity to be part of a group of experts and leading organisations looking at future opportunities for carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment in Europe, and gain insights into the potential next wave of projects in the region. Your work and objectives are closely aligned with our own efforts in Europe.
We work globally to accelerate the deployment of CCS, a vital technology needed to support global efforts to tackle climate change and achieve significant emission reductions in energy-intensive industries and sectors.
We aim to build knowledge, shift the narrative and enable investment. As part of our advocacy efforts, we work with our members, the broader CCS community and other key stakeholders, including NGOs, the financial sector and policymakers.
By collaborating with the partners and other stakeholders involved in STRATEGY CCUS, we hope that all sides will benefit from working together. We hope our own experience and expertise will contribute to the project’s success.
Through the exchange of information, insights and expertise, we can advance the shared common goal of seeing more CCS projects come online across Europe in the coming years; these future projects will be key to supporting Europe’s industrial transition and efforts to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
How do you see the Institute’s role in the Advisory Board?
The Institute is the only existing global organisation with global expertise on CCS. Given this expertise, our global reach and our technical and research work, we hope to provide strategic guidance, expert insights and technical and specialist advice for different elements of the project and work package activities. We’ll also support the dissemination of the project’s findings at European and global level.
Alongside other mitigation solutions, CCS has an important role in supporting decarbonisation efforts and addressing the climate challenge. What are your views on the latest CCS developments in Europe?
In Europe, the release of the European Commission’s strategic vision for a climate-neutral European Union (EU) and more recently the launch of the European Green Deal has given renewed momentum for CCS in the region.
There is an understanding that CCS is needed to decarbonise Europe’s energy-intensive industries. Against this backdrop, there is now an opportunity for Europe to support innovation and the deployment of clean technologies and become a frontrunner in this field. The EU Industrial Strategy will also be an important vehicle to advance CCS in Europe, foster clean growth opportunities and build a clean and sustainable future for European industry.
It’s evident that CCS is back in climate and energy policy discussions as there is increasing pressure to scale up climate action and reduce emissions from energy-intensive sectors.
In Europe, there are two operating large-scale CCS facilities, both in Norway. There are another four large-scale facilities in different stages of development, two in the Netherlands, one in Norway and one in Ireland. These are innovative projects that are ready to come online in the next few years. [Access the Institute’s global Facilities Database]
Beyond these projects, that are several industries and industrial hubs and clusters across Europe that could present good opportunities and locations for future deployment of CCS. These are the next wave of promising projects that can realise economies of scale and ensure risk reduction. Some of these promising regions are being studied in the context of the STRATEGY CCUS project.
What about the progress of CCS globally?
There have been exciting developments in the last year. The Institute’s flagship Global Status of CCS Report for 2019 found that the pipeline of CCS facilities has seen an increase for the second year in a row.
This is partly explained by recent positive policy developments for CCS around the world, including in the US and the UK. To date, there are 51 large-scale CCS facilities in operation or under development globally in a variety of industries and sectors. These include 19 facilities in operation, four under construction, and 28 in various stages of development.
Another illustration of the strong renewed momentum for CCS both in Europe and globally is the growth of our membership. Over the past six months, the Institute welcomed 12 new members from the industrial, financial and energy sectors.
Yet despite the positive momentum and the good progress in CCS deployment, the number of facilities still needs to grow considerably – a 100-fold increase by 2040 – in order to deliver climate targets. Presently, the deployment of CCS is just not happening fast enough, so it’s crucial to continue work on the next wave of CCS projects and step up advocacy efforts to help accelerate CCS deployment. The Institute’s global work and projects such as STRATEGY CCUS are an important part of these efforts.
How is the STRATEGY CCUS project’s focus on Southern and Eastern European regions particularly important for the deployment of CCS in Europe?
The regions selected for STRATEGY-CCUS host important high-carbon industries and industrial hubs, making them promising regions to study. As Europe steps up its climate efforts and ambition, climate neutrality will require the close involvement of all regions and industries in the green transition and industrial transformation.
Industry is the backbone of Europe’s economy and it will be important to maintain and support a strong, innovative and competitive industrial basis. This project is an opportunity to strategically and proactively support the transformation and transition of regional industries to a carbon neutral economy. It is also an opportunity to develop concrete and actionable plans for industrial transformation.
STRATEGY-CCUS can also be an important starting point for these regions to consider future development of CCUS deployment to support significant emission reductions for their local industries. By putting forward CCS development plans and business models for these regions, this gives a solid basis for strategic planning for the development of CCS in those regions.
(Main photo and inset of Guloren Turan courtesy of Global CCS Institute)