Online seminar will share results from project focus on stakeholder engagement
The technologies collectively known as CCUS are recognised as an essential part of Europe’s trajectory to a climate-neutral future, enabling deep emission reductions from different industries.
As part of the STRATEGY CCUS project – which aims to unlock the potential of CCUS in Europe’s southern and eastern regions – researchers within the project, coordinated by the partners Fraunhofer and CIEMAT, carried out over 100 interviews with stakeholders in France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Romania, Greece and Poland. Additionally, some interviews were conducted with stakeholders at a European level to gain an overall perspective of CCUS in the EU.
The results have now been described in a new report, Stakeholders’ views on CCUS developments in the studied regions, currently being reviewed by the European Commission, which will be the focus of the project’s second webinar next month.
Interviewees from different regions and backgrounds - for example, regional and national as well as industry and education - were asked for their views on the future role of CCUS in their region. They were also asked to assess any drivers or barriers that might affect its implementation.
Ahead of the online seminar, the report’s authors have provided an overview of the report, which you can read below. The free webinar, Mapping stakeholder views on CCUS technologies in Southern and Eastern Europe, takes place on 17 September, 11am-12pm CEST. Find out more about the webinar and register here.
An overview of Stakeholders’ views on CCUS developments in the studied regions
The diffusion of CCUS technologies takes place in socio-technical systems and requires the acceptance and support of several stakeholder groups. To reflect the importance of societal actors in the CCUS innovation system development, the STRATEGY CCUS project has dedicated a work package (WP3) to understanding stakeholder and public attitudes towards CCUS applications.
This deliverable aims to map stakeholders’ views on CCUS technologies in eight European regions: Paris Basin (France); Rhône Valley (France); Ebro Basin (Spain); Lusitanian Basin (Portugal); Northern Croatia (Croatia); Galați Region (Romania); West Macedonia (Greece) and Upper Silesia (Poland). This has involved: i) identifying relevant actors for a societal discussion around CCUS; ii) conducting interviews with selected representatives of the stakeholder groups in the study regions as well as on the national and EU-level.
Semi-structured interviews with selected members of the stakeholder groups were conducted in each of the study regions to (1) identify stakeholders’ overall evaluation of CCUS technologies, (2) their level of acceptance of CCUS developments in their regions, (3) sources of concern, (4) perceived benefits and costs of the development of CCUS to the region, (5) conditions for acceptance, (6) perceived barriers and enablers to the development of CCUS in the study regions and (7) preferences and expectations for energy futures.
Most of the stakeholders consulted in the regions considered that the implementation of CCUS technologies would help in climate change mitigation and decarbonisation by significantly reducing emissions in the industry. In countries such as Spain and Portugal, interviewees emphasised the potential role of CCUS in reducing CO2 emissions from the process industries (e.g. cement and steel). In France, as well as in other countries, interviewees emphasised that CCUS should be considered as one of many options for reducing CO2 emissions.
Overall, we found a more favourable attitude towards carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) relative to carbon capture and storage (CCS), although some interviewees perceived CCU as promising in the long term but currently insufficient to result in significant reductions in CO2 emissions.
Stakeholders in the eight regions outlined the environmental global benefits (climate change mitigation) as well as the potential regional benefits of developing CCUS projects. The socio-economic benefits of implementing CCUS technologies were a key topic of discussion in the eight regions. Overall, there was the perception, not shared by all the stakeholders, that CCUS technologies would bring potential regional benefits in terms of job creation and the generation of new industries in the region.
As for the potential costs and risks of implementing CCUS in the regions, economic considerations as well as the potential risks for the environment (CO2 leakages) were raised by stakeholders in all the studied regions. The societal impacts of carbon capture and storage were also considered by the stakeholders.
Overall, most of the interviewees in the eight regions were rather positive about the development of CCUS technologies. Support for the deployment of CCUS in the regions was based on a favourable attitude towards CCUS technologies as well as on a recognition of the potential socioeconomic benefits of CCUS projects for the region.
Only a minority of stakeholder representatives were opposed or sceptical about the introduction of CCUS projects in their region. These interviewees reported a negative attitude towards CCS, preferred alternative technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and were sceptical about the potential regional benefits of CCUS projects.
As conditions for acceptance, interviewees mentioned the need to consider the costs (financial viability), acceptance issues (adequate information and engagement), and support from the government (new and adequate legislation).
Regarding the barriers for CCUS deployment in the regions, most of the interviewees referred to financial and economic barriers (economic feasibility of CCUS projects), lack of socio-political acceptance and technical feasibility. In Spain, Croatia and Romania, lack of support and interest from authorities, political actors, and administration was considered a critical barrier. Lack of technological know-how as well as limited CO2 storage possibilities were also barriers mentioned in countries such as Romania and Poland.
Regarding the enablers for the development of CCUS projects, interviewees in the various regions generally pointed to the existence of process and petrochemical industries potentially interested in implementing CCUS technologies as well as to the onshore geological storage capacity.
This report gives a comprehensive overview about the stakeholders’ perceptions, attitudes and interest in the selected regions. We hope this report contributes to discussions of the policy and social issues arising from CCUS developments.