New report reviews the role of fossil fuel-based carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the energy sector
21 January 2021
In the context of highly constrained global carbon budgets for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, significant progress in energy sector decarbonisation is essential by 2030.
Commissioned by Friends of the Earth Scotland and Global Witness, the report reflects on the latest updates on CCS from the Global CCS Institute, International Energy Agency and others.
Although there has been significant progress in the UK through the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, and longer-term applications of CCS in industrial processes and for carbon dioxide removal may be necessary, the report finds that this is not necessarily the case for fossil fuel-based CCS in the energy sector. CCS deployment for power, heat and transport decarbonisation in the UK has been largely non-existent thus far and this is likely to remain the case until 2025 at the earliest. As such, the role of natural gas and coal-based CCS for power generation has been downgraded in many future energy pathway scenarios (such as the IEA and UK National Grid).
With the increasing acknowledgement in national policy of the need to transform energy systems significantly by 2030, CCS deployment is likely now too slow to participate substantively in this part of the transition. Concerns about residual emissions from capture and fuel supply stages of fossil fuel CCS for power and hydrogen in the context of constrained carbon budgets suggest a limited role is possible in the energy system post 2030 where 2050 net zero targets exist.
Although options for CCS in industry and carbon dioxide removal remain open, questions remain on what role fossil fuel-based CCS can have a role in the future.
Read the full report at the link below-