Decarbonisation Technology May 2022 Issue

Commission, 2021). This ambitious but much- needed target is being supported through a number of policy mechanisms, including grant programmes and an emissions trading system. Collaborative efforts and the rise of CCS As a method to mitigate both cost and operational risk, CCS networks – where several CCS projects share CO₂ transport and storage infrastructure to enhance cost savings – have taken off. Across the UK and Europe in particular, industrial players are partnering up with the public sector to get CCS networks off the ground (see Figure 2 ). The response has been promising. In 2020, the UK government pledged to allocate £1 billion towards the development of CCS clusters, with an aim to have four fully operational networks by 2030. Concurrently, the European Commission has developed supportive CCS policy and grant schemes to drive project development, most notably through the EU Innovation Fund – one of the world’s largest funding programmes aimed at scaling up green technologies. While the size of the funding pot is directly tied to revenues made from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), the Innovation Fund will allocate 20-25 billion Euros to projects by 2030 – a small fraction of which has already been dispersed. In April of this year, seven green tech projects totalling 1.1 billion Euros formally signed their grant agreements with the Commission – four of which are CCS focused (European Commission, 2022). With projects in Finland, Sweden, France, and Belgium being supported, the Innovation Fund is opening new doors for CCS across Europe. Similarly, in Norway, the recently approved and funded Longship Project aims to provide ample CO₂ storage space for CCS initiatives, both from industrial facilities domestically and from facilities across Europe. The ambitious effort will initially store 0.8 million tonnes of CO₂, with the capacity to expand and provide 5 million tonnes of CO₂ storage space. Although the Norwegian government will provide two-thirds of the funding needed to develop Longship, the European Commission will also support the project and carry some of the cost burdens. At present, five major

corporations have signed on to take part in the Longship project (Bellona, 2020). The Norcem cement plant in Brevik – owned and operated by Heidelberg Cement – championed the project, acknowledging that CCS is one of the few climate solutions they can rely on to decarbonise the cement industry. As 2050 climate targets near, CCS is no longer an option but a necessity. CCS and international climate targets The Paris Agreement calls for global warming not to exceed 1.5-2º by 2050 if we are to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. A tough target but one that remains within reach so long as all proven climate mitigating tools are urgently deployed and fully utilised – including CCS. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), CCS will need to account for 15% of the world’s emissions reduction by mid-century – that requires a 100-fold increase in CCS facilities between now and then (IEA, 2020). To achieve this, a rapid scale- up of projects across the energy-intensive According to the IEA, CCS will need to account for 15% of the world’s emissions reduction by mid-century – that requires a 100-fold increase in CCS facilities between now and then sphere will need to retrofit their industrial facilities with CCS where possible, as soon as possible. In time, climate impacts will further affect the bottom line of businesses – particularly as stronger climate policies are implemented – making the business case for CCS more attractive. In Europe, the EU ETS has made emitting CO₂ a financial cost that is ever increasing. With CCS recognised as a climate- mitigating tool, both under the EU ETS system and within the EU Green Taxonomy, energy-intensive industries are turning to the technology to reach net zero and mitigate the price tag associated with their operations.


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