Decarbonisation Technology May 2022 Issue

In North America, the 45Q tax credit in the US alleviated costs and enabled businesses to reflect on CCS as a long-term investment. Enacted in 2008, the tax credit has since been reformed to provide greater regulatory clarity and will soon support small-scale CCS networks to allow for the cost relief benefits that those operations seek. Economic and commercial viability As more projects get off the ground, the economic and commercial viability of CCS will continue to take centre stage. While upfront costs of CCS can be high, the demand for producing low-carbon products is rising. In the Middle East, a global hot spot for the energy market, CCS is taking on a greater role as an enabling technology to support the energy transition and shore up sustainable business models for major corporations. Although there are only three CCS facilities in the region, 3.7 million tonnes of CO₂ are being captured from those projects alone – that accounts for 10% of the total amount of CO₂ currently being captured globally. As more facilities in the Middle East adopt CCS, the region has the potential to capture up to 60 million tonnes of CO₂ by 2035. Growing alongside a CCS market is a growing job market. CCS facilities are large engineering and construction projects, and their design, build, and operation will create a significant number of high-value jobs as more CCS projects get developed (Global CCS Institute, 2021). If 2050 international climate targets are to be met, on average, around 70 CCS facilities will need to be built per year, creating up to 100,000 construction jobs and 40,000 ongoing operations jobs within a few decades (Global CCS Institute, 2020). The potential for the commercial viability of CCS is also spurring interest in innovative methods of capturing and storing CO₂. Direct air carbon capture – where CO₂ is captured from the air, as opposed to a point source from a facility – is seeing a rise in popularity, particularly in North America. Although adoption of the technology is in the early stages, the opportunity to capture and store CO₂ that has already been released has the potential to be deployed on a wide scale.

Similarly, governments and industries are turning to opportunities around low-carbon hydrogen production – an area where CCS will play a role if a booming hydrogen sector is to grow with the net-zero aim. Undoubtedly, the opportunities that exist for CCS are diverse and exciting. However, more will be needed beyond financial investments and grants to get projects into development. For CCS to reach commercial viability, supporting projects means adequately resolving legal and regulatory uncertainties associated with CO₂ storage. In many regions around the world, CCS policies are either non-existent or lack the maturity to provide industry with the confidence to forge ahead with projects. In areas like Europe, where CCS policies do exist, further CCS regulations regarding CO₂ transport and storage infrastructure will be crucial to further scale-up and investment. Where CCS is headed To balance the books on global emissions, carbon removal technologies, like CCS, will need to play a stronger role in the years to come. In 2021, we saw 71 new projects added to the project pipeline and a 33% growth in CCS capacity (Global CCS Institute, 2021). While the ongoing growth in the CCS market is reassuring, the reality remains that 2,000 CCS facilities will be needed by 2050 for net zero to be reached. To address the urgency, both government and industry appear to agree that a collaborative approach is needed to scale up CCS projects. That collaboration has, so far, been illustrated both in the funding mechanisms and policies that exist – from grants, tax credits, and carbon markets – and in the inclusive CCS business model in place, primarily in the form of a hub and cluster network. As 2050 nears, matching climate ambition with urgent climate action will drive CCS adoption, inching us closer to a net- zero future.


Guloren Turan


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