The deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) on industrial CO₂ sources and power generation is essential if Europe is to meet its long-term climate change objectives, retain jobs and improve competitiveness. This will be impossible without the availability of CO₂ storage. However, the North Sea is the largest CO₂ storage resource in Europe and offers the ideal location for developing CO₂ transport and storage infrastructure.
In September 2013, leading CCS experts from across Europe gathered at the SCCS annual conference in Edinburgh to identify how the European Union can unlock the North Seas potential as a shared CO₂ storage resource. This report draws on the presentations and discussions that resulted, and sets out six key recommendations for accelerating action on CCS for Europe.
At this time when EU decision makers are considering future EU climate and energy policy, the report proposes actions that can be taken at EU and Member State level to create a business case for investment in CO₂ storage. It identifies how a clearer vision for CCS deployment, targeted incentives and practical actions can combine to kickstart low-cost, high-value investments in the capture, transport and storage of CO₂ in and around the North Sea.
Also available: SCCS's briefings on industrial CCS in Scotland and Europe:
Recommendation 1: A strategic vision for CCS in 2030
Position CCS for deployment sufficient for EU industrial emissions and power generation
Ensure CCS is explicitly addressed in the EUs 2030 framework for climate and energy policy, and in line with the emissions reductions required across the economy by 2050.
Recommendation 2: Policies and incentives that drive investment
Incentivise CCS through sticks and carrots applied to fossil fuel producers
Targeted policy and financial incentives to engage industry and the oil and gas sector as the key delivery agents for CO₂ storage at commercial scale.
Recommendation 3: Sourcing low-cost CO₂
Accelerate CCS by sourcing high-purity CO₂ captured from industry
Utilise available industrial sources of high-purity CO₂ in pre-commercial test injection projects to prove storage assets and de-risk long-term CCS operations.
Recommendation 4: The transport link in the chain
Advance CCS by developing CO₂ infrastructure as Projects of Common Interest
A specific European Commission call for CO₂ transport projects during 2014 as a means of supporting the characterisation of North Sea storage sites.
Recommendation 5: Establishing CO₂ storage for Europe
Validate North Sea storage capacity through six early projects
A five-year focus on delivering six pre-commercial operational CO₂ storage sites to validate a variety of storage options and prove at least 1 to 2 gigatonnes of bankable storage capacity.
Recommendation 6: Empowering North Sea cooperation
Support CCS efforts by reinvigorating government and industry collaboration
Revitalise and empower the North Sea Basin Task Force as a forum for strategic collaboration, to secure Projects of Common Interest and a supportive EU policy framework.