Sunday, October 2, 2011

IEA Promotes Industrial CCS, With Market Mechanisms

At a 2008 meeting in Japan, G8 ministers asked the International Energy Agency (IEA) to prepare a series of "technology roadmaps" that would facilitate the global transition to a green, clean energy economy. IEA subsequently produced the report "Technology Roadmap: Carbon Capture and Storage," which sketched out a detailed pathway for CCS to help achieve a 50 percent reduction in global emissions by 2050. This CCS roadmap, centered on applications in the power sector, has proven influential in government and industry circles.

Now IEA has released a second CCS roadmap, the "Technology Roadmap: Carbon Capture and Storage in Industrial Applications," focused on utilization of CCS in iron and steel, cement manufacturing, etc. One of the key findings is that "CCS could reduce CO2 emissions by up to 4.0 gigatonnes (Gt) annually by 2050 in industrial applications, accounting for about 9% of the reductions needed to halve energy-related CO2 emissions by 2050. To achieve this target, 20% to 40% of all facilities need to be equipped with CCS by 2050" (p. 5). As in the previous report, the roadmap presents a sequence of steps designed to reach this ambitious goal.

Of particular note, the roadmap observes that "Governments and financiers need to ensure funding mechanisms are in place to support demonstration and deployment of CCS in developing countries, where the largest opportunities exist for CO2 capture in industrial applications" (p. 5). Furthermore, "If CCS can be implemented through the ... Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) or other new global climate mechanisms, the cost barrier could be partly overcome" (p.5). The UNFCCC Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) is currently grappling with a number of issues relating to inclusion of CCS in the CDM. Hopefully the publication of this latest roadmap will spur SBSTA members to finalize mechanisms for incorporating CCS, applied in multiple sectors, into the CDM and hence provide an important incentive for the accelerated adoption of this key carbon reduction technology.

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