CCS in Europe
The Commission has identified two major tasks for deployment of Carbon Capture and Geological Storage (CCS):
Developing an enabling legal framework and economic incentives for CCS within the EU - read more
Encouraging a network of demonstration plants across Europe and in key third countries.
The Communication on Sustainable Power Generation from Fossil Fuels (.pdf, 60KB), adopted on 10 January 2007 as part of the energy package, looks at how best to meet the twin objectives of energy security and greenhouse gas reduction to meet the EU's goal of not exceeding 2°C average temperature increase from pre-industrial levels. It also sets out our general strategy with respect to Carbon Capture and Storage, including our work on the regulatory framework, incentive framework, and support programmes, as well as external elements (technology co-operation with key countries on CCS). It outlines the work programme on CCS to be pursued in the coming 2-3 years.
Proposal of an enabling legal framework for CCS
Manage risks associated with CCS. The task here is to ensure that CO2 is stored in safe sites that are properly permitted, where the environmental impacts have been assessed, and where provisions for management and abandonment of the site ensure that stored CO2 is retained in the long term. A stand-alone framework has been developed. The Impact Assessment on CCS has examined the technical and legal options.
Remove unwarranted barriers to CCS in existing legislation. These were cases where CCS was restricted by current drafting, but which were not affecting achievement of the legislation's environmental objectives. There were also unwarranted barriers in certain international conventions: the amendment to the London Protocol on dumping of waste at sea and the amendment of the Annexes of the OSPAR Convention (on protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic) were successful initiatives to resolve the treatment of CCS at international level.
Examine any issues regarding long-term liability for the storage site which require action at EU level.
Improve communication to the public and stakeholders on the risks and how they are addressed. The impact assessment for the enabling legal framework has address all the perceived risks for CCS. Consultation has focused both on the scoping of the exercise (have we covered all the key issues?) and the proposed solutions (are the risks managed properly?).
Developing a network of demonstration projects
The major cost/economic factors that need to be considered are the increase in capital investment for the CCS activity and the increased operating costs needed to run the capture and storage plants.
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme
A key issue is the treatment of CCS under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The Working Group on the ETS set up under the Commission Communication 'Building a Global Carbon Market' has addressed to what extent to recognise CCS, having regard to the need for comparable treatment of low non-CO2 emitting activities and a level playing field both between various CCS options and across the EU for investment in CCS technologies.The role of CCS under the EU ETS has been addressed in the review of the EU ETS post-2012.
EU assistance for demonstration
The large-scale projects in the pipeline in Europe could form the basis of a range of demonstration projects across Europe and internationally, over the next 10-15 years, deploying a range of technologies. The Zero Emissions Fossil Fuel Technology Platform (ZEP) which produced in September 2007 a research agenda for CCS and a programme for strategic deployment, recommends a network of 10-12 integrated, large scale demonstration projects across Europe and a maximisation of co-operation at the international level.
The Communication on Sustainable Power Generation from Fossil Fuels sets out options for supporting a network of demonstration projects, including enhancing the existing Technology Platform, establishing special Commission-driven instruments (such as a Joint Technology Initiative or Joint Undertaking), and specific financing instruments with the participation of the banking sector (possibly through the EIB and/or EBRD). In 2007 the Commission has assessed in depth the identified instruments for supporting commercialisation of sustainable coal technologies; a Communication on Supporting Early Demonstration of Sustainable Power Generation from Fossil Fuels has been adopted on 23 January 2008 as a part of the Climate Action and Renewable Energy Package.
The Commission has consulted on its legal framework in the following ways:
Consultation meetings with stakeholders were conducted via meetings with stakeholders. The European Climate Change Programme Working Group III on CCS met four times during the first half of 2006. In early 2007 a large-scale stakeholder meeting was conducted. The meeting focused on the scope of the impact assessment process and aimed at checking that all the key issues were covered. The Commission presented an outline of its intended regulatory framework and gave opportunity to comment (for more information please check the links provided here).
An internet questionnaire on CCS.
A session in Green Week 2007 on CCS