COP 17 to decide on CCS inclusion under the CDM
The 17th conference of parties to be held in Durban later this year is likely to be decisive in deciding whether CCS projects are to be included under the clean development mechanism (CDM). Some key issues to be resolved are site selection, monitoring systems, liability for ongoing integrity of CO2 storage and project financing. Regardless, the inclusion of CCS is not expected to result in a significant increase in Carbon Credits entering the international market. A recent UNFCCC technical workshop in Abu Dhabi titled "Technical workshop on modalities and procedures for CCS in geological formations as CDM project activities" went a long way to dealing with some of these concerns according to participants. A clear set of modalities were developed and will be used as the basis for discussion at COP 17.
Latest report paints mixed picture for CCS industry
The annual report by the Global CCS Institute has shown that the ongoing financial crises has put a dampener on CCS projects and resulted in a number of projects closing down or being cancelled. The reports states that there are 74 large-scale integrated CCS projects around the world in 2011, down from 77 in 2010. Of these 14 are either operating or under construction. The report does highlight a number of positive developments including the development of the large scale Gorgon CO2 injection project in Australia. Despite significant financial challenges the report upheld its predictions that there would be 20 large-scale projects up and running by 2020.
The report is available here.
Carbon Capture and Storage investment grows by 50% in 2010
According to the Climate Change Business Journal investment in Carbon Capture and Storage initiatives increased by 50% in 2010 to reach $2.4 billion globally.
Report finds CCS competitive in the future
A recent study by the Global CCS Institute has claimed that CCS becomes competitive once low-cost technology options such as hydro and wind energy are fully exploited. The study emphasizes the importance of using many different technologies to tackle climate change and concludes that average power generation costs will be higher if CCS is not implemented.
Taiwanese state-run enterprises launch CCS programs
Three of Taiwan's leading state-run enterprises have launched programs to begin developing CCS technologies pursuant to a government initiative to decrease Taiwan's carbon footprint.
Joint agreement on CCS implementation in India.
The European Commission and the Tiruchiapallia Regional Engineering College have reached a joint agreement whereby they will work together to apply CCS technology in Indian thermal power stations. The joint venture will partner with the State owned Bharat Heavy Electricals and is the first time such a initiative has been attempted in India.
Global CCS Institute opens office in Tokyo
The Global CCS Institute has opened its first Asian office in Tokyo extending its international network that already includes offices in Europe and North America.
Norwegian CCS Technology Centre at Mongstad granted CO2 discharge permit
The Technology Centre at Mongstad (TCM) in Norway has received a CO2 discharge permit from the Norwegian Climate and Pollution Agency which will allow the TCM to commence the next stage of its CCS program. The US$1 billion project is now 80% developed and at completion will consist of two large scale CCS plants, tested with two real life CO2 point sources, a power plant and oil refinery. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of CCS at a commercial level.
New partnership to develop CCS project in China
Alstom and China Datang Corporation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a long-term partnership and develop a CCS demonstration project in China.
Carbon storage breakthrough
The Australia Co-operative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies has developed the world's first single well test for the evaluation of the storage capacity and security of the geological storage of carbon. The technology will allow carbon emissions to be stored in a safe and long term way. The Australian Government is providing $18.6 million in support of the project.
Otway Project a success.
Australia's leading geological carbon storage project has successfully completed its $10 million research program. The program ran for 11 weeks and successfully sequestrated 65 000 tonnes of CO2 in permanent geological formations. The research developed new skills and standards for monitoring the CO2 insertion process and ensuring that the CO2 would remain stored permanently.
Canadian Standards Association seeks comments on world's first proposed CCS technical standard
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA), in partnership with the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of CO2, has released what would be the world's first technical standard for the geological storage of CO2 for public comment.
The proposed standard, which is intended for implementation in both Canada and the United States, is being make available for comment by the CSA until 27 December 2011.
The new standard is also intended to form the basis for an international standard to be subsequently developed by the International Organization for Standardization.
The draft CSA technical standard is available here.
Vattenfall delays CCS project plans
The German Utility Vattenfall Europe AG has decided to delay plans to build a CCS demonstration plant worth EUR1.5 billion in eastern Germany. The company says its decision was influenced by Germany's new draft laws on CCS which impose a lengthy liability period for companies engaged in CCS.
German CCS law blocked by Parliament
Legislation that would have allowed CO2 to be stored underground in Germany has been blocked by the Upper House of the German Parliament. The bill included plans for a number of pilot CCS projects before a full viability assessment in 2017. Germany must now come up with different legislation in order to meet its obligations under the EU directive on CCS.
CCS potential in New Zealand
Transfield Worley has released a new report titled "CCS in New Zealand – Can Carbon Capture and Storage deliver Value for New Zealand as we head towards a low carbon future". The report highlights a number of installations where utilizing CCS technology would be relatively cheap and effective. Overall the report concluded that while CCS development in New Zealand would require significant government support it could produce safe and effective results towards reducing carbon emissions.
The report is available here.
Longannet CCS project cancelled
Scottish Power has announced that the planned £1billion CCS project at the Longannet power station has been cancelled. The power station has cited cost as being the primary reason the project failed. Scottish Power, which operates Longannet, put the cost at £1.5billion and the UK government decided it did not want to spend more than £1billion on supporting the trial and pulled away from the project. Scottish Power also referred to technical difficulties involved in piping the captured CO2 to the North Sea Gas Fields and increased costs. While the cancellation of this project represents a setback in the development of demonstration CCS plants in the UK, the Government has announced that it is committed to preserving the £1 billion in funding for up to four CCS demonstration projects. The Petershead power station has already expressed initial interest in hosting its own CCS project.
The £20 million worth of design work and studies conducted by the consortium of Scottish Power, National Grid and BP that were running the project will be made available through the Government's Knowledge Transfer program.
New Energy Act receives Royal Assent
The new Energy Act 2011 which contains two CCS specific provisions has passed parliament and received royal assent. Section 107 allows the reuse of offshore oil and gas infrastructure when used as part of a CCS demonstration project. Specifically, it removes the liability of previous owners for any future activities that occur as part of a CCS project. Section 108 amends the Pipe-Line Act 1962 to allow for the compulsory acquisition of rights to transport CO2 from the owners of the land through which the pipeline passes. This facilitates the ability for CCS operators to use pre-existing transportation infrastructure.
New Carbon-Capture Simulation Project
The Energy Technologies Institute has commenced a $4.7 million simulation project that uses software to demonstrate to power companies how to best develop CCS sites economically. Backed by Royal Dutch Shell and BP the project is designed to provide complex models to both power plant operators and policy makers.
New 'CCS ready' Gas-Fired Power Station approved
Scottish Ministers have approved a new 1 000MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) station in East Lothian, Scotland. The station has been designed to be fitted with next generation CCS technology. The plans have been criticized however, as campaigners argue that the 'CCS ready' aspects rely on as yet CCS technology which is currently not available commercially.
$14 million in new government funding for CCS
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced $14 million in new funding for six projects aimed at decreasing the cost of CCS in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCCC) power plants. The funding is conditional on the maintenance of the highest environmental standards and looks to support national energy security while also decreasing CO2 emissions associated with coal power generation.
Grace receives government grant for CCS technologies
W.R. Grace & Co has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive a three year, $3 million grant for the development of advanced post-combustion CCS technologies in coal fired power plants. The project aims to capture 90% of power plant CO2 emissions while minimizing the amount of energy and subsequent retail energy price rises associated with the technology in the past.