The CCS project pipeline is growing more robustly than ever. From 73 million tonnes a year (Mtpa) at the end of 2020, the capacity of projects in development grew to 111 Mtpa in September 2021 – a 48 per cent increase1. Despite unprecedented growth in the CCS project pipeline, there remains a gap of what is required to reduce global anthropogenic emissions to net zero. Limiting global warming to 2⁰C requires installed CCS capacity to increase from around 40 Mtpa today to over 5,600 Mtpa by 2050. As highlighted by the IEA’s recent Net Zero report, Net Zero cannot realistically be delivered without the availability of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology.
CCS captures CO2 emissions and stores them safely underground. A versatile and proven technology, it can be applied to a variety of emission sources including hard to abate industry such as steel and cement production, chemical processes and power. Beyond capturing emissions from point sources the availability of CCS is also fundamental for the large scale use of Carbon Dioxide Removal. Technologies such as BECCS and Direct Air Capture, which draw down CO2 from our atmosphere, rely on the availability of CCS to subsequently store it. CCS also has an important role in the Hydrogen economy; storing CO2 arising from Blue Hydrogen - currently the lowest cost means of clean Hydrogen production.
Against a backdrop of greater climate commitments from countries and private companies, CCS has made significant strides forward during the last year. The Longship CCS project in Norway is the latest to begin construction and will for the first time use ships to transport CO2. In North America the Houston Ship channel project has been announced, offering the potential to capture more than 50 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually from Houston’s industry.
Governments around the world are increasingly supportive of CCS and enacting policy to enable deployment. In the United States the revised 45Q tax credit has been introduced, rewarding the geological storage of CO2. A number of bills outlining enhancements to this are currently being considered. In the EU the first group of CCS projects to be supported through the Innovation fund will be outlined in Q4 2021. Likewise, late 2021 the UK Government will announce the initial two clusters that will receive funding and become operational in the mid-2020s.
These and many other important CCS developments are summarised in the 2021 Global Status of CCS report. The Global CCS Institute’s annual publication provides analyses of the worldwide CCS facility pipeline, policy, legal and regulatory developments over the last 12 months.
1 CO2RE Database (2021) Global CCS Institute.
2 International Energy Agency (2020) Energy Technology Perspectives 2020: Special Report on Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage.