The objectives of the Working Party on Fossil Fuels (WPFF) are to encourage energy security and environmental protection by monitoring fossil fuel technology-related policies and trends of IEA member and key partner countries. The WPFF has been instrumental in bringing carbon capture and storage (CCS) and clean coal technologies to the forefront of policy debates. It works closely with the IEA Coal Industry Advisory Board, the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute and the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum.
Implementing Agreements (IAs) in the fossil fuel portfolio include:
Recent topics examined under the auspices of the WPFF, involving experts from IAs, were as follows:
- 'Next Generation Fossil Fuel Technologies' is a recurring theme in WPFF meetings. Recent issues examined include advances in technologies related to shale gas exploration, coal-fired power plants and processes to create crude oil from coal. For each area, national research programmes were measured against industrial perspectives, particularly with regard to improvements in treating environmental issues. The results of the discussions informed the Technology Roadmap: High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions Coal-Fired Power Generation.
- The 'High-Level Policy Dialogue on Implementation of Carbon Capture and Storage' was a roundtable reporting from IEA member country governments, China, and international initiatives of national priorities with regard to CCS. Despite a significant increase in pilot projects, participants shared current challenges relating to implementation, in particular relating to regulation, investments and infrastructure needs (in the cases where the geological formation is far from the origin of the CO2). The need to review and revise policies and investment strategies to match technology evolution was cited.