A way to use fossil fuels but keep the carbon out of the air

2 July 2013

Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is a group of technologies that can allow continued use of fossil fuels in power production, albeit at the rates reduced from today’s levels, and still achieve the global goal of limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. CCS also is the only large-scale mitigation option currently available for deep cuts in emissions from industrial sectors such as cement, iron and steel, chemicals and refining. As the new IEA publication Technology Roadmap: Carbon capture and storage 2013 Edition explains, CCS is a necessary component of a low carbon future.

This updated Technology Roadmap shows how CCS can contribute a significant one-sixth of the CO2 emission reductions required in 2050 from the energy sector to meet the climate goal. To do that, the IEA publication calls for strong action by governments and business to construct a new industry capable of capturing and storing about 7 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 in 2050. By comparison, today’s global gas industry produces around 2.5 Gt of natural gas annually.

The current decade is critical for moving CCS beyond the demonstration phase. A budding CCS industry requires significant investments to prepare the technology and infrastructure. Technology Roadmap: Carbon capture and storage 2013 Edition explains the next steps industry and governments must take to develop strong business models, to implement incentive frameworks and mobilise the necessary financial resources to drive cost-effective CCS deployment.

The task is challenging but realistic. Putting 30 or more large-scale CCS projects on line by 2020 will be an important milestone on this journey.

To download the report, please click here.

To learn more about CCS and IEA recommendations, please click here

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