CCUS ZEN unveils plans to boost CCUS in Europe
The Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage Zero Emission Network (CCUS ZEN) has announced it wants to accelerate the rollout of CCUS in Europe by identifying two industrial clusters suitable for deployment of CCUS.
As informed, the organisation will first identify four ‘promising’ clusters for the Mediterranean and the Baltic region, before selecting one cluster from each region for a pre-FEED study.
According to Project Coordinator Eirik Falck da Silva of SINTEF, they will then do detailed mapping of emissions sources.
“Some of the harbours might stand out as ideal clusters, drawing on, for instance the example of the Port of Rotterdam,” he added.
To further develop plans for the project, CCUS ZEN partners met earlier this month in Copenhagen for a cluster building workshop. By advancing these plans, CCUS ZEN aims to garner commercial interest and incentivise governments to accelerate development. Industry partners Technip Energies will aid with plans for the Mediterranean, while Danish company Ramboll will work on the Baltic cluster.
“We need to make sure we produce outputs in a form that can be easily picked up by people who want to take them to the next stage. Technip Energies and Ramboll are perfect for that kind of exercise,” said da Silva. “The ambition of CCUS ZEN is to develop cases that are genuinely so promising that the Commission, national governments, industrials look at them and say yes, these are our next clusters that could move towards FEED studies and ultimately investment decisions.”
Explaining that the project aims to help people to connect and obtain the right information more quickly, da Silva emphasised that it is not just an R&D project.
“We are doing some analysis so the new countries and new developers learn from everything that has happened to date – the UK, Norway and the Netherlands have been working on CCS/CCUS for decades.”
Specifically, by extracting knowledge from existing projects, CCUS ZEN hopes to develop a list of recommended actions on how to build clusters.
With CCUS increasingly seen as more financially competitive, da Silva admitted that, although CCS isn’t cheap, it might be the cheapest alternative to reducing emissions from a waste-to-energy or a cement plant, according to the organisation.
However, to drive the adoption of CCS/CCUS, further government or EU incentives may be needed. In addition to the development of carbon taxes, the high price of carbon in the future could see the further acceleration of CCUS adoption.
“It is promising that some countries are talking about a carbon price of 200 a tonne by 2030. At that level CCUS is absolutely in business in many place,” said da Silva.
Although he adds that more incentives need to be put in place to encourage the separation and storage of waste emissions rather than simply disposing of them into nature. Improvements to CCS/CCUS technologies and legal frameworks for CO2 storage will also have to be made.
“Obviously as scientists our ambition is to make it better, more robust, more compact – to keep working on those things. As the designs become more standardised then you will started to see costs creeping down a bit more consistently,” he explained.
“We need a legal framework for storage and for cross-border transport and export. This is progressing quite well in some places.”
Although there exist rules limiting export of waste products across border, in the case of CCS, he says, it makes perfect sense for CO2 to flow, for example, from Germany into storage in the North Sea.