Global CCS Capacity Grows, But Not Fast Enough to Meet Climate Targets

December 2, 2020

CCS illustration - Credit: Equinor
CCS illustration - Credit: Equinor

Global carbon capture and storage capacity grew by a third in the past year, but it was far too slow to meet global climate targets, the Global CCS Institute said on Tuesday.

Globally, there were 26 commercial CCS facilities in operation able to capture about 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, mainly related to CO2 use for enhanced oil recovery, a report on the technology's deployment showed.

Including projects under construction or development, total CO2 capture capacity increased to over 110 million tonnes per year in 2020 from around 85 million tonnes in 2019, it added.

"One of the largest factors driving this growth is recognition that achieving net-zero emissions is urgent yet unattainable without CO2 reductions from energy-intensive sectors," said Brad Page, head of the Melbourne-based international think-tank.



A number of countries, including Britain, adopted targets to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, a mission seen impossible without CCS technology, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

"To achieve net-zero emissions, it (CCS capacity) must increase more than a hundredfold by 2050. Stronger policy to incentivize rapid CCS investment is overdue," the Global CCS Institute said.

The IEA estimates that almost $4 billion have been committed to CCS projects in 2020 alone, including a full-scale project in Norway dubbed "Longship" after the ships used by Vikings.

The Global CCS Institute said 17 new commercial facilities entered the project pipeline since its 2019 report was issued, including 12 in the United States, partly driven by tax incentives.

In total, there were 65 "commercial" CCS facilities in the world, including three under construction and 13 in advanced stage of development, it added.

Last year, the Institute counted 51 "large-scale" CCS facilities, which it now classifies as "commercial", with some smaller-scale facilities also added to the "commercial" category. 

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Dan Grebler)



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