North America is the global leader in developing and deploying carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), with seven of the world’s 12 operational large-scale integrated projects located in the US and one in Canada, according to a study by the Global CCS Institute.
These 12 projects prevent the release of 25 million metric tons a year of greenhouse gases. An additional eight projects under construction will increase the total to 38 million metric tons a year by 2016, the report says.
But despite the North American projects, the number of large-scale integrated CCS projects around the world has dropped from 75 last year to 65 this year; five have been cancelled, one downscaled and seven put on hold, according to The Global Status of CCS: 2013.
CEO Brad Page released the report at the Global CCS Institute’s annual international members meeting in Seoul, South Korea yesterday, and called for a renewed focus on developing carbon capture technologies.
Notwithstanding recent strong progress, with four additional projects becoming operational since 2012 — an increase of 50 percent in one year — Page said momentum is too slow if CCUS was to play its full part in tackling climate change at lowest cost. The four projects that began operation in 2013 are Air Products Steam Methane Reformer Enhanced Oil Recovery Project in Texas, Coffeyville Gasification Plant in Kansas, Lost Cabin Gas Plant in Wyoming and Petrobras Lula Oil Field CCS Project in Brazil.
China now has 12 projects across various stages of development planning compared to five in 2010, ranking second to the US, which has 20 projects.
Some 70 percent of project proponents say policy uncertainty is a major risk to their CCS/CCUS project, in addition to a lack of incentives and funding support, Page said, adding that this year’s report sees a strong development bias toward projects with additional revenue opportunities, such as using carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery (CO2–EOR). This process acts as an enabler for CCS technology, especially where national carbon legislation is either lacking or absent.
Although CO2–EOR in North America represents opportunities for enabling CCS, what is needed globally is technology-neutral policies that provide sufficient incentives for projects to develop robust long-term business cases and attract the private funding needed to create market conditions conducive to broadbased CCUS deployment, according to the report.