CCS critical to curb climate change: WCA

THE WORLD Coal Association has come out in support of International Energy Agency’s findings that carbon-capture-and-storage technology is a necessary tool that should be implemented and financially supported globally.
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Courtesy IEA

Staff Reporter

The 2013 edition of Technology Roadmap: Carbon Capture and Storage highlighted the importance of CCS in reaching global climate goals.

“With coal and other fossil fuels remaining dominant in the fuel mix, there is no climate friendly scenario in the long run without CCS,” IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven said in the report’s foreword.

“CCS has so far been developing at a slow pace despite some technological progress, and urgent action is now needed to accelerate its deployment.”

WCA chief executive Milton Catelin agreed that CCS was an important technology needed to meet the climate challenge.

“By 2050, CCS is set to contribute 17% of total emissions reductions required to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees,” he said.

“Without CCS, action to address climate change will be 40% more expensive. The IEA has shown that CCS is a critical part of the climate solution,” Catelin said.

The report highlighted key steps that can be taken to help deploy CCS, including improving power plant efficiencies.

Van der Hoeven said that CCS should not be a “silver bullet” by itself, but a part of a coherent portfolio of energy solutions that can complement one another.

“As we develop and deploy CCS, we should also strive to minimize the amounts of CO2 resulting from fossil fuel use by building and operating most efficient power stations and industrial facilities,” she wrote adding that deploying high-efficiency, low-emission coal-fired power generation is essential to reducing the cost of future CCS deployment.

The WCC said the IEA report showed that improving efficiencies is a vital step to ensuring coal-fired power plants are CCS ready.

“The CO2 emission reduction potential from coal if all coal-fired power plants are upgraded or replaced with 45% efficient plants is 2.4 gigatonnes annually,” Catelin commented.

“This is more than the total annual CO2 emissions of India – the third largest CO2 emitter in the world. This is a serious contribution and public funding needs to support these changes.”

The report encouraged governments and international development banks to ensure that funding mechanisms were in place to support CCS demonstration, particularly in poorer nations.

“The IEA shows that both CCS and efficiency improvements are needed to meet the climate challenge. It’s now time for governments and international development banks to step-up their support of these technologies,” Catelin said.

The IEA’s technology roadmaps are aimed at exposing options to help advance global development and uptake of key technologies to reach a 50% reduction in energy-related CO₂ emissions by 2050.

The roadmaps identify priority actions for governments, industry, financial partners and civil society that will advance technology development and uptake to achieve international climate change goals.

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