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Non-nuclear energy

R&D needed for CO2 capture and storage

Fission and radiation protection

How can we use CO2 capture/storage in practice?

  • CO2 capture and storage will always come with an additional cost to any power generation plant. This is true both for the conversion to electricity and the conversion to hydrogen, if hydrogen is used as an energy carrier.
  • CO2 capture and storage will therefore only be applied if future specific or general policies provide the necessary financial incentive.
  • A specific measure would be any incentive to use the technology, like the incentives that already exist for most renewable energy options.
  • A general measure would be a carbon tax, or a cap and trade mechanism, which would put CO2 capture and storage on a equal footing with the renewable options.

What is the main reason for R&D?

  • Because the main barrier to using this technology is the cost, in terms of € per kg of CO2 avoided, the primary research objective is to lower costs.

What are the other R&D objectives?

Research is needed to overcome several technical and non-technical barriers. Technical research is needed:

  • To study the long-term stability of storage options;
  • To map existing sources of CO2 and storage potential;
  • To study infrastructure systems for transport;
  • To study and improve market liquidity mechanisms for carbon;

Non-technical research is needed to study;

  • Public awareness, public confidence and acceptability;
  • The legal implications of storage.

Why is EU support necessary?

  • It is very important to obtain critical mass in R&D efforts and to coordinate Member State activities. Because the greenhouse gas problem does not respect national borders, a European solution is a minimum requirement.
  • Because these programmes and activities are relatively new it should be feasible to coordinate Member State activities. These activities involve projects, which, because of their size and budget, will require co-operation at the European level.
  • Because the technology is in its infancy, there are many different options. Choosing between them requires comparisons, which must be based on coordinated actions.
  • From the industrial point of view, it will take several years before the technology is commercial, as demonstrated by the industrial initiative CCP (Carbon Capture Project, involving many industrial players worldwide).

Global distribution of goverment energy S&T investments