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Overview of past programme activities
6th Framework Programme Activities
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International Cooperation and Coordination Activities
Within the EC, there is a clear recognition that the need to deal with environmental challenges requires an international approach. Accordingly the EC is involved in a wide range of international cooperation and coordination activities that complement the RTD activities that they manage directly.
The EC takes an active role in the International Energy Agency (IEA) of the OECD. It participates in the “Committee of Energy Research and Technology - CERT” and in the “Working Party on Fossil Fuels - WPFF”, with a particular role in the “Zero Emission Technologies - ZETS” strategy.
It also sponsors and participates in the IEA “Greenhouse Gas” Implementing Agreement and in the IEA “Clean Coal Centre” Implementing Agreement.
In addition, the EU, via the EC, has Science and Technology Cooperation Agreements with many countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Russia, South Africa and the USA. The EC has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the US Department of Energy (DoE) and is a Member of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF), which is an initiative led by the USA.
At the EU level, within the European Initiative for Growth, a number of “quick start” projects will probably be launched to stimulate the European economy. Among the research projects considered is HYPOGEN, a full size demonstration plant for the production of hydrogen from fossil fuels with CO2 capture and storage. This initiative also underlines the link between CO2 capture and storage and the future hydrogen economy.
Within the European Union, the EC is involved in the open co-ordination of Member State activities as part of the process for the creation of the European Research Area. At the policy strategy definition level, co-operation may be done through open co-ordination in which Member States voluntarily agree to coordinate amongst themselves in an informal way. With regard to structuring EU RTD work, co-ordination is carried out at the project level through STREPs, IPs, Networking and Co-ordination actions that are the instruments of the EU Framework Programmes .
It may also be carried out at the Programme level through ERA-NET activities. Of relevance here is a project in an exploratory phase (FENCO) to undertake a specific support action for Fossil Energy Concerted Actions. The intention is to establish the feasibility for a subsequent co-ordination action that could create the basis for a unified approach within Europe for the development of near zero emissions technologies and carbon management strategies for fossil fuel power generation.
ENCAP aims at technologies that meet the target of at least 90% capture rate and 50% CO2-capture-costreduction.
ENCAP will, in compliance with the stated objectives of the WP:
CASTOR addresses “Capture and sequestration of CO2 associated with cleaner fossil fuel plants” and will specifically focus on “Post-combustion capture technologies for CO2” and “CO2 storage confidence building”. The overall goal of this IP is to develop and validate, in public/private partnerships, all of the innovative technologies needed to capture CO2 at the post-combustion stage and store CO2. The CASTOR R&D target is to enable the capture and geological storage of 10% of the CO2 emissions of Europe, which corresponds to about 30% of CO2 emitted by European power and industrial plants. To reach this goal, CASTOR will improve current techniques and develop, validate and generalise previously non existent methodologies and technologies for the capture of CO2 and its subsequent secure underground storage.
Key targets of CASTOR will be:
CASTOR activities fall into 3 technical sub-projects (SP):
In SP2 and SP3, large-scale field tests (capture facility, injection and monitoring facility) will be executed to validate the research results. In all sub-projects innovative methods and tools will be developed, building upon the state of the art knowledge of participating organisations which are leading in the field of CO2 capture, transport and storage.
CASTOR will make important contributions to reduce major bottlenecks that still remain in CO2 capture and geological storage by providing:
Geological storage of CO2 provides a means for the EU to significantly reduce its CO2 emissions over the next decades. To address and alleviate potential public concerns about the safety and environmental impact of geological storage, a better understanding of CO2 storage is needed.
The CO2SINK integrated project aims at developing this basis by injection of CO2 into a saline
The Ketzin gas storage site of CO2SINK has a number of appealing features:
The test site, being close to a metropolitan area, provides a unique opportunity to develop a European showcase for onshore CO2 storage. It will accelerate the public acceptance of geological storage of CO2 as a greenhouse gas mitigation option for the benefit of the Europe Community.
This NoE "CO2GeoNet" (13 institutes) contains a critical mass of research activity in the area of underground carbon dioxide (CO2) storage. World projections of energy use show that fossil fuel dependency will continue to 2030 and beyond; but sustainability will need CO2 emissions reducing by 60% by 2050. This will be difficult. It will require various strategies. The associated rise in global CO2 emissions, without abatement, will be at an average rate of 1.8% per annum (from the current value of 25Gt p.a., to 38Gt by 2030); a rise of over 50%. This will be catastrophic for the planet's sustainability. Urgent action is needed. Europe's CO2 emissions will rise by an average of 0.6% p.a. up to 2020, from a 2000 level of 3.1Gt to 3.5Gt by 2020. The rocks under the N. Sea have a theoretical capacity for storing over 800Gt of CO2. Capturing CO2 from industrial point sources and storing it underground (a process that mimics Nature) is a very attractive route to making cuts in CO2 emissions. CO2 capture and storage allows diverse fuel inputs/outputs, enhances security of supply and is well aligned with hydrogen production from fossil fuels. Through the Joule 2, FP4 & 5 projects Europe has led the world on R&D in this area, with rapid growth this decade. National programmes are also emerging. This success has a downside, by creating fragmentation through diversification. N. America despite its rejection of Kyoto (except Canada), has recently embraced CO2 capture and geological storage and is allocating huge resources (over $4bn) over the next 10 years. Europe, as a result, risks losing its head start. We therefore must work more effectively and restructure accordingly. The main aim of CO2GeoNet will be to integrate, strengthen, and build upon the momentum of previous and existing European R&D, as well as project European excellence internationally, so as to ensure that Europe remains at the forefront of CO2 underground storage research'.
The ISCC process is a new technology in support of European Union policy objectives. These include reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, a safe and cost effective energy supply, and decreased dependency on energy imports. Europe has large, economically available reserves of brown coal for which the ISCC process is designed.
The new ISCC process proposed is based on the Absorption Enhanced Reforming (AER) reaction. The AER reaction combines steam gasification of low rank, high moisture brown coal, with the high temperature removal of CO2 by using high temperature efficient sorbent materials (e.g. dolomite or limestone). The combination of the gasification and the in situ CO2 capture shifts the reaction towards H2 production in the gas stream. Experiments with different hydrocarbons and dolomite revealed that hydrogen concentrations higher than 95 vol % can be achieved using this technology. The CO2 laden sorbent material must be regenerated in an additional regeneration step before being recycled back into the gasifier. A regeneration strategy for limestone would involve a calcination step. This calcination step would produce reactivated sorbent material and a CO2 gas stream for subsequent sequestration. An attractive activity of the sorbent over many absorption/regeneration cycles is fundamental for the success of the ISCC process. Therefore, the project will focus on regeneration (including sorbent reactivation techniques) and the combined interaction of AER and regeneration processes.