We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
While the share of renewable power generation is increasing, fossil fuels are expected to continue playing an important role in Europe in the short and medium term. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in power generation contribute to approximately 30% at EU level. Moreover, process industries like cement, iron and steel, aluminium, pulp and paper, and refineries, have inherent CO2 emissions resulting from raw material conversion. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies aim to capture as much as 85% - 90% of CO2 emissions from power plants and heavy industry before transporting it by pipeline or ship and storing it permanently and safely at least 800 metres below the earth’s surface.
Hence, CCS has been acknowledged as an important research and development priority of the Energy Union to achieve 2050 climate objectives in a cost-effective way.
The JRC, within its role as the European Commission's science and knowledge service, develops technological and scientific reports regarding Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) and Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU).
Carbon capture and storage gained more political attention in Europe from 2005. The first CCS communication dates from 2006. In 2007, CCS was included in the European agenda as an important tool to keep climate change in control. In 2009, the EU Directive on geological storage of CO2 (called CCS Directive) was published. CCS projects have benefited from funding mechanisms both at EU and national levels for R&D and demonstration. The JRC has contributed in several CCS-related policy initiatives of the European Commission with the following projects under development:
The realisation of large-scale CCS projects in Europe has been challenging, with many projects being slowed down by financial restrictions, public acceptance and also lack of incentives. Initiatives on national level such as the Norwegian feasibility full-chain CCS studies as well as on EU level with, for example, the EU Emission Trading System reform and the Innovation Fund are expected to unlock the potential of CCS/CCU in Europe.